WNY United lauds two young poets from Gowanda

Kate Chudoba, marketing communications manager of WNY United Against Drug & Alcohol Abuse, Inc.; Madison Boggs, sophomore; Beth Anzalone, executive director of WNY United; Violet Haring, freshman; Deputy Aaron Naegely, Erie County Sheriff’s Office; and Mary Jo Wood, customer experience manager for Evans Bank.

Two creative writing students from Gowanda High School were recently recognized for placing in the Healthy Choices Art and Poetry Contest sponsored by WNY United Against Drug & Alcohol Abuse, Inc.

Sophomore Madison Boggs, 15, took first place for a poem titled “Why” and freshman Violet Haring, 14, took second place for a poem titled “The best choices to make in life are healthy ones.” They are both students of English teacher Lauren Giancola.

“I have family who do drugs and I felt like I should write it,” said Madison, who has been writing for fun for a couple years. “I would’ve entered the contest even without Ms. Giancola’s encouragement.”

Madison is the daughter of Perrysburg residents Danielle and Eugene Alimonti and Dayton residents Travis and Jennifer Boggs. Her brother Tyler Boggs is a 2014 graduate of GHS and her other siblings are Jason, Ryan and Derica. She enjoys reading and says fiction is her favorite, particularly the fantasy, action and adventure genres.

“I thought healthy choices were important to look at,” said Violet, who counts Stephen King among her favorite authors. She is the daughter of Irving residents Wendy and Rodney Haring. Her sister, Cordelia, is a fourth-grader at Gowanda Elementary School.

Violet had never written poetry before she enrolled in Ms. Giancola’s creative writing class but the topic of the competition sparked her interest.

Both young ladies were recognized during a ceremony held Dec. 6, at the State Police Building on the Hamburg Fairgrounds. These award-winning poets have more opportunities to hone their writing skills; additional English elective options include journalism, public speaking and book club.

Madison’s and Violet’s poems are posted on the school’s news website at ghsphoenix.com.