The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

By Bill Tawater
VFW Post 5297 

VFW honors winners of essay contests


Courtesy photo

Patriots Pen winners included Wahkiakum students Megan C. Leitz, second from right, and Colton W. Anrys, second from the left. Courtesy photo.

On February 24, Wahkiakum VFW Post 5297 hosted the VFW District 16 Youth Essay Awards at the J.A. Wendt Elementary School Multi-purpose Room.

District 16 is comprised of nine posts based in Raymond, Longview, Centralia, Winlock, Long Beach, Mossyrock, Ryderwood, Toutle Valley, and Cathlamet. Wahkiakum Post 5297, based in Cathlamet, has 52 members.

Working alongside America's youth and instilling a sense of patriotism has always been a VFW priority. Each year local VFW posts hold three essay competitions, the Youth Essay for grades 3-5, the Patriot's Pen for grades 6-8, and the Voice of Democracy for grades 9-12. Students write essays based on given patriotic themes and the essays are evaluated by members of each of the local posts. Winners of the essay competitions are recognized with certificates and cash awards. Youth Essay winners compete up to the District 16 level, Patriot's Pen and Voice of Democracy winners compete up through the District 16 and State levels to the National level.

Courtesy photo

Voice of Democracy winners included Wahkiakum students Ayesha C. Ahmed, second from the right. Courtesy photo.

Wahkiakum Post 5297 evaluated 29 Youth essays, 62 Patriots Pen essays, and one Voice of Democracy essay. Sixteen essay winners from the Wahkiakum Post were selected and sent to District 16. Twelve winners were selected from the entire district, of which six were from Wahkiakum County.

District 16 Commander Danny Eaton and Annie Sullivan, District 16 Auxiliary President, presented certificates and cash awards to winners at the ceremony attended by family and friends of the winners. Pizza and refreshments were served.

The Wahkiakum County winners were Youth Essay, 3rd grade, 1st place, Avnika Herman; 4th grade, 2nd place, Ryan Stebbins; 5th grade, 2nd place, Montana Stephens; Patriot's Pen, 8th grade, 1st place, Megan C. Leitz; 8th grade, 3rd place, Colten W. Anrys; Voice of Democracy, High School, 1st place, Ayesha Ahmed. Megan Leitz went on to win 4th place at the state level.


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