Archive for Thursday, September 21, 2006

VFW seeks students for essay contest

September 21, 2006

Want to win some money? Then start writing.

Veterans of Foreign War Post 12003 invites sixth- through 12th-grade students to enter one of two annual essay contests for the chance to win thousands of dollars worth of prizes and scholarships.

For sixth- to eighth-graders, there's the Patriot's Pen Essay Competition, which asks students to write a 300- to 400- word essay with a patriotic theme. This year's theme is citizenship in America.

The competition begins at the local post level, where the top three writers receive a certificate and a medal. In addition, the post's first-place winner will receive a $100 savings bond, and the second- and third-place winners will receive $50 savings bonds.

Winners advance to district competition and may later advance to the state and national levels.

State winners compete for more than $75,000 in savings bonds and a trip to Washington, D.C., where the national winner receives a $10,000 savings bond.

Mike Howell, post commander, said this would be the fourth year the post would accept entries in the contest.

"Everyone who participates will get something. We try to have a pizza party or something like that to show our appreciation," Howell said.

High school students are eligible to compete in the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition, a three- to five-minute audio essay competition.

Winners advance to district competition and may advance to state and national levels.

State winners receive a $1,000 scholarship and a trip to Washington, D.C., where they will compete for the $30,000 first-place scholarship.

A total of $146,000 worth of scholarships will be awarded at the national level.

Howell said the Lansing post hadn't received any entries from Lansing High School students since it began accepting entries three years ago.

Howell encouraged writers to take advantage of the opportunity.

"I would like to see the money stay local," Howell said. "It wouldn't surprise me to someone go on to the state or national level."

The contests are open to students enrolled in public, private, parochial or home schools.

Applications and full contest rules and instructions are available on the Web at www.vfw.org.

Click on "Programs & Services," and then click on "VFW Scholarship Programs."

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