VFW announces winners of essay contest
The annual VFW Voice of Democracy (VOD) essay competition for 2018 has been completed. Bay Village VFW Post 9693 was proud to receive four entries this year, two from Bay High School (Khaled R. Hamil and Emma Spirollari), one from Westlake High School (Nicholas Gauntener), and one from St. Joseph High School (Mariana Maddox).
A committee of four, including two VFW members, and one teacher each from Bay High School and Westlake High School, reviewed and judged the entries. Mariana Maddox was the first-place choice. Emma Spirollari placed a close second, with a tie for third place between Khaled Hamil and Nicholas Gauntener.
Mariana will receive a certificate and a small gift of a VOD pen, along with a check for $150 from the Post. Emma will receive a certificate and a $100 check. Khaled and Nicholas will each receive a certificate and a $50 check.
The VOD competition requires an application, short essay and a recorded spoken reading of that essay. This year's topic was "Why my vote matters." All four applications and essays received were just excellent. I am surely glad that I was not involved in the judging.
Mariana's application was forwarded to District 7 to compete with all Northeast Ohio VFW posts. Many of these posts are much larger than Bay Village and can submit more than one entry due to the number of applicants.
Despite the tough competition, Mariana was chosen as the winner of the District 7 contest! She will now go on to Columbus to compete with winners of all other Department of Ohio Districts.
Just providing an input is an honor and a great example of each student's citizenship and respect for their community and their country. Mariana will be honored as the Bay Village Post winner at our December meeting. The other three students will be honored at their school at a date to be announced when the certificates are completed.
Our sincere congratulations to all entrants, and the best of luck for Mariana as she moves on. This is a great honor for our West Shore area, for the Bay Village VFW Post, and mostly for our fine students and schools.