Congratulations to Kip Gaddis (7th grade) & Ricky Faucher, Jr (9th grade), winners of the 2018 Bertha Frothingham Essay Contest!  Below are their winning essays! We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did!
If I had One Hundred Thousand Dollars by Kip Gaddis
If I had one hundred thousand dollars, I would help to end world hunger.  This is no easy feat on its own; ending world hunger on a global level is almost impossible with any amount of money.  Hunger affects millions of people around the globe on a daily basis and not much is being done to stop this problem.
With this fact in mind, I would start to end world hunger in one place and expand it to the far reaches of the globe.  Somalia is a war-torn country with little to no stable source of food and where I would start solving the problem.  One immediate thought is to airdrop crates of food and water or drive the crates to the people in need to the area but this could be costly and unpractical.
Another idea is to improve agriculture through soil quality and water quality.  This would be slow, but is possible, and is happening now in Kenya.  Smallholder farmers who previously couldn't compete with larger growers, have boosted their crop production when provded assistance.  Some are even selling their surplus crops to the UN World Food Program.
Anotehr way to help end world hunger would be to start small and meet immeidate needs by helping to raise and care for small herds of livestock.  Slowly over time, the livestock would make the soil rich and more useful providing natural fertilizer.  This idea to me is the most viable, sustainable, and is also perhaps the most practical and feasible option.
This idea, although sound, presents many challenges.  For example, in Somalia, the existing soil is in a snady dry state and the idea is to slowly over time imrpvoe the soil quality to the point in which plants will grow with ease.  The livestock, that is crucial for my idea, need both water and food which is not in abundance but the livestock willevenutally be able to sustain themselves by improving the soil and allowing plants to grow and feed both the animals and the people.  For the first year, the plants would need manure and water brought in from elsewhere to help and to make sure they grow and continue to grow in the following years after.
The UN estimates ending world hunger each year would cost $30 billion.  So ending world hunger since 2000 would have cost $540 billion. One hundred thousand dollars will never be enough to end world hunger so I would use the money to start a foundation to help fund my idea and make into reality and help to make sure everyone in the world has food.
I would use half the money immediately to kickstart my idea on a small scale with several villages or an area of Somalia.  Once the idea proved successful, if it turned outr that way,then I would start the foundation and use what money I had to encourage others to do the same.  In this way the original one hundred thousand would do more and go further for the benefit of many more people for years to come.
Mother's Day by Richard Faucher
The day before Mother's Day, my cousin spent the night.  She is kind of weird.  We went to bed and she got up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water.  The next thing I knew I was awoken by her booming footsteps up the stairs.  She looked as if she had just seen a ghost.  I asked her what was wrong, but she told me it was nothing and to go back to bed.  She was kind of weird, so I thought nothing of it and fell into a deep sleep.
My cousin woke me up early and told me it's Mother's Day.  She had an idea that we should do something nice for my mother.  Then she said we should cook her eggs and toast, and I looked at her and said, "I don't know how to use the stove."
She replied, "I do.  I cook all the time with my other."  She turned the burner on, but little did we know, she turned on the wrong burner.
Then we heard my parents wake up, so my cousin went upstairs to stall and tell them not to come downstairs or the surprise will be ruined.  Menawhile, I had been making toast with my back to the stove.  Only a few minutes passed and I heard a crack so loud, my ears rang.  I then turned around to see that the Pyrex glass that we left on the stove had vanished.  I looked closer and saw shards of the glass sticking in the wall.  My only thought was mom's gonna be so mad.  I turned back around and saw my parents in the doorway with my cousin.  My mom aid, "Are you okay" in an irritated voice.
I said, "Yes I am ok."  then she walked towards me and hugged me really tight.  I was so confused and asked, "Aren't you mad?"
She replied with, "No, I'm just glad you're okay."
Then my cousin chimed in and asked, "Can I tell you guys something?"
My parents said, "Yes, we should go in the living room beause of the glass."  So we went to the living room and all sat down.
Then my cousin said, "Last night I went downstairs to get a glass of water and saw a spirit in your home.  He told me his name was Garry Dakota.  He told me to say he says hi to you."  My mom asked her some questions, like, "How was he sitting?  Where was he?"
My cousin said, "He was in the kitchen sitting in a chair, sipping his coffee, and had his legs crossed."  She also said, "He had our two love birds that recently died sitting on his shoulders: one with a black face with green tail feathers and one with a peach face and orange tail feathers."  My cousin has never heard of him or seen pictures of him ever and had no clue we had birds.  She had described them like they had been right in front of her.  Later that day, we dropped her off at home and thought a lot about what she said and thanked him during dinner grace for watching over us.  I realy do believe my cousin was able to talk to my grandfather and it makes me more able to believe he is watching over us instead of just laying there in the dirt.