From left, Alan Willis and Amanda Boyette, regent for the Morehead City Fort Hancock chapter of National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, pose March 9 during the chapter’s meeting in the town train depot after Allan received prizes for an award-winning essay he wrote in response to an annual contest the organization hosts. (Contributed photo)

St. Egbert’s Catholic School fifth-grader Allan Willis won awards for an essay he wrote recently and was invited to read the essay and claim his prizes at the March 9 meeting of the Fort Hancock chapter of National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in the Morehead City train depot, according to a recent release from the organization.

A fellow fifth-grader at St. Egbert’s, Zackery Miller also read his essay for the members and received a certificate for participating.

Both boys wrote their essays in response to a Daughters of the American Revolution American History Essay Contest prompt: “Imagine you are one of the passengers on the Mayflower. Knowing what materials were available in 1620, what would you have packed to prepare for the trip and starting a new life in the wilderness? After experiencing more than two months at sea then finally landing at Plymouth Colony on November 9, 1620, do you think you would have made different choices and why?”

The prompt for this year’s contest was in honor of the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower and founding of Plymouth colony.

For his essay, Allan earned first place at the district and state levels, a bronze medal, a certificate for participating and a monetary award.

In addition to the boys, chapter members also welcomed St. Egbert’s principal Kimberlee Felix and fifth-grade teacher Mary Barber, along with the boys’ mothers, Carole Willis and Gloria Miller.

During the meeting, chapter members also learned that, in February, Ms. Willis’ son Allan spearheaded an effort by his class to communicate with Lt. j.g. Steven A. Taylor, who is deployed with the aircraft carrier Teddy Roosevelt as a member of VAW-115, the early warning squadron also known as Liberty Bells.  Allan’s class sent Valentines to Mr. Taylor and wished him well via emails that queried him about his duties and training.

“This is outstanding for a youth to take such an interest in our deployed military,” a chapter member said.

The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution usually meets at 5:30 p.m. the second Monday of each month from September to May.

Any woman 18 or older who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible to become a member. 

Volunteers are available to provide guidance in taking the first step into the world of genealogy.

Email morehead.city.dar@gmail.com for more information.

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