Berlin Proclaims Thomas Fager Day For Winning Essay

BERLIN — A local youth had a day proclaimed in his honor after winning an essay contest titled, “If I Were Mayor, I Would …”

Thomas Fager, a fourth grader at Worcester Preparatory School (WPS), received a commendation from the Berlin Mayor and Council Monday for his essay, which won District 1, an area that includes Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset and Dorchester counties.

“It’s becoming almost a tradition in Berlin,” said Mayor Gee Williams, who noted that the area was producing more district winners than many other counties, including two other district finalists from WPS this year. “The largest towns in the state can’t even come close to that.”

The theme of this year’s contest was “Working Together Works,” and Fager’s 275-word essay concentrated on implementing eco-friendly policies and encouraging community service. He suggested improving the town’s recycling program, working to use less energy and trying to get town residents to walk more and drive less, both for the environmental benefits and the financial ones, given rising gas prices.

Along those same lines, Fager stated that he would organize events like beach runs to help the community become more active and to “get off TV’s and get outside.”

To celebrate Fager winning the district, Williams declared May 9, 2011 “Thomas Fager Day” in Berlin.

According to the proclamation, Fager “consistently demonstrates the [WPS] school’s principles of respect for yourself, respect for others, respect for learning, and respect for the environment.”

Fager, along with winners from the 10 other districts in Maryland, will visit the Maryland State House in Annapolis on May 20, where they will each receive a Governor’s Citation, presented by Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown.

Additionally, each winner will receive a $100 cash prize and an award plaque to mark the event. After the ceremonies, all of the winners and their families will be invited to take a boat ride on the Harbor Queen.

With the contest drawing in nearly 2,500 entries this year, Williams congratulated Fager on joining a narrow field of winners and informed the council and those assembled that there was “a future leader in our midst.”

Williams remarked that the only reason he felt safe as mayor for the time being was Fager’s age.

“Unfortunately, you have to be over 21 to run for mayor,” he joked.