Gilda's Club Kentuckiana recently celebrated the winners of its ninth annual Write Stuff Contest. 

LOUISVILLE — Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana (, a cancer support organization for the whole family, recently celebrated winners of the ninth annual Write Stuff Contest. The contest is a scholarship award program giving middle and high school youth, primarily from Kentuckiana, the opportunity to share their own cancer connection experiences through essays, poetry, 2-dimensional art, or videos.

This year, GCK received almost 50 entries from across Kentucky, Southern Indiana, and even Tennessee, with a total of 15 winners in six categories: Middle School Essay, High School Essay, Survivor Essay, Poetry, Video, and Art.

First-place winners received $500, second-place winners received $250, and third-place winners received $125; all took home a custom trophy celebrating their creative accomplishment. This contest is sponsored annually by Kosair Charities and the WHAS Crusade for Children. Twenty judges from a variety of professional backgrounds, all of whom have a connection to cancer and the Gilda’s Club mission, selected the following winners:

High School Essay

Catherine Wright – 1st Place – Apollo High School – Daviess County, Ky.

Mattie Whitworth – 2nd Place – Assumption High School – Jefferson County, Ky.

Madeline Everette – 3rd Place – Assumption High School – Jefferson County, Ky.

Pediatric Essay Winner

Eli Thompson – 1st Place – Central Hardin High School – Hardin County, Ky.

Middle School Essay

Kaleigh Coleman – 1st Place – J. Graham Brown School – Jefferson County, Ky.

Lakan Jerke – 2nd Place – Highland Hills Middle School – Georgetown

Bailey Childress – 3rd Place – Hickman County School – Hickman County, Tenn.


Audrey Abbott – 1st Place – Russell High School – Russell County, Ky.

Ellington Crabtree – 2nd Place – Daviess County High School – Daviess County, Ky.

Heather Purlee – 3rd Place – Silver Creek High School – Sellersburg


Elena Desantis – 1st Place – Frankfort High School – Franklin County, Ky.

Olivia Thurman – 2nd Place – Kentucky Country Day – Jefferson County, Ky.


Molly Phelps – 1st Place – Bullitt East High School – Bullitt County, Ky.

Passion Wright – 2nd Place – Elizabethtown High School – Hardin County, Ky.

Ava Hurwitz – 3rd Place – Kentucky Country Day – Jefferson County, Ky.

Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana (, headquartered at 2440 Grinstead Dr., Louisville, Ky., and Gilda’s West, at 1720 West Broadway in Louisville, provide places where children and adults with cancer (and their families and friends) join with others to build social and emotional support as a supplement to medical care. Since March of 2020, GCK now offers more than 180 virtual program offerings per month online—all free of charge and available to men, women, teens, and children living with cancer across the globe.

In its first decade, Gilda’s Club served more than 8,500 people (one-quarter of whom are children) living with 55 different types of cancer. GCK members live in Jefferson, Oldham, Bullitt, Spencer, Shelby, Hardin, Nelson, and McCracken counties in Kentucky, as well as Scott, Washington, Harrison, Clark and Floyd counties in Indiana.

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