On Wednesday, Post Commander Bill Henderson and Auxiliary President Tim Tharp went to local schools to present $1,400 in educational scholarship funds to students who participated in VFW-sponsored essay contests.
The Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students an opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay, according to the VFW website. Each year, approximately 25,000 highschool students from around the country enter to win. The program doles out over $2 mil in scholarships and incentives.
This year's theme was "Why is the veteran important?"
Sidney High School senior Burton Pollari was the local winner and his essay placed third in the state. Burton was awarded $500 for the third place finish by the program, and then the VFW Post and Auxiliary contributed $100 each, leaving Burton with $700 in total awarded funds.
Sidney High School's Lily Jones, Fairview High School's Taylor McPherson and Liberty Christian School's Kirsten Kraft were each presented with $100 each for their participation in the essay program ($50 from the VFW Post and $50 from the Auxiliary.)
A second program is hosted by the VFW for younger students - the Patriot's Pen essay contest for sixth through eighth graders. $1.4 mil in awarded funds are given out annually throughout the country through this program, with each first place winner in a state receiving a minimum of $500 and the national first place winner receiving $5,000.
This year's theme was "My Pledge to Our Veterans" and Liberty Christian School's Keira Kraft was the local winner, earning her $200 from the program. She also placed second in the state of Montana. The VFW Post and Auxiliary each contributed $100 each, leaving Kraft earning a total of $400.