VFW post announces essay award winners
December 23, 2021
On Dec. 17, Wahkiakum Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5297 presented certificates and cash awards to winners of the 2021-2022 Patriots Pen and Youth Essay contest at the middle and elementary schools.
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 grades 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 members of the local community. Winners of the essay competition are recognized with certificates and cash awards. First 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. Thirty-four Youth essays and 58 Patriots Pen essays were evaluated. There were no Voice of Democracy essays submitted.
Post 5297 Commander Bill Tawater and Post 5297 Essay Chairman Bob Roche presented certificates and cash awards to the Youth Essay winners in their classrooms and Patriots Pen winners at the middle school gym at a ceremony attended by students and school staff. The winners were Youth Essay, 3rd grade: 1. Emily Kangas - $100; 2. Keely Cothren - $50; 3. Aiden McEntire - $50; 4th grade: 1. Ava Mendez - $100; 2. Olivia Johnson - $50; 3. Gage Gifford - $50; 5th grade: 1. Taegan Miller - $100; 2. AdaLynne Ogle - $50; 3. Chloe Sutton - $50; Patriots Pen, 6th grade: 1. Shiloh Hoven - $100; 2. Joshua Moon - $75; 3. MayLeonn Casey - $50; 7th grade: 1. RayLynne Ogle - $100; 2. Abigail Mckay-Beach - $75; 3. Kyler Reavely - $50; 8th grade: 1. Evelyn Hogue - $100; 2. Audrey Morton - $75; 3. Autumn Jensen - $50. Wahkiakum Post 5297 awarded a total of $1275.
Winners in the District 16 competition are Youth Essay: 3rd grade, 1. Emily Kangas - $50; 2. Keely Cothren - $25; 3. Aiden McEntire - $15; 4th grade, 1. Ava Mendez - $50; 2. Olivia Johnson - $25; 3. Gage Gifford - $15; 5th grade, 2. AdaLynne Ogle - $25; Patriots Pen: 8th grade, 3. Evelyn Hogue - $50.
A District 16 awards ceremony was held Dec.11 at the Norse Hall, Puget Island. District 16 awarded a total of $820 of which $255 was awarded to Wahkiakum students.