Three local students recently were announced winners of the Patriot's Pen Competition, sponsored by the Thomson Veterans of Foreign Wars and Ladies Auxiliary Post #6672. Katelyn Phillips and Gena Cody, both seventh-graders at Thomson Middle School placed first and third respectively in the competition. Kendall Levesque, an eighth-grader at Thomson-McDuffie Junior High School, won second place. Gena also placed first on the district level for District 10.
"This is very unusual. She won third for the school, and then first for the district under a different set of judge's eyes," said Bonnie Martin, an essay leader of the Ladies Auxiliary.
Conducted annually nationwide, the essay competition gives students the opportunity to express their views on democracy, with the prospect of winning U.S. savings bonds. The theme for this year's contest was When is the right time to honor our military heroes?
Katelyn said her essay focuses on making it a priority every day to honor veterans and not just doing it on holidays.
Katelyn, Kendall and Gena received certificates and cash prizes from VFW Post 6672 Commander Milton Keene, Senior VP of Ladies Auxiliary Joan Malcom and Mrs. Martin during a visit to the school in December.
As first place for the district, Gena's essay will go on to the state level competition.
To read Katelyn's essay, go to page 4A.