holds awards dinner
Last Saturday evening, the members of the Cottonwood VFW Post gathered for dinner with their annual awards winners. The Keuterville Christian Mothers prepared an excellent meal, serving 95 Post members and guests. The crowd was treated to hearing the First Place Voice of Democracy winner, Courtney Schwartz and the First Place Patriot's Pen winner, Chaye Uptmor read their speeches. They both received standing ovations from the audience. Awards were also presented to the Teacher of the Year winners. John Crotinger, past Idaho State VFW Commander also gave a speech on the national awards program. The awards were presented by Cottonwood Post Commander Jack Uptmor with assistance from the Awards Committee Chairman, Joe Riener.
This year's award themes were, "Does my generation have a role in America's future?" for the Voice of Democracy and "Does Patriotism Still Matter?" for the Patriot's Pen. The Voice of Democracy is a 3 to 5 minute taped speech given by 9th - 12th grade students, with the potential of winning a $30,000 scholarship at the national level. The Patriot's Pen contest is a 300 to 400 word typewritten essay by 6th - 8th grade students with a top prize of a $10,000 bond at the national level. The Cottonwood Post covers the Highland, Prairie & Summit Academy schools and any home schooled students in those areas.
Next year's award themes are Voice of Democracy: Is There Pride in Serving in Our Military? and Patriot's Pen: Are you Proud of Your Country? It's never too early to begin preparing for these awards, due to our Post by November 1st. The entry forms are available by going to http://vfw.org/ and clicking on the Community/Programs link and selecting the appropriate award tab. There you can download the entry form. At that link, you may also watch a video of the national Voice of Democracy winner give her speech.
The Cottonwood Post would like to recognize this year's awards program judges and thank them for their diligence and hard work in selecting our winners. The judges were, Colleen Wilson, Laurine Nightingale and Jim Rehder.
The VFW Post 4902 annual awards results are as follows:
Voice of Democracy (9-12 grade) 1st place Courtney Schwartz, Summit Academy, 2nd place Abigail Chmelik, Summit Academy, 3rd place Savanah Prigge, Summit Academy.
Patriot's Pen (6-8 grade) 1st place Chaye Uptmor, Prairie Middle School (1st place in District 2 & 4th overall in the state of Idaho), 2nd place Tyler Krough, Summit Academy, 3rd place Lucas Wemhoff, Summit Academy.
Teacher of the Year winners: Grade 9-12, Jerry Richardson, Prairie High School, Grade 6-8, Colleen Sonnen, Prairie Middle School & Grade K-5, Krystal Ellis, Prairie Elementary School (1st place in District 2 & 1st place in the state of Idaho).