Local VFW essay winner finishes fourth in state

Photo by Sue Suchyta

Photo by Sue Suchyta

Adrienne Connors (left), Ladies Auxiliary co-chair, and Gene Hall of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5572 in Allen Park (right) honor Cabrini Middle School eighth-grader Elizabeth (“Ellie”) Lewandowski, who placed fourth in the state in the Voice of Democracy and Patriot Pen Essay Contest. The presentation was made Tuesday at the Allen Park City Council meeting.

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – Elizabeth Lewandowski, an eighth-grader at St. Frances Cabrini Elementary and Middle School, placed fourth at the state level in this year’s Veterans of Foreign Wars essay competition.

She also finished first at the District 4 level of the group’s annual Voice of Democracy and Patriot Pen Essay Contest and was recognized along with other local winners from VFW and Ladies Auxiliary Post 5572 at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Adrienne Connors of the Ladies Auxiliary and post member Gene Hall co-chaired this year’s contest locally. An audio essay Voice of Democracy contest is held for grades nine through 12, and the Patriot’s Pen essay contest is held for students in grades six to eight.

The high school level theme this year was, “Does America still have heroes?” Middle schoolers’ theme was, “When is the right time to honor our military heroes?”

Locally, there were 120 Voice of Democracy entries and 130 Patriot’s Pen entries this year. Four winners from each contest were chosen from each post to advance to the district level. Each district then chose its best entry in each category to advance to the state level.

Post 5572 winners and their finishes are:
•Matthew Speakman, senior, Allen Park High School, second place, district level.
•Timothy Pollock, senior, Cabrini High School third place, district level.
•Kaitlyn Searcy, senior, Inter-City Baptist High School.
•Carolyn Trela, senior, Cabrini High.
Patriot’s Pen winners include:
•Kate Gardzella, Inter-City Baptist Middle School, second place, district level.
•David Szczesny, Cabrini Elementary and Middle School
•Beth Wardell, Inter-City Baptist Middle School.