Montrose VFW rewards young patriots

Justin Grosvenor with his parents, Susan and Paul Grosvenor, as he earned the win in the state Voice of Democracy contest. His entry now heads to national competition.

Justin Grosvenor with his parents, Susan and Paul Grosvenor, as he earned the win in the state Voice of Democracy contest. His entry now heads to national competition.

Veterans, auxiliary members, relatives, and friends gathered Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Montrose VFW to honor students who took an opportunity to reflect and write about The United States of America for several post-sponsored contests.
The Patriot’s Pen contest is open to students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades, and usually gets many entries. One Montrose Area teacher, Charlotte Sherwood, has gotten students involved in the Patriot’s Pen for many years. Last year, there were no entries submitted, but this year Sherwood’s efforts more than made up for it: This year, out of the 181 entries, 84 were from Montrose Area seventh graders, and 92 were from Montrose eighth graders. There were four sixth-grade entrants from the Montrose school district.
The Grosvenor family homeschools their 10 children, but they also participate in activities and sports at Elk Lake. Several of their children entered the Patriot’s Pen contest.
According to Margaret Miner, the post sends the 12 best essays on to a district competition, 10 of which came from Montrose.
Wendi Hennemann, Department Chaplain for the VFW Auxiliary, thanked Sherwood and the students. “Thank you so much, all of you inspiring young people.”
Hannah L. Cundey was the first place winner of the Patriot’s Pen contest. Alexis Sebring was the second place winner, and Kerry Tometchko was third place winner.
Both Cundey and Tometchko are in eighth grade at Montrose Area Junior/Senior High School.
For the Voice of Democracy essay/speech contest, a pair of homeschooled twins in 12th grade had the top two winning essays.
Justin Grosvenor was the first place winner. His essay described a beloved maple tree in his family’s yard and compared the founders of the country and other historical figures to the roots and trunk of the tree. He continued his analogy to include his parents as a branch, and himself as one of the many leaves.
“America’s history is the basis for the hope that we have,” Grosvenor concluded.
Justin’s twin, Nathan Grosvenor, wrote the second place essay/speech.
Jerome Washo was the third place speech winner.
Only one student could represent the post, but John Miner said that he had a solution for that dilemma. He took the second and third place winners with him to represent other nearby VFW posts in the district. A total of 3,700 students participated in the Voice of Democracy Contest.
Justin Grosvenor’s speech won at the district level and placed first at the state Voice of Democracy competition.
“Justin, I can’t wait to hear your name called as National Champion,” Hennemann said.
Jeanne Dunn, Past President of the VFW Auxiliary, recognized Riley Brown of Montrose Area High School for his award-winning Veterans Day assembly. “Every year, the program gets better and better,” she said. “We are already looking forward to the coming fall.”
She said that while Riley told her that he begins his planning for the assembly in the fall, she believes he starts working on the next Veterans Day as soon as the current Veterans Day program wraps up.

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