VFW Post 5297 announces essay winners
January 2, 2020
Submitted by Bill Tawater
On Dec. 17, at a ceremony at the Wahkiakum High School gym, Veterans of Foreign Wars Wahkiakum Post 5297 presented a certificate and $250 cash award for first place to Voice of Democracy winner Colton Vik.
Colton also won third place in District 16 and awarded a certificate and a cash award of $75. On Dec. 20, at a ceremony at the Thomas Middle School gym, certificates and cash awards were presented to winners of the Patriots Pen and Youth Essay contests. The winners were Youth Essay: Third grade: first place, Konner Reese - $100;
Fourth grade: first place, Josh Moon - $100; second place, Joseph Merz - $50; third place, Payton Mendez - $50;
Fifth grade: first place, Hank Wilson - $100; second place, Tucker Kangas - $50; third place, Abigail McKay-Beach - $50; Patriot's Pen;
Seventh grade: first place, Montana Stephens - $100; second place, Phillip Goldinov - $75; third place, Tanner Russel - $50;
Eighth grade: first place, Svetlana Goldinov - $100; second place, Lillian Hale - $75; third place, Alli LaRand Grangroth - $50.
Also, District 16 essay winners were presented with certificates and cash awards. The winners are:
Patriot's Pen, eighth grade, third place, Lillian Hale - $50;
Youth Essay: third grade, first place, Konner Reese -$50; fourth grade, first place, Josh Moon - $50; fifth grade, first place, Hank Wilson - $50; 5th grade, second place, Tucker Kangas - $35.
A total of $1,200 was awarded from Post 5297. $310 was awarded from District 16. Forty Youth essays, 46 Patriots Pen essays, and one Voice of Democracy essay were submitted and evaluated.
District 16 Commander Danny Eaton, Post 5297 Commander Bill Tawater, and Post 5297 Essay Chairman Bob Roche presented certificates and cash awards to the winners at both ceremonies, attended by students, school staff and parents.
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 Voice of Democracy for grade 9-12, the Patriots Pen for grades 6-8, and the Youth Essay for grades 3-5.
Students write essays based on given patriotic themes and the essays are evaluated by the local post. Winners of the essay competition are recognized with certificates and cash awards. First and second place Youth Essay winners compete up to the District 16 level. Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy winners compete up through District 16 and State levels and if successful, to the National level.
In the Patriot's Pen, each first-place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and national first-place winner wins $5000 and an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. In the Voice of Democracy, the first-place winner from each state winner wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient's American university, college or vocational/technical school.