Townsend VFW Post hosting essay contests, fundraiser dinner

Post No. 6538 celebrates fall will multiple community support events

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TOWNSEND – October is becoming a very giving month for local veterans and students thanks to the town’s Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

The VFW Auxiliary to Townsend Post No. 6538 is hosting multiple events this month to benefit the community. The first is a dinner set for Friday, Oct. 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. at 491 Main St. to benefit VFW Veterans and military support programs.

The post is hoping to raise money for programs like the Sports Clip Help a Hero Scholarship, Unmet Needs, National Veterans Service and the Military Assistance Program.

Meals available for purchase include ziti with chicken and broccoli in a garlic butter sauce served with a tossed salad and a roll, or chicken salad on a bed of lettuce garnished with tomatoes and onions served with a sandwich roll. Both meals can be enjoyed with desserts and eaten either at the VFW or taken home. Those attending the VFW are required to wear masks and gloves.

The post is also hosting two essay contests this month. The first is the Voice of Democracy Patriotic Audio Essay Competition, which is co-sponsored by the Pepperell VFW Post No. 3291 and available to students in grades nine through 12 in the North Middlesex Regional, Nashoba Valley Technical, Groton-Dunstable Regional, Ayer Shirley and Lunenburg High Schools.

Those looking to enter must write an essay and record audio between three to five minutes in length answering the question, “Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?”

First prize is $150 in cash, second prize is $100 and third prize is $50. The first prize winner will also be entered into the District No. 15 level of competition, where the first prize winner of that competition will be entered into the state competition vying for a $5,000 scholarship and a $500 cash prize. That winner will go on to the National VFW Competition, where a portion of $154,000 innational scholarships funds will be awarded to each of the 53 department competitors.

The second contest is the Patriot’s Pen Contest, which is open to any Massachusetts student in 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade.

Each essay should be between 300 to 400 words and answer the question, “What is Patriotism to Me?”

First place earns the writer $100, the second-place winner will receive $70 and $40 will be awarded to the third-place winner. The first place winner will also advance to the District 15 level of competition, where the writers of the top three essays can win $225 and enter the national competition. In that, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and its Auxiliary will award first place with $5,000 and second place with $4,000. $3,500 will go to the third place winner, $2,750 to the fourth place winner and $2,500 for fifth place. Cash prizes will also be awarded to the rest of the top 53 writers.

Both essay contests require entries by Saturday, Oct. 31. Entrants in the Voice of Democracy contest should submit a CD or a flash drive containing audio of their essay, along with a typed copy of the script and completed official entry form, to a Townsend or Pepperell Voice of Democracy Chairman.

Entrants in the Patriot’s Pen should submit their essays to VFW Auxiliary to Townsend Post No. 6538 President Betty Mae Tenney or to Townsend VFW Post No. 6538 Commander Natalie Call.