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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., March 7 — High school students in Rochester, N.Y., will have an opportunity to express their views on faith and freedom in an essay competition sponsored by Mark and Marylou Buonaugurio, local residents. The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty will support the America’s Heritage Essay Competition for 11th and 12th grade students in the Rochester City School District.

The Buonaugurios hope the essay competition will promote a deeper understanding by students of the role of religion and morality in the founding of the American Republic. “People who cherish faith and freedom just have to be willing to take some positive steps to preserve them,” he said. “With the support of organizations like the Acton Institute, this is something that average families can do.”

Students are encouraged to submit an original essay discussing the influence of religion and morality on the principles of freedom and limited government as expressed in the era of the American Revolution and the founding of the American republic. Students may choose topics on historical figures, events, important documents or institutions.

A panel of three scholars from the Acton Institute’s Center for Economic Personalism will judge all essays. Awards will be given for first, second, and third place and winning essays will be posted on the Acton Institute’s web site. “Acton is happy to be supporting the America’s Heritage essay competition and we hope that it will be the first of many more like it around the country,” said Clint Green, Acton Student Programs Officer.

Essays for the Rochester competition are due by April 23, 2003, and winners will be notified May 15, 2003. For more information about the America’s Heritage essay competition, contact Clint Green at .

About the Acton Institute

With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles."

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at