This years winners of the S.C. State Fairs Greatest Grandparents Essay Contest are known for their sacrifices for family, courage through trials and acts of generosity.
Just ask their grandchildren.
The six grandparents were selected from those nominated by their grandkids in more than 15,000 essays submitted in the 26th annual competition. They were honored during ceremonies at the Grandstand on Sunday as the fair ended its 12-day run.
The honorees include three from the Midlands. Kerry Lee of Columbia (nominated by Dylan Meetze) was selected in the 14- to 18-year-old division, while Gloria Griffin of West Columbia (nominated by Reagan Hendrix) and Roland Russell of Sumter (nominated by Collin Evans) were selected in the 11- to 13-year-old division.
Other winners included Leon Giles of Kingstree (nominated by Akhyah Giles) and Wonder Anderson of Bamberg (nominated by Jataurus McMillan) in the 7- to 10-year-old division, and Carol Nordin of Saluda (nominated by Lauren Riley Nordin) in the 14- to 18-year-old division.
Here is a sample from each essay.
He (Lee) will do anything for me. Hes coached my baseball team at North Trenholm Baptist Church for years. He loves my brother so much. If someone is sick, he will help them.
Always be thankful for what you have and never take things for granted. My GeeGee (Griffin) reminds me of that every day.
On Sundays, we sit together in church. I call him (Russell) Papa. I thank God for my Papa. He is the best.
My grandma (Nordin) is like an old shady tree lovingly showering her cool shade to her grandchildren. Nothing else can compare to the happiness I find in the comfort of my grandma.
My grandmother (Anderson) is not rich but when my mom is in need of help getting us things, my grandmother always helps when she can.
You (Giles) have always been my hero. Youve always been my pride. Youve always driven so much love and show whats deep inside.
Each of the grandparents received a flat-screen television and a plaque.