TOWNSEND —The world is only days into a brand new year and there’s a wonder as to what America will be like in 2021. Examples of what it could be written by bright young members of the community were recently honored for their visions.
The VFW Auxiliary to Townsend Post 6538 announced the winners of its two essay contests involving themes of American history last weekend.
Three students were chosen as winners of the Patriot’s Pen Contest, which asked kids in grades six through eight to write an essay between 300 to 400 words and answer the question, “What is Patriotism to Me?” Keegan Mossey, an eighth grader attending Hawthorne Brook Middle School in Townsend, won first place and a prize of $100. Marc Payette, a seventh grader also attending Hawthorne Brook, placed second and won $70. Bernadette Towne, a sixth grader attending the Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Still River, placed third and won $40.
Mossey will now advance to the District 15 level of competition, where the writers of the top three essays in that event 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.
The winners of the recent local contest will be presented their prizes at an Open House and Awards Ceremony at the Townsend VFW Post Function Hall in June.
The other contest, the Voice of Democracy Competition co-sponsored by the Pepperell VFW Post No. 3291, featured three high school student winners who provided the most intriguing written or audio essay answering the question, “Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?” Nicholas Olbash, an eleventh grader from Shirley, placed first and is set to receive $150 as a prize. The second place award of $100 was earned by ninth grader Kate Coakley from Princeton, while the third place award of $50 will be presented to 12th grader Maria Camardo from Harvard.
Olbash will now be entered into the District No. 15 level of competition, where the first prize winner of that event 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 in national scholarships funds will be awarded to each of the 53 department competitors.
The winners of this local contest will be presented their prizes at the end of the school year.