One of our favorite local events is coming up, with Sussex County Council’s Election Year Scholarship Contest.
The contest began in 2000 for Sussex County students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Students predict the outcomes of the general election in November, and the student with the most correct answers wins a $200 scholarship. Five runners-up will win $100 scholarships for their efforts, and the money will be paid upon each student’s enrollment in college or some other form of post-secondary education.
Why do we get so excited about this contest? Well, it does two things that we feel are important to any community. First, it rewards students who pay attention to current events and have an understanding of the political process. And, second, it can get students who haven’t previously held any interest in the world of politics to be interested.
The country right now is a tempest, politically. People align themselves with political parties and agendas, and often stop thinking for themselves. There is a movement to move more left, another movement to move more right, and there is the everpresent group of people who like to live right in the middle. People often get their political bents from their parents, friends or, in some cases, jobs, and it is often a decision that is thrust upon them, as opposed to somebody making an informed decision based on their own personal beliefs.
A student who is hungrily chasing that scholarship money will have to do their research. He or she will have to read unbiased articles on the candidates, opinionated columns and study poll results. It will no doubt result in a more informed student. And that only bodes well for the future.
The entire Sussex County community suffered a great loss last month with the passing of longtime journalist Steve Hoenigmann, a former editor of the Delaware Wave and Sussex Post. He was most recently working at the Cape Gazette in Lewes as an outdoors columnist, production editor and Web editor.
His father, Frank, and brother, Marty, are planning a special event on Saturday, Oct. 2, at The Buttery Restaurant in Lewes to remember Hoenigmann, his life and his love of Sussex County and Delaware. The event will run from 2 to 4 p.m.
Many of you no doubt had interaction with Steve while he was at the Wave, and would like the opportunity to remember him again. Those of us in the industry here knew the level of commitment Steve had to informing the public, and carried a great deal of respect for him and his efforts. If you are interested in attending, the family asks that RSVPs be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Kathy at (302) 645-7700.