Contest winner, 5 friends,
teacher go to class in style
Story and Photo by Duane Good
students gather at the school entrance
to greet prize winner Kaylee Silks and
her entourage Feb. 20.
Late last year,
Millersburg-based Mid Penn Bank asked
elementary school students throughout
south-central Pennsylvania to write an
essay on this topic:
‘‘What would you do if
you were a millionaire for a day?’’
At Halifax Elementary
School, fourth-grader Kaylee Silks
thought that, among other things, riding
in a limousine would be a blast.
That wish came true for
Kaylee recently, recently, thanks to her
winning one of the two prizes in the
bank’s first-ever ‘‘Millionaire for a
Kaylee was driven to school Feb.
20 in a white Lincoln stretch limo, accompanied
by classmates Candace Arnsparger, Emily
Christoff, Sara Crist, Samantha Manion and Sadie
Wilhelm, as well as their fourth-grade teacher,
Kaylee was given her choice as to
who would ride with her.
‘‘I picked (the five classmates)
because they are my friends,’’ she said. ‘‘I
picked (Sabolsky) because she’s awesome.’’
An amazing ride. The
Lincoln, provided by Harrisburg-based Unique
Limousine, picked up each passenger at her home
the morning of Feb. 20.
“I’m the first one in our family
to ride in a limousine,’’ Candace said
‘‘The driver, Kathy, was a lot of
fun,’’ Kaylee noted.
‘‘I noticed a guy outside with a
video camera and I thought he was going to put
us on the news,’’ Emily pointed.
On the ride to school, they had
their pick of assorted breakfast foods and juice
boxes, as well as radio music available by a
‘‘There were a lot of lights
inside,’’ Sadie noted.
The girls agreed that the limo
ride was an amazing experience.
Another great memory was still to
At the request of Principal Dr.
J. Craig Raisner, students and their teachers
gathered along the sidewalks to welcome Kaylee
and her entourage as the limo pulled up to the
school entrance. Like film stars at a world
premiere, the students and their teacher happily
entered the building past a cheering gauntlet to
begin their day.
Odds ‘‘not so great.’’ The
contest was announced in early November, with
essays of no more than 200 words due no later
than Dec. 31.
‘‘My kids kept asking if I’d
heard who’d won,’’ Sabolsky said. ‘‘I figured
that there probably would be hundreds of entries
and the odds of us winning were not so great.’’
And yet on the morning of Jan.
28, the teacher popularly known as ‘‘Mrs. Skee’’
and her students had some unscheduled visitors –
Mid Penn President and CEO Rory Ritreivi and
several other bank representatives bearing
balloons, backpacks – and some exciting news.
Kaylee appeared flabbergasted
when her name was announced as a winner and she
tearfully accepted hugs and congratulations from
her classmates and her parents, Jerry and Karla
Silks, who also were on hand.
‘‘I was really surprised; I don’t
know why I cried,’’ Kaylee said. “I usually
don’t like being the center of attention.’’
Kaylee also won $150 – the
equivalent of 90 days’ interest on a $1 million
bank account balance. She mentioned the
possibility of going shopping with her friends
and having a root beer float to boot.
Similarly, ‘‘Mrs. Skee” couldn’t
hide her astonishment at the news that, thanks
to Kaylee’s winning essay, she would receive
$500 to spend in the classroom as she saw fit.
The money went toward two Apple® mini iPads.
‘‘The kids suggested it.
They’ve already been ordered,’’ she said.
The class received another bonus
when Mid Penn agreed to add a new and current
globe to the overall prize package.
‘‘I had happened to mention that
I’d love to get a new globe; ours was getting
wobbly and still had the USSR on it,’’ Sabolsky
The remaining students didn’t
come away empty-handed either, each receiving
one of those backpacks, all of which were
stuffed with assorted prizes.
As ‘‘Mrs. Skee’’ had predicted,
Mid Penn received more than 800 entries in the
contest, which the bank said was intended to
give elementary-age students lessons in
financial literacy and the importance of
establish good saving habit early in life, as
part of its My Savings program.
Mid Penn also awarded a similar
prize package to a student, teacher and
classroom at South Hanover Elementary School in
the Lower Dauphin district..