HHS students are ‘voices of Helena today’

Published 4:54 pm Monday, April 27, 2015

Left to right are Founder’s Day Essay Contest winners Mia Elise Stowe, Maddie Crain and Cana Brown.

Left to right are Founder’s Day Essay Contest winners Mia Elise Stowe, Maddie Crain and Cana Brown.

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

Mia Elise Stowe, a student at HHS in Mrs. McKinney’s English class, was the top winner in the essay contest portion of Helena Founder’s Day.

“I Am Helena” was the topic assigned to each student. Stowe submitted a carefully handwritten three-page essay that included, “We pursue excellence as best we can, and that is the way we have done everything in the past and what we will do in the future as well. Helena is unique and special in its own brilliant way.”

“Helena’s admirable setting is unmistakably a fraction of why Helena is superior …”

Stowe goes on to reference the coal mining history, the tornado of 1933 and the future of “this small, but bighearted city.”

“My peers and I are the voices of Helena today. I am the voice of today. I am Helena,” she concludes.

Second place winner Maddie Crain wrote, “Growing up in Helena (since fifth grade) was nothing short of magical. From hot summer days spent in the ballpark to school choir performances, everything about Helena was perfect for a child, in fact, someday I plan to return to start a family of my own!”

Third place winner, Cana Brown, also comes from McKinney’s 10th grade Honors English class. HIS student Aaron Yost also was on hand to accept his red second place ribbon.

This first celebration in honor of Founder’s Day was pronounced a success by all who attended. Charity Miller spearheaded the planning, assisted by members of the Historic Committee.

All who attended received a wooden nickel commemorating 150 years of Helena’s rich history. Attendees enjoyed viewing the folk arts category submissions.

In addition to performances by local band Sparetime, the HHS Choir and Thomas Trussell, there was a special enactment of the naming of the city by engineer Peter Boyle in honor of his sweetheart, Helen Lee,daughter of Needham Lee, Jr.

Several significant historic characters played by local volunteers told the story.

Dr. James Day, professor of history at Montevallo, also spoke about the town’s coal mining history.

We have heard much enthusiasm for establishing an annual historic celebration, so stay tuned for that possibility.