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Margaret Chase Smith Essay Contest Winners

Skowhegan -

Kacie Rioux, First-Place Entry, 2010 Margaret Chase Smith Essay Contest

SKOWHEGAN – The Margaret Chase Smith Library is pleased to announce the winners of its fourteenth annual essay contest for Maine high school seniors. First prize of $500 went to Kacie Rioux from St. Dominic Regional High School in Auburn. This fall, Rioux will be attending Boston University, where she intends to major in English and one of the social sciences.

The recipient of the $250 award for second place was Elizabeth Barker of Marshwood High School in Eliot. Barker will continue her education at the University of New Hampshire. She plans to double major in English and Political Science with the goal of becoming a teacher and writer.

Third place and $125 went to Lee Smith of Acadia Christian School in Trenton. Smith hopes to pursue his musical talents in college.

In addition, the library presented five honorable mention awards of $25, along with a book about Senator Smith to: Ryan Asalone of Hampden Academy, Evan Bianchi of Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, Tim Day of St. Dominic Regional High School, Catherine Mason of Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, and Melanie Souchet, a home-school student from Brunswick.

In light of the debate over national health insurance, the essay theme invited students to weigh in with their views of the subject. Entries spanned the spectrum from outright opposition to mixed feelings to full-fledged support.

Kacie Rioux maintains “it is the responsibility of the government to provide for the ‘general welfare.’” She argues that people are not truly “free” if they are “unjustly restrained by high medical bills that prevent them from living freely.”

While in support of government action, Elizabeth Barker believes “reforming the health of America can’t stop with the health care laws or a public option.” She feels that the underlying cause of much illness – obesity – also needs addressing. She writes that it “becomes the duty of the individual to make wiser food and health decisions.”

Lee Smith pins his hopes for reform on the cost side of the equation. He champions electronic recordkeeping and managed care, but also acknowledges “any plan or change must have a strong emphasis on encouraging healthful behaviors and preventing disease.”

The theme for the 2011 Margaret Chase Smith Essay Contest will be announced in the late fall. For more information, contact David Richards at davidr@mcslibrary.org or 474-7133.

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