In the Pipeline: Essay winner captures peace of local nature

April 29, 2013|By Chris Epting
  • In The Pipeline essay contest winner Samar Saad, a junior at Fountain Valley High School, cuts the opening ribbon at the 2013 Taste of Huntington Beach. With her is City Councilman Joe Carchio and third from the left is music legend Dean Torrence.
In The Pipeline essay contest winner Samar Saad, a junior… (Charles Epting )

Last Sunday will long stand out for me as a special one in this city.

It began at the wonderful Taste of Huntington Beach celebration, which supports the Children's Library. The organizers of the event were kind enough to have the winner of my annual essay competition attend the event, but they also allowed her to cut the opening ribbon. Congratulation to Samar Saad, a junior at Fountain Valley High School.

I received dozens of exceptional of entries this year and, though the decision was tough, this judge landed on Samar 's poignant description of a place where, as you'll read in a moment, she finds peace and solitude in a local, natural setting.

With her parents along for the day at the Taste, Samar joined what has become one of Huntington Beach's signature events. Congratulations Samar, and to everyone else who entered. It's refreshing to know how many good young writers we have among us.


After the Taste, many of us headed over to the Central Library to watch the extraordinary keyboard talents of Vern Nelson, who performed a special piano concert in support of opposing the proposed Air Quality Management District beach bonfire ban. After that, we headed to an actual bonfire rally held by Assemblyman Travis Allen. Packed with supporters and media, this was a fantastic cap to a full, rewarding day.

But for all the beach bonfire buzz in the air throughout the morning into evening, for all the marvelous food and fanfare, the true highlight for me was watching Samar's parents watch her cut that big red ribbon at the Taste of Huntington Beach. Beaming and bursting with pride, this was a moment to savor. Congratulations once more, Samar, and again to all the fine students that took part in this competition.

Here is the winning essay penned by Samar:

"Tucked away on a trail off of Bolsa Chica Road, amidst the hustle-and-bustle of Huntington Beach, lays my sanctuary. My ticket to freedom. My escape. Originally introduced to the Huntington Beach Tree Society from a volunteer event with the school club National Honor Society, visiting the area has quickly become one of my favorite pastimes. The area offers not only the chance to melt away my worries, but also the opportunity to get involved and make a positive impact in my community.

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