HICKORY — The John Hoyle Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently held their February meeting and announced this year’s American history essay winners and Christopher Columbus essay contest winner.

Mitchell Morrow, Evelyn Gerrard, Addison Duke and Annie Shuford were recognized for their winning American history essays on the topic “The Voyage of the Mayflower.” Zackary Holston was recognized as the winner of the Christopher Columbus essay contest on the topic of “A Sailor’s Experiences as Part of Christopher Columbus’ First Expedition to the Americas.”

Additionally, all five chapter winners were announced as having won at the District Level as well, so each of their essays will go on to compete at the state level.

Each student presented their essay at the chapter’s February luncheon meeting at Lake Hickory Country Club, and each was awarded a certificate, an achievement medal, and a $25 cash prize.

Mitchell Morrow is the son of Ray and Patrice Marrow of Conover. He is a fifth-grade student at Portion Road Academy. He enjoys nature and playing basketball. Morrow’s hobbies include playing Minecraft and making Minecraft videos.

Evelyn Gerrard is the daughter of Edward and Bethany Gerrard of Hickory. She is a sixth-grade student at Hickory Day School. Gerrard plays basketball, volleyball, and violin. She enjoys cooking, art, and walking dogs at the Humane Society.

Addison Duke is the daughter of Ben and Chris Duke of Hickory. She is a seventh-grade student at Hickory Day School. She enjoys playing volleyball and piano. Duke’s hobbies include reading, skiing, and hiking.

Annie Shuford is the daughter of Alex and Misa Shuford of Hickory. She is an eighth-grade student at Hickory Day School. She enjoys soccer, basketball, tennis, and cross-country. Shuford’s hobbies include reading and drawing.

Zackary Holston is the son of Griff Holston of Conover. He is a senior at Bunker Hill High School. Holston’s hobbies include powerlifting, and his future plans are for a career in neurosurgery.

The purpose of the DAR American History Committee is to promote American history in the schools throughout the year by students learning about and writing about significant historical figures, places, dates, and events. All students in grades five through eight in a public, private, home school, or parochial school, are eligible to complete. The Christopher Columbus Essay Contest is open to students in grades nine through 12. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness.

DAR represents one of the most inclusive genealogical societies in the United States and one of the world’s largest women’s organizations. Membership is open to women who can prove lineal descent from a patriot from the American Revolution. More information is available at

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