Two seventh graders from the Diocese of Kansas City, Kansas are the grand prize winners in the inaugural year of Vitae Foundation’s “Champions for Life” Essay Contest.  Audrey Kuta, a student at Christ the King Catholic School in Topeka, Kan., claimed the top grand prize (read essay)Jack Dotterer of Paola, Kan., and a student at Queen of the Holy Rosary Wea School, claimed the second grand prize (read essay).

IMG_8547In addition to receiving four Dugout Plaza tickets, Kuta threw out a ceremonial first pitch before the start of the August 11 Kansas City Royals game against the Chicago White Sox.  Dotterer’s prize included tickets, being on the field for batting practice, a radio booth visit, and a stadium tour. Due to excessive heat the batting practice was cancelled, but the Royals offered Jack and his family the opportunity to come back for another game/batting practice.  The essay contest was one component of the 2016 partnership between Vitae and the Kansas City Royals. Another component includes Vitae radio ads voiced by Royals Hall of Famer Mike Sweeney and Royals broadcaster Steve Physioc, running on the Royals Radio Network throughout the 162-game season.

Vitae’s essay contest engaged the archdiocesan seventh graders in the discussion of “Encouraging A Culture of Life.”  Kuta’s essay was titled “Diary of an Unborn Child,” while Dotterer’s essay was titled “Life is a Gift.”  The principal and teacher with the most participants (by percentage) were awarded tickets to the All Star Suite at the August 11 game.  Barb Burgoon, a teacher at Nativity Catholic School and the school’s principal Maureen Huppe were awarded this honor.

“We were so pleased to receive 225 submissions to the essay contest this year.  It was a pro-life essay avalanche!  The agreement with the Royals allowed Vitae to give four tickets to the first 110 participants.  The contest engaged not only the 225 participants and their parents, but also the 30 plus school teachers, principals and 21 judges.  We were blessed with the wonderful support of Archbishop Joseph Naumann, as well as the school superintendent Dr. Kathleen O’Hara and associate superintendent, Ann Connor who helped bring this contest to life.   I’m certain the parents and teachers are very proud of all those that accepted the challenge to write for life,” Vitae’s COO and Senior Market Director Anne Carmichael stated.