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Voice of Democracy Contest Winners Announced

December 13, 2016


Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8221 Voice of Democracy Contest Winners for 2016-17 
Theme for 2016-17: "My Responsibility to America"

Six students from Johnson County Central Public Schools were selected by a team of five judges from Veterans and Auxiliary members of Johnson County on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.

1st Place: Gabriela Alvarado
2nd Place: Schyler DeFreece
3rd Place: Keaton Kleespies
4th Place: Hailey Clark
5th Place (tie): Carrie Beethe & Carlee Walters

These six students qualified for the District level competition out of 102 Johnson County Central High School Students that participated. For every 15 students that participated, one student's recorded essay qualifies for the District. The following instructors are commended for their efforts and assistance in having students participate in the Voice of Democracy Contest -- Mrs. Wendi Buggi, Mrs. Kris Farris, and Mr. Marcus Scheer of Johnson County Central High School. Many thanks to the volunteer judges Donna DeFreece, Judy Coe, Charlie Scott, Kay Ebler, and JoAnn Yates. 

All six of the recorded essays were judged at the District Contest held Friday, November 25, 2016 at the Pawnee City Library at 735 8th Street in Pawnee City. It was reported that no JCC students finished in the top three of the District Contest.

At the regular VFW Post #8221 December meeting, the members present voted to award the following cash and certificates of 1st Place - $150, 2nd - $100,3rd - $50, 4th/5th/6th each $25. Congratulations to these outstanding Johnson County Central Students.

- Thomas L. Rother
VFW Post 8221 Commander

The George Raymond Jelly VFW Post 8221 & Auxilary
Theme for 2016-17: "The America I Believe In!"

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) & Auxiliary sponsored a Patriot's Pen contest for 2016-17 and the theme was "The America I Believe In!"

Conducted nationwide, this VFW sponsored youth essay contest is for students in grades 6th, 7th, and 8th. The top 46 national winners all receive at least $500. The first place national award is currently $5,000 plus an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the winner and a parent or guardian. 

Local entries began at the local VFW Post #8221. Post winners advance, one for every 15 students that participate, to the VFW District (Regional) level where the first place winner advanced to the VFW Department (State) level. The one state first place winner is then advanced to the VFW National Competition.

Johnson County Central had 99 applicants; therefore, Post #8221 and the Auxiliary were able to send six finalists to the District.

The essays are 300-400 typewritten words. Essays under or over will be eliminated. The top six local winners were all from Johnson County Central Public Schools.

1st Place ($100): Calvin Antholz
2nd Place ($75): Dalton Berkebile
3rd Place ($50): Kenia Barrientos
4th Place ($25): Isabella Wolter​
5th Place ($25): Saylor Rother
6th Place ($25): Lane Othmer

​Congratulations to these outstanding students.

Many thanks to the Johnson County Central Schools Administration, Mrs. Jeanette Palmer, Mrs. Julie Beach of JCC for encouraging students to participate in the contest.

Judging for the Tecumseh VFW Post #8221 and Auxiliary was conducted on Thursday, November 10, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:25 p.m. at the Tecumseh Legion/VFW meeting hall. Thanks to the volunteer judges Donna DeFreece, Ruth Rother and Judy Coe for their time and expertise to make this contest a success.

The District judging was conducted on Friday, November 25th at the Pawnee City Public Library. It was reported that JCC did not have anyone in the top three at the District level. 

- Thomas L. Rother
VFW Post #8221 Commander