West Genesee senior Kimberly Laxton was awarded a scholarship at the 48th annual 2007 Syracuse IDay Insurance convention Oct. 26 at the OnCenter in Downtown Syracuse.
The $2,000 scholarship was presented to Laxton in front of over 900 insurance professionals and Onondaga County Executive Nick Pirro. Finalists for the scholarship were selected based on academic performance, extra-curricular activities, community service and an essay submitted by students from Onondaga County. Laxton's essay was about her service for the community, and is as follows:
When it comes to service, my philosophy is: what good are your talents and abilities if you don't share them with others? Some of my most rewarding experiences in life have come from joining my Church's Youth Group. There were only four of us, but that just made us grow all the more close. Every Sunday morning, an hour and-a-half before church, we would come together and talk about ways to help out in the community.
One of the first things we established in our church was the Silver Bowl Foundation. Every month we would find an institution, a cause or a person that needed help, and would then proceed to fundraise for that cause. We would also place a silver bowl in the front of the church with the month's cause, and ask for pocket change. It was surprising to see the pennies, quarters and dollars add up so quickly. It would then go to places such as our local food pantry, Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for the elderly in out community and to families suffering from disease or hardships. Through this project we also raised thousands of dollars for organizations such as the Katrina Fund, Red Cross, and Waves.
The range of involvement in the community didn't end there however. We volunteered at the local barbecues, handed out soup and sandwiches in the kitchen, asked questions at trivia night at the village library and even ran the church service every third Sunday.