Eight county seniors receive awards in Legacies Writing Contest

Photo Courtesy of Glen Frieson
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., back, and Essex County Senior Services Director Jaklyn DeVore, far right, recognize the writing talents of, from left, Irvington resident Kathleen Witcher, Cedar Grove resident Peggy LaVake, Livingston resident Deanna L. Adams, Montclair resident Robin Ehrlichman Woods, Irvington resident Ruth Steele, Montclair resident Josie Zeman and South Orange resident Janyce Wolf.

CEDAR GROVE, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. and the Essex County Division of Senior Services recognized the writing talents of eight Essex County residents during the annual Essex County Senior Legacies Writing Contest celebration luncheon on Wednesday, May 24. The Legacies Writing Contest encourages Essex senior citizens to write essays about the people and events that have influenced their lives.

“Our Senior Citizen Legacies Writing Contest is a unique way for our older population to share their life’s stories and describe the people and events that helped to shape their lives,” DiVincenzo said in a press release. “Our seniors’ stories make you laugh and they touch your heart. They provide us with a different perspective on historical events and what our society was like.”

The Director’s Award was presented to Montclair resident Robin Ehrlichman Woods for “How to Mend a Broken Heart.” Winning stories were “Megan’s Story” by Livingston resident Deanna L. Adams, “Something Great Everyday” by Irvington resident Ruth Steele and “Simple Times” by Irvington resident Kathleen Witcher. Honorable mention stories were “Ladybug Ladybug” by Cedar Grove resident Peggy LaVake, “When Life Imitates Art” by Livingston resident Reginald Eugene Sims, “Love’s Labor Lost” by South Orange resident Janyce Wolf and “A Valentine to Grandpa Morris” by Montclair resident Josie Zeman.

“All our seniors have stories to tell, and our Legacies Writing Contest provides our older adults with an incentive to preserve their memories, and create a living history,” Essex County Division of Senior Services Director Jaklyn DeVore said in the release. “Writing enables our seniors to share their memories with friends and families, allows them to reminisce about old times, and keeps their minds active. This is one of our most popular events because of the emotions and memories that are evoked.”

“You don’t have to be a professional writer to participate in our Senior Legacies Writing Contest. Our seniors are very talented and they write from the heart,” Essex County Director of Citizen Services Anibal Ramos said in the release. “Every year, I am impressed with the emotion and quality of stories. I congratulate everyone for participating.”