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PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” During Sundayâ€™s Loyalty Day program at the War Memorial, VFW Post Adjutant Bob Lott recognized Keaton Mohney, a senior at Punxsutawney Area High School.
Mohney participated in Voice of Democracy, an audio-essay competition last year, and wrote an essay on the topic, â€śIs there pride in serving in our military?â€ť
Mohney won at the VFW Post 9044 level and the District 19 level.
Her success at the district level led her to compete at the state level in Harrisburg, where she placed sixth.
â€śIt was a good experience, and I was able to meet a lot of people,â€ť Mohney said. â€śIt was a good time.â€ť
Mohney and her family are frequent attendees of Post 9044â€™s yearly programs, which is how her involvement in the essay contest began.
But the Voice of Democracy Program is open to any student in grades nine through 12 who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States and its territories.
The deadline to enter a piece for the 2012-13 contest is Nov. 1, and entries begin at a studentâ€™s local VFW Post level.
This yearâ€™s theme is, â€śIs our Constitution still relevant.â€ť
Lott said this is a good opportunity for all students in the countyâ€™s school districts to earn scholarship money.
Mohney won almost $1,000 from her involvement in all three levels of the competition, but the winner of the national contest can earn $30,000 in scholarship funds.
â€śIt can give them a lot of confidence â€” the students that win it,â€ť Lott said. â€śWith an essay contest like this, if you can hit the right words and do it right, itâ€™s hard to say how far you might go. The students at least need to have that opportunity.â€ť
Students interested in the competition should record their reading of the draft to a CD. The recording can be no shorter than three minutes and no longer than five minutes.
For more information on the Voice of Democracy, visit http://www.vfw.org/Community/Voice-of-Democracy/.
In addition, students in grades six through eight can also have a chance at winning a $10,000 savings bond through the Patriotâ€™s Pen essay writing competition.
The deadline for the 2012-13 program is also Nov. 1. This yearâ€™s theme is, â€śWhat I Would Tell Americaâ€™s Founding Fathers.â€ť
For more information on Patriotâ€™s Pen, visit the following Web site: http://www.vfw.org/Community/Patriot-s-Pen/.