Samantha Ducote and Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan top the city’s Christmas tree Wednesday in The Grove. (Kara Carrier / American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, December 05, 2013 10:29 AM
SULPHUR — Samantha Ducote may be only 10 years old, but she knows the importance of giving to those who are less fortunate than she is.
Ducote, a fifth-grade student at Vincent Settlement Elementary, won an essay contest held by the city of Sulphur by writing about how she and her family give to others during Christmas. The topic was “How do you celebrate Christmas?”
“I wrote about when my brother had cancer and how people gave to us during that rough time,” Ducote said. “So now we’re giving back to them and helping people who can’t get presents for Christmas.”
Ducote’s brother, Thomas, was only 4 when his cancer was diagnosed. He is now 11 and in remission.
As a reward for winning the contest, Ducote, along with Mayor Chris Duncan, topped the city’s Christmas tree in The Grove on Wednesday. Ducote will also read her winning essay at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, during Sulphur’s annual Christmas Under the Oaks festival.
Ducote’s mother, Aubrey Spicer, said she found out Tuesday that her daughter had won the contest. Spicer said she didn’t help Ducote write the essay and didn’t know what she wrote about.
“When I read it, it made me want to cry,” she said. “We have a lot to be thankful for. I am so proud of her.”
Spicer said her family is buying gifts this year for another family in need.
“We’re going to provide their Christmas, and we’re also going to help out two other organizations by giving gas cards and gift cards,” she said. Duncan said this is the third year the city has held the essay contest, which was only for fifth-graders.
All Sulphur and Carlyss elementary schools participated, he said.
According to Duncan, a retired teacher read all the essays submitted and chose the five best ones.
“We then called in the Sulphur Youth Commission and let them decide on the winner,” Duncan said. “They chose Samantha’s essay out of the five.”
Duncan said the city hosts the essay contest and has the youth commission choose the winner because he wants children more involved with Sulphur’s Christmas events.
“Christmas should be all about the kids,” he said. “That is why we have the winner place the star on the tree. It’s about them.”