For the City Times
Local winners of the Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy competitions were announced at the Plover VFW Post #10262 December meeting.
The Patriot’s Pen first-place winner was Allison Kleiner, an 8th grader at Stevens Point Christian Academy, for her essay, “What Freedom Means To Me.”
The Voice of Democracy first-place winner was Morgann Glazer, an 11th grader at Stevens Point Area High School (SPASH), for her audio-essay, “My Vision For America.” Her future plans include attending the Certified Nursing Assistant program at Mid-State Technical College next semester and pursing studies in social work or the medical field.
The first-place winners each received a contest-themed backpack, ballpoint pen, lapel pin, a $100 cash award and a set of VFW and VFW Auxiliary commemorative challenge coins from the Post and Auxiliary. Both winners will advance to competition at the district level.
Second place in the Patriot’s Pen competition was awarded to Holly Gruber, an 8th grader at Ben Franklin Junior High School and third place was awarded to Tahlia Rogers, also an 8th grader at Ben Franklin Junior High School.
Second place in the Voice of Democracy competition was awarded to McKenzie Mallek, a 10th grader at Stevens Point Christian Academy. As a result of a tie, third place awards winners were Garrett Johnson, a 12th grader at Stevens Point Christian Academy and Saralyn Carcy, a 9th grader at Stevens Point Christian Academy.
The second and third place winners in both groups received a backpack, ballpoint pen, lapel pin, and cash awards of $75 and $50, respectively.
To promote democratic ideals and foster patriotism and good citizenship in America’s youth, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) established the Patriot’s Pen (PP) and Voice of Democracy (VOD) national competitions.
The Patriot’s Pen is a youth essay-writing competition that comprises students from grades 6 – 8. Students draft a 300-400 word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic annual theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. Annually, more than 120,000 students enter to win award money and prizes totaling $1.1 million, as well as an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the national first place winner.
The Voice of Democracy, an audio-essay competition, provides students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express their views of democratic ideas and principles. Each year, more than 51,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentive awards.
The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000- $16,000 and the first-place winner from each (State) VFW Department wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.