Each year, nearly 68,800 students in the 6th-8th grades enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of nearly $1 million in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000!
Last year, Marley Pridgen, from Lumberton, NC, represented the VFW Department of North Carolina, and won a $500 scholarship. Local students will be competing for cash awards from the The VFW Calabash Post 7288 Auxilliary in the three categories—1st place-$200, 2nd place-$150 and 3rd place-$100.
The students are required to write a 300-400 word essay based upon a patriotic theme which differs from year to year. The theme for 2023-24 is "How are you inspired by America?” The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, perhaps as influenced by family members or friends whose actions have inspired them. Their own experience in modern American society gives voice to the raising generation of patriotic American youth.
The essays are due to the VFW Calabash Post 7288 by midnight, October 31, 2023.
The essay will be judged on development and knowledge of the theme, stating relevant facts to support the theme and the clarity of the writing. Local post winners advance to VFW regional competition and regional winners may advance to state and national competitions.
Applications and complete instructions to enter may be found at www.vfw.org or from Auxiliary Secretary Fran Redfield at firstname.lastname@example.org. The completed applications/essays can be emailed to our Auxiliary’s Co-Chairs Dorrie Mascolo at email@example.com, Cathy Milstead at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to VFW Auxiliary, 900 Carter Drive, Calabash, NC 20467. Applications have also been placed at Waccamaw and Shallotte Middle Schools.
Photo caption: Victoria Heady 2021-2022 VFW Calabsh Post 7288 winner from Shallotte Middle School.
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