Residents of Paris, and their friends and relatives across the nation, are being asked to participate in a contest that could result in the Keep Paris Beautiful effort getting $5,000, according to Paris Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tonya Baumgartner.

Baumgartner is asking them to vote for an essay written by Paris High School senior Emily Richey which has been entered into the Thankful for Our Community Essay Contest being sponsored by Shelter Insurance. The deadline to enter essays was Monday and voting online continues through 11:30 p.m. on Monday April 24. Votes for Richey’s essay, which is titled Paris, Arkansas: The City of Love, can be made by going to the PACC and the Paris Express Facebook pages and looking for the link that reads Thankful for Our Community Essay Contest.

That link takes you to Richey’s essay. On the right of that page is a link that reads vote. You will be asked for your first and last name and an e-mail address. An e-mail will be sent to you and you have to confirm that you voted.

“It’s really important to do that, respond to that e-mail, because that’s when your vote counts,” Baugartner said.

The top vote getter wins $5,000 for a charity and a $100 gift card. The next nine vote getters are submitted to a panel of judges. They will choose four essays. Those winners will get $5,000 each for their favorite charity.

As of Monday, Baumgartner said Richey’s essay was in second place nationally and there had been 38 essays entered.

Baumgartner was made aware of the contest by Jimmy Pannell, a Shelter Insurance agent in Paris.

“He thought it would be a great way to help Paris. I thought of Emily because she does a great job with her essays. I reached out to her and her family and they agreed to participate. They chose the Keep Paris Beautiful effort for their charity.”

Baumgartner said winners will be notified at a later date.