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Deadline nears for annual 'My Help List' essay contest

Area school students who help others should make a list, check it twice and enter it in a contest for a chance to win a wallet-size portrait of Benjamin Franklin worth $100.

Students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade, including home-schooled students, are invited to enter the contest by submitting an essay on why it’s important to help others and listing five things they have done or could do to help others.

The 150-word essays are part of the eighth-annual Mr. Alex-Zan/Virginia A. Gatewood ‘My Help List’ Contest and are due by Friday.

The contest is created by Charles Alexander, a Charlottesville author, song producer and award winning motivational speaker known in his educational work as Mr. Alex-Zan. The ‘My Help List’ contest is held in honor of Virginia A. Gatewood and focuses on character, personal responsibility, and respecting and valuing others.

All submissions should be mailed or dropped off at Jones Heating and Air, 633 Rose Hill Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

Judges will choose winners in four categories: kindergarten through second grade; third through fifth grade; sixth through eighth grade; and ninth through 12th grade. Each winner will receive $100.

The winners will be announced on Channel 29 and at


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