When 11-year-old Lily Holloway saw the clock strike 4 p.m. Friday, she knew she had won the Back to School Buy Local Favorite Summer Memory Contest sponsored by Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce.
The contest asked youths from Mansfield, Foxborough and Norton to write about their favorite summer memories. Lily decided to share a story about spending time at her great grandmother's beach house in Humarock with her family.
"Afterwards, we walk down to the Ice Cream Shoppe," Lily wrote. "We make it just in time to see the bright oranges, soft pinks, lavenders, and lemon yellows of the sunset. I’ll remember my family’s faces forever. My youngest brother clings to my leg smiling as bright as the stars, looking at me, and then finally gazing off into the sunset….Just like in the movies."
Lily says that when she is down at her family's beach house, she feels closer to those who were a part of her family history -- and is happy that she is a part of it too. To be able to share her favorite memories of this place makes her happy. She hopes people who read her story are reminded to keep special places and memories alive by writing about them.
This is not the first time Lily has shared her writing skills with the general public on a larger scale. with a story about time travel. She gets her love of history from her father, and her love of writing from her .
As the grand prize winner, Lily will receive $300 for back-to-school shopping.
"With four kiddos in our family, all attending school this year, back to school shopping can become quite a task and costs can add up very quickly," said Lily's mom, Annemarie Holloway. "The prize winnings will help ease the cost of those purchases. Lily feels like she has hit the lottery."
She also attended an awards ceremony breakfast at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
"Lily feels honored and excited to be able to attend this, she is also very excited to share this moment with her two sets of grandparents; One of whom, her Popis, loves the sport," Annemarie said. "She is excited to have VIP passes to view the course and share this event with her family."
Norton youths Daniel Clapp and Victoria Vaphiades were the first and second runners up, respectively. Honorable mentions were Jack Moussette of Mansfield, Paulina Baczkowski of Foxborough and Kara Hart of Mansfield. Over 600 people voted for their favorite essay. Lily garnered 246 votes, Daniel received 130 and Victoria had 118.
"What a wonderful show of community support for today's youth," Annemarie said. "It was awesome to see the positive responses to each of the finalists' essays. It is rare today, to see communities joyfully embrace the gifts that today's youth have to share -- what an awesome forum to be able to do this in!"