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(Brewster, NY) — The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 672 in Brewster recently held an award ceremony for the local winners of VFW’s 2011-12 Patriots Pen written essay contest and Voice of Democracy audio essay competition.
Patriot’s Pen is a nationwide essay-writing contest that gives students in grades 6 through 8 the opportunity to write essays expressing their views on democracy. The winners this year were Lauren Craft and Caleb Smith. Lauren is a Brewster resident and Henry H. Wells Middle School student. Caleb Smith is a home-school student from Hurley. Each received a commemorative plaque and a check for $200.
Voice of Democracy is an audio-essay contest for high school students in grades 9-12, designed to foster patriotism by allowing students the opportunity to voice their opinion in a three to five minute audio essay. The winner of the local contest this year was Ian Smith, a home-schooled student from Hurley — and sibling to Patriots Pen winner Caleb Smith. Ian was presented with a commemorative plaque and a check for $500.
The judges for this school year’s competition were Josie Anderek, Robert Lund and Linda Lund — all very active members of the local community. Josie is a past president of the Brewster VFW Post 672 Ladies Auxiliary. She teaches fourth grade CCD classes at St. Lawrence O'Toole Church, and visits residents at Putnam Ridge Nursing Home. Linda Lund and Robert Lund are both board members of the Putnam County Land Trust, and have been active in Scouting and NJROTC. All three of the judges are volunteers with the Board of Elections.