Roscoe VFW presents awards to young patriots


Sixth grade Harvard homeschool student Hunter Jones read his winning essay: "How can I be a good American?" at the Voice of Democracy/Patriots Pen awards ceremony, Tuesday evening, March 1 at VFW Post 2955. Hunter won in the middle school Patriots Pen division. VFW Adjutant and Program Chairman Tom Cleland looks on.

Every year, VFW Post 2955 and the Women’s Auxiliary sponsor the Voice of Democracy/ Patriots Pen Contest. The essay contest is open to all high school and middle school students in the area.

This year’s award ceremony was held Tuesday, March 1, at the Roscoe VFW Post, 11385 Second Street.

Before beginning the program, the winning contestants, their families and friends sat down to a meal of pizza and salad.

Students from Auburn High School and Willowbrook Middle School, as well as South Beloit, Hallstrom, and Harvard homeschool co-ops, accepted awards from activity chairman and VFW Adjutant Tom Cleland, and Women’s Auxiliary President Ann Stenberg.

Voice of Democracy essays are written by high school level students. Middle school students contribute essays to the Patriot’s Pen Competition.

The theme of this’s years contest was “How I can be a good American.”

Lily Jones, a high school student in Hallstrom Homeschool Co-op, won first place in the district and second place in the state competition. Another first place award went to Lilly’s brother, Hunter Jones, in Harvard Homeschool Co-op. The siblings expressed their pride in being an American and honoring those who have made our freedom possible.

Hunter's sister Lilly Jones was also a winner at the VFW Voice of Democracy/ Patriots Pen awards program. Lauren won in the high school Voice of Democracy category. She attends Hallstrom homeschool.

Veronica McLean, an Auburn High School student, was a district first place winner. Veronica read her essay, " America, where do we go from here?”

Patriots Pen winner Lauren Peterson, who attends Willowbrook Middle School, said, “Being a good American is all about freedom and accepting everyone.”

“I can be a good American by protecting and defending the things that are right,” Josef Steure from Hallstrom Homeschool Co-op said.

The program concluded with special awards given to Post Chaplain Dave Draeger and Master Sgt. McMillan for their assistance with the program.

Women's Auxiliary President Ann Stenberg presented a Voice of Democracy award to Veronica McLean, a student at Auburn High School. Veronica read her essay, "America- where do we go from here?"

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