The 2017-18 VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest has been announced and will be held in local schools, according to Tom Sharratt, youth activities coordinator for Westby VFW Post 8021.

The theme of this year’s competition is “America’s Gift to My Generation.” Contestants are allowed great latitude in how they develop this theme. The contest is open to all students in grades six, seven and eight. Entries are due no later than Nov. 1.

Home-schooled students and youth groups such as Scouts, 4-H, FFA and church youth groups are encouraged to participate as well. The contest is also available to students at Cornerstone Christian Academy.

This is the 19th year that the contest has been held in the Westby Middle School.

Post 8021 will present gift certificates from the local Subway restaurant ranging from $25 to $5 to the top five. The first-place winner will advance to district competition, where the first-place prize is $100. Higher levels of competition include state level and national, where the first-place prizes are $500 and $5,000, respectively. Coon Creek VFW Post 10532 will also hold competition and will announce its prizes separately.

Westby eighth-grade teacher Mrs. Amundson is assigning this as a required project. The contest is optional for sixth- and seventh-grade students, who can pick up a brochure with the contest details and rules from Amundson.

Youth group leaders, parents of home-schooled students, or students themselves may call Tom Sharratt at 634-2118, or go to www.vfw.org for details.

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Dorothy Robson is editor of the Westby Times. Contact her at 608-637-5625.

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