Eighth-grade girls from Bexley may enter an essay contest sponsored by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority to honor Geraldine "Jerrie" Frederitz Mock, a pioneer in aviation history.
Mock was a 38-year-od mother of three from Bexley when she made international news 50 years ago by being the first woman to fly around the world. She landed safely home in Columbus in April 1964, having covered 22,858 miles in 29 days, including 21 stops and 158 flying hours.
Only girls from Bexley are eligible for the 50th anniversary contest. A 500-word essay must be submitted to a Bexley Middle School language arts teacher by Tuesday, March 25.
Essay entrants may focus on one of the following prompts:
* If you were to embark on a similar journey today, what would be your purpose, where would you go and why, and what would you take with you?
* Are there still famous firsts left for women? What famous first would you like to accomplish? Why would this famous first be important to you and the world?
* Flying an airplane around the world takes intense preparation and great fortitude. What goal do you have in your life that requires as much dedication?
The contest winner will have the privilege of helping dignitaries unveil a life-size sculpture of Mock on April 17 at Port Columbus and take a flight in a general aviation aircraft piloted by a member of Women in Aviation International. She also will receive a signed copy of the 50th anniversary edition of Mock's book, Three-Eight Charlie. The title refers to Mock's airplane, a 1953 Cessna 180, dubbed Spirit of Columbus and nicknamed 'Charlie.'
Born in 1925 in Newark, Mock currently resides in Florida.