Auburn woman finalist in national contest


An Auburn woman is one of 10 finalists in a national competition to find the “Gems Among Us.”

Carlene Sperry was nominated for the contest by her husband, Mitch, who submitted a 500-word essay explaining why she is such a gem to others. In the entry titled “Tough, durable, but still elegant,” Mitch Sperry wrote about his wife’s battle with breast cancer and her dedication to others with the same disease. She donates her time to do makeup for women fighting cancer, designs and sells a breast cancer awareness jewelry line and raises money for cancer research.

“Not only is Carlene my beautiful and precious stone, she is also a brilliant, scintillating and multifaceted gem to so many others,” he wrote.

Nearly 700 essays were submitted to the contest, which is sponsored by Jewelers of America, Jewelers Information Center and Jewelers Mutual Insurance and Cosmopolitan magazine. A panel of judges chose 10 finalists. Online voters will now determine the winner. Finalists’ entries will be posted at from Nov. 1 to 22. Visitors to the site may vote once per day.

The grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to the Aventura Spa Palace Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The person who nominates the winner will receive a $5,000 shopping spree at a participating “Gems Among Us” retailer.