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Gronstal Wins Local Farm Bureau Insurance Essay Contest | Community

Three students from OJ DeJonge Middle School in Ludington have been named local winners of the 53rd annual American & Me Essay contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.

The three students who won first, second and third place for their school are Katherine Gronstal, first place; Tyler Albrecht, second; and Ian Lundberg, third. All three received award certificates for their achievement. As the school’s first place winner, Gronstal’s name will also be engraved on a plaque for permanent display in the school.

The school’s entry into the competition was sponsored by Farm Bureau insurance agent Wayne Brown of Ludington.

Gronstal’s essay moved on to the state contest where Michigan’s top 10 are selected. The top 10 winners are announced in April, and those 10 will receive a plaque, medallion and $1,000. Farm Bureau Insurance also features the 10 schools the winners represent with $1,000 and an additional $500 if the school is represented by an agent.

State Awards Day is May 31 in Lansing.

The topic of the contest this year was “My Personal Michigan Hero”.

My hero

Imagine that one day someone comes up to you and asks, “Who is your hero?” Who would be your hero? My Michigan hero is my mother, O’Nealya Gronstal. My mother was always aware of things and always looked on the bright side. She is a very inspirational person to me and to others for and with whom she works. She has been a great help to the community during the pandemic. Her kindness and hard work led her to be the best mother and person anyone ever knew. Because of her determination, her love for cooking, her helpfulness and her generosity, she is my heroine.

One of the things my mom is good at is looking on the bright side of situations. For example, when I was moving, I didn’t want anything to do with it. This was just before COVID hit, I had no intention of moving and wanted to stay exactly where we were. But my mom told me it would be the best and worst regret of a lifetime if we didn’t. She was absolutely right, it’s the best place to be and I probably would have regretted it if we hadn’t.

My mom loves being in the kitchen. On Sundays, she will clean the pantry, the refrigerator or prepare soups for the rest of the week. She also brings friends dinner too. Either it’s for hospital reasons or just to be a good neighbor. Over the Christmas holidays, my mom and I made cinnamon rolls for our neighborhood. It was lots and lots of flour and powdered sugar. Another year she made apple crisp for our two neighbors and they really enjoyed it. She spreads joy in the kitchen.

Virtually all of his jobs involved helping people in need. Whether it’s a homeless shelter or donations, she helps people. Just before the big shutdown in March due to COVID, she had the opportunity to be the manager of the Lakeshore Food Club. This is where she is now. Work to give food to people who cannot afford it. When COVID first hit they had to close for a little while. Around mid-March, she turned the food club into a food distribution center until they could reopen. They did this along with other product disruptions with other people until just before Thanksgiving. In addition to the food distributions, she also helped with a Thanksgiving food distribution where people received the turkey and side dishes you would normally see on the table at Thanksgiving. Although the food club was closed for a while, people still got the things they needed.

“We must act as if it were possible to radically change the world. And you have to do it all the time. — Angela Davis.

This quote fits my mom perfectly, and if someone came to me and asked me who my hero is, my answer would be my mom. She not only helped her family, but also the community during the pandemic. She is a source of inspiration for my life and that of others. She is a hardworking mother who is always in a good mood. Her kindness towards others and her thoughtfulness make her my heroine. Thank you mom for being the most amazing person I have ever known and had in my life.

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