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Updated: 04/16/2014 11:10:01AM

Fort Meade VFW honors local students

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Winners in the local VFW Voice of Democracy competition were, from left Cynthia McCard and Olivia Spivey.

Winners in the local VFW Patriot Pen essay contest included, from left Lauren Delp, Aracette Peralta and Christian Haase.

The Fort Meade VFW cited teachers at Fort Meade Middle Senior High School including, from left Lynn Haase, Susan Cannon, Luke Doeden, James Fream and Mike Hayde. Absent from picture: Christine Kanagy.

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Students at Fort Meade Middle Senior High School have a little better idea about what democracy is all about, thanks to contests sponsored by the Fort Meade VFW and its ladies auxiliary.

Cynthia McCard was the first-place winner in the “Voice of Democracy” competition, while Olivia Spivey was second.

There were three local winners for the Patriots Pen event, including winner Christian R. Haase, runner-up Aracette Peralta and third-place winner Lauren Delp.

The local VFW works with the teachers and students at Fort Meade High every year in the two scholarship programs.

In the Voice of Democracy,students write and record a three- to five-minute essay on a patriotic theme chosen by the National VFW. This year’s theme was “Why I’m Optimistic About Our Nation’s Future.”

McCard’s entry also won first place at the district level, meaning her essay will be submitted for further competition, where the national winner earns a $30,000 scholarship.

The Patriot Pen program is a 300-400 word essay. This year’s theme was “What Patriotism Means to Me.”

Ladies Auxiliary member Kay Moyer commended the school for their participation.

“This year Fort Meade High had a total of 47 students enter the contest. Last year there were 11. The wonderful teachers have really supported the VFW’s program and helped the students take advantage of this opportunity,” she noted.

The local post picks the top three from each contest, and are allowed to donate the other students’ essay’s to other posts in the district whose schools have not participated in the program. Fort Meade student Allie Elbert won 1st at the Avon Park post and placed third in district.

The VFW and VFW Auxiliary each give momentary awards to the top three winners along with certificates.

Teachers were also presented certificates of appreciation, including: Lynn Haase, Susan Cannon, Luke Doeden, James Fream, Michael Hayde and Christine Kanagy.

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