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VFW scholarship contest opens

Local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1981 wants young people to share their thoughts on patriotism as part of a nationwide student essay contests with cash scholarship prizes.

Middle school students can submit a 300-400 word essay while high school students can send in a three to five minute speech. The deadline for entries for either contest is Nov. 1.

The Patriot’s Pen middle school composition contest is open to students in grades 6, 7 and 8. Each round of the contest awards its own prizes. The first-place winner from each state will compete for national awards totaling $54,500 and receive at least $500. The national first-place essay wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

The theme for this year’s contest is “The America I Believe In.” Submitted essays should examine our nation’s history, along with the writer’s own real-life experiences and views. Essays should be given with an entry form to VFW Post 1981 contest chair Bill Jones.

The “Voice of Democracy” speech competition is open to those in grades 9 through 12. Audio-essay entries should be on the theme “My Responsibility to America” and express each entrant’s thoughts and feelings on democratic ideas and principles. They will be judged on originality, content and delivery.

An audio recording and typed version should be turned in on CD or flash drive along with an entry form to Jones. Entries will compete for a share of $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives. The national first-place winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship and other national scholarships range fro $1,000-$16,000. State winners receive a $1,000 scholarship and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Complete rules and entry forms are available at Contact Jones at 675-1726.

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John Rieping of The Madera Tribune contributed to this article.

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