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COURTESY PHOTO The respect life essay winners of Holy Family Elementary display the rosaries they received as prizes from the Knights of Columbus essay contest. Winners were announced Nov. 4. From left are Lester Robben, Respect Life coordinator for Knights Council No. 6984; Jeffery Heimann, son of Bill and Theresa Heimann, Hays; Ann Wasinger, daughter of Robert and Rebecca Wasinger, Hays; Morgan Staab, daughter of Karl and Debbie Staab, Victoria, and Shirley Dinkel, teacher at Holy Family Elementary.

Local Knights of Columbus announce essay winners

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Special to The Hays Daily News

The St. Mary Knights of Columbus in Hays announced the winners of the sixth-grade respect-life essay contest. The contest is conducted each year at Holy Family Elementary School through the creative writing and religion class taught by Shirley Dinkel.

"Each year, the writing is better and the student's knowledge of complicated life issues increases," said Lester Robben, Knights of Columbus Respect Life chairman. "It gets more difficult to choose winners, as they are all winners in my opinion."

Taking first place is Ann Wasinger, daughter of Robert and Rebecca Wasinger, Hays. Robben said the essay was chosen as first place because of the creativity in drawing the reader into the story by helping them visualize a baby discovering his or her feet.

The author then makes great points against abortion by talking about where life comes from, the plan God has for every human being, what the Catholic Catechism states about abortion, and finally ends the essay on a patriotic note.

Morgan Staab, daughter of Karl and Debbie Staab, Victoria, won second place in her essay titled "Euthanasia." Robben said the essay was chosen as second place because of the author's bold statement that those who don't suffer as Christ -- those who choose to end their life versus suffering through their illness -- are cowards. The author then talks about how valuable every human being is, even during times of suffering. The author ends by stating only the author of life has the "right" to end this earthly journey.

Jeffery Heimann, son of Bill and Teresa Heimann, Hays, won third place. The essay was chosen because the author not only tells about abortion -- calling it a "still widening huge scar" -- but because the author gives the reader solutions to the problem by telling readers what they can do to help end and heal the scar.

The students were awarded handmade ladder rosaries, and all students received a respect-life wrist band. They, along with their families, will be recognized at the Knights of Columbus Christmas party Dec. 14.

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