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posted: 12/5/2012 3:54 AM

Larkin senior wins VFW's Voice of Democrary and Patriot's Pen essay contest

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Submitted by VFW Post 1307

The Watch City Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1307 and its Ladies Auxiliary recently announced the winners of the Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen essay contests for 2012.

Students in high school participate in the Voice of Democracy contest which requires an essay and recorded speech of the essay on this year's theme, "Is Our Constitution Still Relevant?" The winner is Larkin High School senior Caitlin J. Rychtanek, whose essay displayed a great sense of patriotism and understanding. Post members applaud her efforts and her essay moves up to District competition.

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 incentives awarded through the VFW's Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.

Students from three schools in sixth to eighth grades wrote essays for the VFW Patriot's Pen contest on this year's theme, "What I Would Tell America's Founding Fathers." The three winners are: Piper W. Winkler, first place, from Elgin Academy, eighth grade; Stephanie M. Zapf, second place, St. Thomas More School in Elgin, sixth grade; and Isaiah Gomez, third place, Cambridge Lakes Charter School in Pingree Grove, sixth grade. Piper Winkler's essay also moves on to District.

The winning students will be recognized at noon Saturday, Dec. 8, at the VFW Hall, 1601 Weld Road in Elgin. They expect to have their proud parents, teachers, friends and family attend. They, too, deserve a lot of credit for turning out such fine young people.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars believes strongly in good citizenship and fostering patriotism. That's why they encourage youthful minds to examine the nation's history and their own experiences in modern American society through the Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth essay-writing contests.

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