WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County Community Foundation hosted the 22nd Annual Gettysburg Address Contest on December 4. Seven “Little Lincolns” dressed up as President Abraham Lincoln and recited the Gettysburg Address from the steps of the Historic Chester County Courthouse as a crowd of family members, friends, teachers, and community members cheered the middle schoolers on.
The event was organized by Joe Martino on behalf of the West Chester Historical & Architectural Review Board (HARB). He and event founder, Bob Gross, applaud the participants for their hard work, “each student did a great job delivering their speeches”.
Samantha Carroll from Fugett Middle School, Matthew Hogan from Saints Peter and Paul School, and Victoria Murray from Fugett Middle School placed first, second, and third, respectively. Matthew Hogan from Saints Peter and Paul School also won Best Costume. John Kelley from Saint Agnes School and Jack Armbruster, Naina Bhatia, and Nairi Pannosian from Fugett Middle School also participated in the contest.
Master of Ceremonies, Bob Gross, gave each student finalist a large Lincoln coin engraved with the Gettysburg Address, as this event celebrates the 157th anniversary of President Lincoln’s famous speech. Each participant was also awarded a cash prize and a copy of Malcolm Johnstone’s book For the Union, which follows the extraordinary story of how Quaker abolition, a hanging, a slave riot, and a small newspaper in West Chester set the stage to launch Lincoln’s quest for the presidency. State Senator Carolyn Comitta and State Representative Dianne Herrin were in attendance as well and presented the contestants with certificates.
Organizers have expressed a special thank you to the 2021 sponsors Delphi Wealth Management Group, Zukin Realty, Team Jean Gross Homes, State Senator Carolyn Comitta, and WhirlAway Travel, and to our judges Dr. John Noakes, Marie Martino, and Malcolm Johnstone. Also, a thank you was expressed to all the students, teachers, parents, and schools for supporting the Little Lincolns. This event encourages youth to become more involved in the community and gain a deeper appreciation for the ways local history has shaped the nation.