More than 250 enter Mayor’s Christmas Essay Contest

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Mayor Shelli Selby celebrates the Mayor’s Christmas Party with just a handful of the record-breaking 259 entrants in the 16th Annual Mayor’s Christmas Essay Contest. At the party, Selby announced the names of the six first through third place essay winners and each child read their submission to the crowd. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

By Cara Pattison

Contributing Writer

Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby hosted citizens to a “jolly good time” at the Annual Mayor’s Christmas Party on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore.

Amid, the holiday spirit, Selby told the packed house that this time of year makes her grateful to hold the office.

Karlee McEachern, 8, holds on to her little sister, Jami Mills, 4, as they pose for a photo opportunity at the Mayor’s Christmas Party. Yukon Parks and Recreation staff set-up the festive event with decorations, games, and food. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

“This is a children’s event, and one of the most amazing parts of being a mayor is seeing Christmas through a child’s eyes at this annual celebration,” she said.

The event kicked off with the announcement of the winners of the Mayor’s 16th Annual Christmas Essay Contest.

“There were a total of 259 essays entered this year. This is the most that have ever been sent in for the Mayor’s Essay Contest in the 16 years it has been running. We even got 49 art projects from kindergarteners.”

The top three entrants in the first through third grade contest included: first place – Karlee McEachern (Skyview Elementary School third grader in Ms. Davis’s class); second place – Layne Bowen (Ranchwood Elementary School third grader in Ms. Grba’s class); and third place – Amari Briggs (Ranchwood Elementary School third grader in Ms. Davis’s class). Other top mentions for first through third grade included: Liam Sorrels, Bridgette Knous, Rayleigh McCurdy, Gabe Lorenz, Raydyn Schonlau, Ellie Murphy, and Rebecca Sunquist.

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Also, the top three entrants in the fourth through sixth grade contest included: first place – Sarah Stiegelmeyer (Lakeview Intermediate School fifth grader in Mrs. Wrather’s class); second place – Hannah Matthew (Lakeview Intermediate School sixth grader in Mrs. Patric’s class); and third place – Maddox Lee (Lakeview Intermediate School sixth grader in Mrs. Easter’s class). Other top mentions for fourth through sixth grade included: Ruby Stephens, Trinity Spaeth, Elijah Davis, Selah Mann, Luke Mayo, Breckin Wilson, and Aubree Lyn Matthews.

The six winners read their essays aloud to an audience of teachers, parents, friends, and classmates. In addition to receiving a trophy, contest winners will be recognized at the next Yukon City Council meeting on Jan. 4.

“This longstanding tradition promotes the spirit of Christmas and encourages kids to write,” Selby added. “I’m a former English teacher, so I, of course, love it! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading each and every one of the 259 essays and looking at the kindergarten art.”

At the Mayor’s Christmas Party, from left: Sawyer Mann, 6, The Yukon Christmas Dino, Mrs. Claus, and Lorelai Mann, 9, swap Christmas stories. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

After the announcement of the essay winners, the mayor handed out candy canes to the children present while the free festivities ensued. The Yukon Christmas Dino and Frosty the Snowman led the youngsters into a memorable two hour celebration.

Yukon Parks and Recreation staff packed the party with holiday decorations and scenic photo opportunities, handed out holiday treats, manned seasonally themed games, and offered a variety of Christmas arts-and-crafts.

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