Patriotic Kids: Local students win VFW contest

Published 8:51 am Thursday, March 31, 2022

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The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8719 of Advance announces winners of the Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy essay competitions.

Each year the VFW holds the competition. Students compete at post, district, state and national levels to win thousands of dollars in cash prizes and scholarships. The state winner also receives an all-expense paid trip for two to Washington, D.C. to be honored at the VFW and Auxiliary Conference.

Students from grades 6-8 compete in the Patriot’s Pen essay contest by writing a 300-400 word essay. This year’s theme was “How Can I Be A Good American?”

High school students from grades 9-12 competed in the Voice of Democracy by writing and then recording a 3-5 minute audio/essay expressing views of this year’s patriotic theme, “America: Where do we go from here?”

Due to the Covid–19 Pandemic, members of VFW Post 8719 were unable to hold the annual awards banquet this year. The awards will be presented to the winners at individual schools.

The winners of the Patriot’s Pen essay contest at Post level will be presented with certificates, pins and prize money as follows:

• first, Claire E. Angell, Narrow Ways Academy;  $100; second, Luke M. Cranfill, Ellis Middle School, $75; third, Olivia H. Rareshide, Ellis Middle; $50; fourth, Christopher D. Smith, Ellis Middle, $25; fifth, Delaney A. Osborne, Ellis Middle, $25.

Claire Angell, Luke Cranfill, Olivia Rareshide and Christopher Smith essays advanced to the district level for judging. At the district level, Claire Angell was first, receiving $200; Luke Cranfill was second, receiving $100; and Christopher Smith was third, winning $50.

Claire Angell’s essay will advance to be judged at the state level.

The winner of the Voice of Democracy Essay/Audio contest at Post level – Elijah B. Kennedy of Davie High School – will be presented with a certificate, pin and $100. He will also receive a $1,000 cash scholarship from the Joe H. King Memorial Scholarship Fund upon his high school graduation. His work advanced to the district level for judging, where he was the third place winner, receiving $50.

Ron Cox, Bernard Gerstemeier, D. J. Smith and Commander Tom O’Brien were judges at post level for the contests.

“We would also like to say thank you to all of the teachers and students who participated in this year’s competitions,” said O’Brien. “We would like to congratulate all of the winners on a job well done.”