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Honoring Ripon essay winners
Top entries in Give Every Child a Chance effort
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From left, Steven Kirkpatrick, Het Trivedi, and Austin OSullivan were among those recognized by Evelyn Moore of Give Every Child A Chance for their efforts in the recent Bob Camden Inspirational Essay Contest at last Mondays Ripon Unified school board meeting. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

What if you could create your own holiday? What would it be?

That’s the question posed to Ripon Unified students who took part in the recent Bob Camden Inspirational Essay Contest hosted by Give Every Child A Chance.

“I had some doubt  of this being a poor topic, but it wasn’t,” said Evelyn Moore at last Monday’s school board meeting held in the City of Ripon Council Chamber.

She’s a longtime board member for this mentor / tutor program that began some time ago in Manteca. The essay contest named in memory of Robert “Bob” Camden – he was an English teacher at Manteca High for many years – was limited to MUSD until last year.

“Every year is a new topic,” said Moore, who is also a longtime MUSD school board member.

Josh Angel took home the big prize of a $100 check in the Grade 9-12 division. He called his holiday: “Week of Peace.”

Steven Kirkpatrick from Weston School and Het Trivedi from Ripon Elementary School were winners in the Grade 7-8 division.

Kirkpatrick’s essay was “Heritage Day” as his created holiday while Trivedi called his “Vibrant Skies Day with Kites (flying) of all colors.”

Both were awarded checks for $75.

Austin O’Sullivan took the Grade 4-6 division, writing about “Navy Seal” as his created holiday. For that he took home the check for $50.

Moore added that the “what if…” questions stimulate critical thinking among young people.

This essay contest celebrates Camden’s contributions to the community coupled with his inspirational gift of creative writing.

He also penned a newspaper a twice-a-week column in the defunct Manteca News and, later, the Manteca Bulletin.