Beloved pet inspires Sox fan to write winning essay
ORWELL –– When Rhianna Carr, 12, learned that she won a Boston Red Sox Kid Nation community service contest, she couldn’t believe it.
“I was so happy I started crying and I was just jumping,” she said. “I almost passed out when I found out, I was so happy.”
Carr, an Orwell resident and big Sox fan, entered a contest run by Kids Nation, the Red Sox youth fan group.
“I’ve been a fan since I knew what baseball really was,” she said. “I had been to Boston … and I watched them on TV, and they were really good.”
Carr’s essay assignment was to detail a community service project that she would like to do, and which the Red Sox could help her to complete.
In her essay, Carr outlined a plan to help get rescued dogs to families who would benefit from the companionship a pet would provide. Her own dog, Arwen, inspired this idea.
“Last October my dad and his fiancé rescued a dog,” she wrote. “This dog has grown to love and protect me. Her name is Arwen. When I’m lonely she is there to help me. I think that rescued dogs or pets should go to families in need, so that those families will not feel like they are alone in the world.”
Carr also included an idea for a community garden that would provide food to families in need.
“I have been trying to help families by having a community garden too,” she wrote. “I am going to try to do this with my grandmother and give the food to a food shelf, but I do not think that my grandparents could keep up with another garden because they already have two.”
Carr’s essay was selected as one of 25 finalists, and then members of Kid Nation voted on the finalists to choose the 12 winners. More than 900 kids entered the contest.
Carr will be named a team captain along with the other winners. The captains and their families will attend this Friday’s Sox home game against the Atlanta Braves. They will attend an ice cream social before the game, and Sox officials will stage a pre-game ceremony to recognize the new captains.
“I haven’t seen a live game before,” she said. “I’m just very overwhelmed and excited and proud.”
The captains will receive a year’s supply of Hood Red Sox ice cream and a jersey with their name and favorite number.
“I chose 52 for Clay Matthews from the Green Bay Packers,” she said.
Carr has participated in community service projects before, most of them focused on animals and community gardens.
“I wanted to do it because I had already been doing community service,” she said. “I’ve done a humane society fundraiser and have talked about doing a community garden. I talked to the principal of my school that maybe we could make dog bones next year.”
Carr cites Arwen as a big factor in her decision to enter the contest.
“I love her to death,” she said. “She makes me feel happy. She makes me feel like, even though she can’t talk back to me, I always have someone to talk to. She’s so sweet. I knew a kid that was lonely would like having that.”
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