JAY – More than 90 people attended the recent VFW Department of Maine District 9 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen Banquet hosted by Frank L. Mitchell VFW Post 3335 and Auxiliary.

Brian Hennessy, VOD chairman, was master of ceremonies as the awards were presented to the winners of the annual audible essay contest.

District 9 received more than 88 entries and the winners were as follows: First, Kristin Hodge, Livermore Falls High School (third place in the state finals); second, Brooke Weston, Dirigo High School; and third, Brett Hine, Mountain Valley High School.

Patriot’s Pen winners were as follows: First, Samantha Maheux, Auburn Middle School; second, Jennifer Cote, Jay Middle School; third, tie, Jacob Childs, Lewiston Middle School and Brandilee Lacasse, Oxford Hills Middle School.

In attendance were officers from the VFW Department of Maine, District 9; Rep. Ray Pineau, parents, teachers and judges and supporting members of the community.

Gov. John Baldacci and Congressmen Michael Michaud offered letters of congratulations read by Matt Dubois. The program included a reading of the first place essays followed by a meal prepared by the auxiliary and served by Girl Scout Cadet Troop 212 of Jay.

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