VFW Post 4090 held its annual “Voice of Democracy and Patriot Pen” essay contest banquet February 29, 5pm, at the Post. Post Commander Bill Almy welcomed students and guests to the 2020 banquet.
The banquet began with the Pledge of Allegiance lead by the Commander and a blessing for the food by Auxiliary President Shirley Teachout. Dinner was served by members of Portland Public Schools National Honor Society.
Following dinner... twelve (12) students from Portland Public Schools and Saint Patrick’s Catholic schools read their essay in front of a packed dining hall of parents, teachers, and guests.
When all the students had finished reading their essays, they were called back up to the front of the room one by one to receive their awards. Each received an award from the Post and Auxiliary, VFW District 9 and a Proclamation Certificate from State Representative Julie Calley’s office.
The Patriot’s Pen winners: From Portland Middle school, Ana Babcock. From Portland Saint Patrick’s Catholic School, Brody Beckhold, Timothy Chamberlain, Arianna FoxElster, Ellayna Meredith.
Voice of Democracy winners: From Portland High School, Madison Lockwood, Alexander Wartella. From Portland Saint Patrick’s Catholic School, Marlie Bengel, Cozette Brown, William Chislea, Moriah Hass, Hailee Lay.
Special guests: Superintendent of Portland Public Schools, Will Heath and wife Jamie. Portland High School principal, Christine Rockey. Portland Saint Patrick’s Catholic School principal, Randy Hodge and wife Michael. State Representative Julie Calley of the 87 Michigan House. State Senator, Dr. John Bizon from the 19th Michigan Senate. VFW Auxiliary Scholarship Chairperson, Jason Manke and wife Sara. Past VFW Department Commander, Lloyd Putman II. VFW Auxiliary “Americanism” Chairperson, Denise Putman. Portland High School “Teacher of the Year”, Kacy Goeckel. Portland Middle School “Teacher of the Year”, Alyssa Stemler. VFW Post 4090 Auxiliary President, Shirley Teachout.
Post commander Bill Almy closed with the following statement: “Voice of Democracy and Patriots Pen is one of our premier programs in the VFW and Auxiliary. It gives us great pleasure to witness young adults express their views and ideals as seen through their own eyes. I am very proud of each one of you students. I encourage each of you to share your experience with your friends and fellow students, and invite them to participate in the VOD or PP essay program.”
Thank you to Shirley Teachout for her many years’ of dedication and hard work towards making the Voice of Democracy and Patriot Pen Program and Banquet a success.
William Almy - Commander
VFW Post 4090
Pictured above back row L to R. State Senator Dr. John Bizon, State Representative Julie Calley, Post 4090 Auxiliary President Shirley Teachout VFW Auxiliary Scholarship Chairperson Jason Manke, VFW Auxiliary "Americanism" Chairperson Denise Putman (to the right of Commander Almy). Not pictured is William Chislea.