• Last modified 999 days ago (Sept. 30, 2021)


Contest seeks common ground

Juniors and seniors from Marion County public schools are eligible to enter a statewide essay contest sponsored locally by the Florence Masonic lodge.

County winners will receive $100 for first place and $50 for second and be eligible to compete for $12,000 in prizes for eight winners statewide.

Topic for the 300- to 500-word essays will be what each student learned by having a sincere, substantive conversation with someone holding a different viewpoint on a divisive social, religious, or political issue.

“Masonic lodges are places where people meet as equals regardless of political preference, socioeconomic status, or religious affiliation,” Florence lodge grand master Blaine Warkentine said.

He said he hoped the contest would increase appreciation of the motto “E pluribus unum” (Out of many, one).

Deadline for submitting essays to high school offices is Nov. 1. Complete rules are at

Last modified Sept. 30, 2021