District 17 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Auxiliary are pleased to announce the winners of their annual patriotic essay contests for 2018-2019.

The theme for the Voice of Democracy (VOD) audio essay contest for high school students was, “Why My Vote Matters.”

Kyleigh J. Turner, a senior at Wewahitchka Jr./Sr. High School, won first place. She was sponsored by the Port St. Joe VFW and Auxiliary Post 10069.

In second place was Leisha Craven, a senior at Sneads High School. She was sponsored by the Marianna VFW Post 12046.

The theme of the Patriot’s Pen written essay for middle school students was, “Why I Honor the American Flag.”

Handley G. Pitts, a sixth-grader at Port St. Joe Elementary School won first place.

She was sponsored by Port St. Joe VFW Post and Auxiliary 10069.

In second place was Joshua Kime, a sixth-grader at Bay Haven Charter School.

She was sponsored by Emerald Coast VFW and Auxiliary 10555.

The third place winner was Sierra A. Czubaj, an eighth-grade student at Holy Nativity Episcopal School.

She was sponsored by Emerald Coast VFW and Auxiliary 10555.

Prizes for both contest of $100 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third, along with award certificates and medals will be presented following the District 17 meeting.

Winners of both contests advance to VFW state level competition against the 17 other Florida VFW districts.