Chester County students help kick butts

Essay contest sponsored by Health Department, Tobacco-Free Coalition

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 10.32.46 PMWEST CHESTER -The Chester County Tobacco-Free Coalition (CCTFC) and Chester County Health Department hosted the Seventh Annual Kick Butts Day youth essay contest public reading event this week at the Chester County Government Services Center.

In front of a crowd of family, friends, school personnel, community members, and State Rep. John Lawrence and State Rep. Warren Kampf, 10 finalists, all Chester County students in 7th and 8th grade, read personal essays about how their lives have been impacted by tobacco.

Jeanne Casner, director of the Chester County Health Department said, “In Chester County, over one-third of students will have tried cigarettes before finishing 12th grade. Additionally, smoking-related illnesses are the leading cause of death for adults 25 and older in Chester County.”

“However, the most important statistic is that over 93 percent of Chester County youth do not regularly use tobacco. Chester County youth are leaders in the state and in the nation for smart decision-making regarding tobacco use. To continue this progress, Chester County needs continued action by young advocates like the students who wrote and submitted essays for Kick Butts Day. These writers, and the talented finalists reading their entries in a public forum, are true leaders for speaking up against Big Tobacco and helping to shape a healthier Chester County” added Casner.

Nearly 90 essays were submitted for this year’s contest. CCTFC members and CCHD staff scored the entries and invited the 10 finalists to the Kick Butts Day public reading event.

Contest winners:

  • 1st Place:  Sam Wilder, Phoenixville Area Middle School
  • 2nd Place:  Haley Domzalski, Stetson Middle School
  • 3rd Place:  Jocelyn Schlachta, Phoenixville Area Middle School


  • Carson Beans, Penn’s Grove Middle School
  • Ellie Beery, Phoenixville Area Middle School
  • Reagan Hottenstein, Fred S. Engle Middle School
  • Elena McVey, Fred S. Engle Middle School
  • Garrett Nienaber, Fred S. Engle Middle School
  • Miles Noecker, Phoenixville Area Middle School
  • Kelly Seifried, Saints Peter and Paul School


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