Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Commodore Barry Club of Brooklyn, a group dedicated to raising public awareness of the heroism of Revolutionary War hero John Barry, has announced the winners of its student essay contest.
Students were asked to write 1,000-word essays about Barry and his accomplishments.
The first prize winner is Kristin Gnoza, a student at Fontbonne Hall Academy in Bay Ridge, whose essay was titled “Commodore Barry: Inspiring Leader.” The second prize was awarded to Gavin Cogan, from Westfield High School in Westfield, New Jersey. He wrote about Barry’s legacy. Luke Proscia, a student at the Ryken Educational Program at Xaverian High School in Bay Ridge, earned the third place prize.
The first prize was $1,000, the second prize was $500 and the third place finisher will receive $250.
The winning essays were selected by a jury of educators.
The student winners were invited to read their essays at a ceremony honoring Barry’s place in U.S. history on March 4. The ceremony was set to take place in Commodore Barry Park on Flushing Avenue and North Elliot Place in Fort Greene.
John Barry was an Irish immigrant who fought on the side of the colonies during the American Revolution. The club that bears his name was founded by Bay Ridge resident Mary Nolan. Nolan and other club members have been advocating for several years for Barry’s naval heroism to be included in American history courses taught in schools in New York state.
“It is said that Commodore John Barry is a man for all ages. Our club believes this great American patriot should be studied in our state’s schools,” club leaders said in a statement.
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For more information on the club, visit commodorebarryclubbrooklyn.org.