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VFW announces winners of youth writing competition


December 11, 2017


Bessemer — VFW Post 3673 hosted its annual volunteer and membership dinner Saturday evening. Built within that dinner were five area youths competing in a writing competition for kids in grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. Four grade 6-8 youth’s took part in the “Patriot’s Pen” competition regarding a VFW provided prompt of, “America’s Gift to My Generation.”

The Patriot’s Pen responses were due Oct. 31, allowing local kids to join more than 120,000 students nationwide expected to participate, according to the VFW entry form. The essays were judged on how well they understood and developed their essay to the theme. Knowledge is worth 30 points, theme development is worth 35, and clarity of idea is worth 35 points for a total score of 100 possible. The essays could not be shorter than 300 words, while not exceeding 400.

Jack Matrella took first place, followed by Luke Holm, as Kailey Leanah and Tyler Baross tied for third.

In the high school category, Phoebe Napier won first place. The “Voice of Democracy” challenge for Napier involved creating a patriotic audio essay on, “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” According to the VFW more than 40,000 high school students compete in the Voice of Democracy competition. Napier had to record her response on CD or thumb drive and it had to be no less than three minutes and no longer than five, with five seconds of grace built in.

Napier said, “We should salute veterans everyday, not only one day in the year.”

In other news, Post Commander Donna Frello announced the post now has 115 members, but a core group of members and volunteers are responsible for keeping things moving within the post. Frello thanked an extensive list of members and volunteers involved in everything from bingo on Mondays to keeping the fridges stocked and running. Frello said, “It takes a village (to keep the post running) and our volunteers walk the talk.”


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