Jan 16, 2023 2:00 AM

Council’s decision Spurred by 7th-Grade essay contest

Posted Jan 16, 2023 2:00 AM

By Beacon Staff

The city of Burlington is hosting a food drive inspired by a seventh-grader’s essay and needs the public’s help.

City council member Annie Wilson spoke about the food drive at the end of the city council work session, noting that all the donations would be distributed to local food pantries.

“It’s an important food drive. We need to make sure we bring in a lot of goods, said Mayor Jon Billups at the Jan. 9  meeting.

The food drive coincides with an essay written by Burlington seventh-grader Ava Fruehling, who just won the annual “If I Were Mayor” contest. Fruehling’s essay focused on food scarcity and how it affects families and students.

The Iowa League of Cities hosts the “If I Were Mayor” essay contest, which challenges seventh-grade students to write a one-page essay about what they would do if they were the mayor. 

The city of Burlington partners with local schools annually, and the winning essay will be moving on to the state level to represent local youth and the city of Burlington. 

The essays are judged based on creativity, clarity, sincerity of thought, and proper use of grammar.

Fruehling will also be awarded a $100 cash prize from Burlington Rotary Club. Fruehling will read her essay in person at the Feb. 6 city council meeting, and will also be recognized by the council during the meeting.

Last year’s winner was Edward Stone Middle School student Dresden Fishback. 

Her essay read, in part:

“If I were mayor I would strive to lower unemployment rates by creating programs to help unemployed people find jobs and create more job opportunities. Unemployment rates are a big issue, unemployment lowers the productivity and liveliness of our communities, as well as negatively impacting our economy by causing inflation and slowing the growth of businesses, and our economy as a whole.”

The food drive inspired by Fruehling’s essay started Monday, Jan. 9, and will continue through Feb. 6. Food items can be brought to city hall at 400 Washington St. during business hours.