Advance VFW recognizes students for patriotic essays, videos

Published 1:21 pm Friday, March 10, 2023

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

Each year the VFW holds the competitions. Students can 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 competed in the Patriot’s Pen essay contest by writing a 300-400 word essay. This year’s theme was “My Pledge to Our Veterans.”

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 their views of this year’s patriotic theme, “Why Is The Veteran Important?”

Due to the Covid–19 Pandemic, members of VFW Post 8719 were unable to hold their Annual Awards Banquet this year. Awards will be presented to the winners at their 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, Emily Lynn Hernandez, Ellis Middle School,  $75; and

third, Olivia H. Rareshide, Ellis Middle School, $50.

All advanced to district competition, which was won by Claire Angell, who received $200 and a chance at the state title. Olivia Rareshide’s essay won second, and $100, at the district level.

The winners of the Voice of Democracy Essay/Audio contest at Post level will be presented with a certificates, pins and prize money as follows:

first, Trenton A. Wright, Davie County High School, (JROTC), $100; and

second, Calvin A. Phelps, Davie County High School (JROTC), $75.

Trenton Wright will receive a $1,000 cash scholarship from the Joe H. King Memorial Scholarship Fund upon his high school graduation.

Both advanced to the district level for judging.

Judges were Jim Cooper, Ron Cox, Bernard Gerstemeier, D.J. Smith and Commander Tom O’Brien.

O’Brien said the post members appreciate all of the teachers and students who participated.