VFW Patriotic Pen essay winners are pictured. From left are Kelly Meuse, first; Amanda Dillingham, third; Pam Merz, teacher; and Carlene Treadwell, guidance counselor. Kemsen Searles, second place, was absent.
Patriots Pen contest winners honored
PARIS – Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9787, South Paris, recently honored the winners of the annual VFW Patriots Pen essay contest. The theme this year was “Citizenship in America.”
Each winner read their essay to a gathering of veterans, auxiliary members and guests. First-place winner was Kelly Meuse, who was presented $100 plus a certificate of merit from the VFW. Second was Kemsen Searles, $75, and third, Amanda Dillingham, $50.
All winners are from the seventh and eighth grades at Oxford Hills Middle School. A special presentation was also given to teacher Pam Merz and guidance counselor Carlene Treadwell.
The Patriots Pen contest is endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The nationwide competition is open to students in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.
Contestants write a 300- to 400-word essay based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW commander-in-chief. It is kept broad in scope to allow participants flexibility in interpretation and to encourage originality.
Local winners move on to the state level and those winners go on to the national level. The national winners receive savings bonds from $1,000 to $10,000.