Hanna Pace, a fifth-grader at Black Mountain Elementary School, is the Harlan County and district winner in the AARP Kentucky Grandparent of the Year essay contest.
For winning the county contest, Pace was presented a certificate and check for $25. She was awarded an engraved plaque and check for $50 from the Kentucky Retired Teachers Association and AARP for winning the district. The Upper Cumberland Retired Association also awarded Pace with a check for $25. She also received a certificate and $10 for being the school winner.
The district is comprised of Harlan, Bell, Knox, Clay, Laurel and Whitley counties.
The AARP Grandparent of the Year essay contest is coordinated by the local Retired Teacher Association units and AARP chapters. These groups help secure local school participation, promote the activity and serve as local contest judges.
Hanna’s AARP Grandparent of the Year Essay:
The grandparent I have chosen is my mamaw Sharol Carlene Whitman Pace. She is my dad’s mother. She was born in Bluffton, Indiana on February 24, 1950. There are many reasons I would nominate her for the grandparent of the year award. A few of the reasons would be she has kindness, contentment, and determination.
Kindness is one of my mamaw’s greatest abilities. She will do anything to make someone smile. She will always prepare a meal for a stranger, offer them a place to sleep, and she would give them the clothes off her back. Her kindness to me is genuine because it is not only shown to those she loves, but to everyone she meets.
My grandmother is content with anything and everything she has. It is easy to buy a gift for her because price is not a problem. She is happy with whatever someone gives her. She has always told me it’s the thought that counts.
Determination is another strong quality about my grandmother. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer two years ago. When the oncologist operated, he determined that the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. Even though cancer is a cruel disease, my grandmother is determined to beat it. She is still fighting and I truly believe that her determination and strong will to live have brought her this far.
My grandmother is one of the most important people in my life. Even when she is fighting her own battles, she is determined to make others smile. She has taught me that it really is the simple things in life that mean the most. That giving is more rewarding than receiving, and to be content with what I have. She deserves this award because she is not just a wonderful grandmother. She has the ability to leave footprints on the hearts of everyone she meets.