DURAND VFW Post 2272 announced the results of its 2017/2018 Voice of Democracy essay contest on Sunday, Jan. 7. The theme of this year’s essay is “American History: Our Hope For The Future.” The contest was open to students in grades nine through 12.
Devi Hodge and Ryan Maiden shared 1st place in this year’s contest, and their essays have qualified to be judged at the district level. The winner of the statewide contest will be awarded a grand prize of $30,000. Allison Rodgers finished in 2nd place, Natalie Loren was third, and Haley Raupp earned 4th place. Each received a congratulatory certificate and cash, with plaques being presented to the 1st-place finishers.
Shown during the awards banquet on Jan. 7 is (from left) Durand VFW Commander Dennis Martin, Ryan Maiden, Natalie Loren, Haley Raupp, Devi Hodge, Allison Rodgers, longtime program coordinator Betty Weber, and Quartermaster Mike Shepard.
After struggling to draw interest from students in recent years, this year organizers turned to Durand High School Assistant Principal Shannon Knapp to encourage students to enter the contest. Knapp’s effort boosted participation numbers for the Voice of Democracy contest to 29 students and the Patriot’s Pen contest to 21, and Dingman said the Auxiliary “couldn’t have done it without her.”
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)