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through 8th grade students write an essay discussing aspects of patriotism, were announced during an awards ceremony held at Vidalia Heritage Academy on December 7. According to VFW Ladies Auxiliary Youth Scholarship Chairwoman Sandra Harris, a total of 60 students from middle schools within Toombs County competed in the contest, but four – two boys and two girls – rose to the top.

“It is so encouraging that both boys and girls are taking part in writing – this is such an important topic and skill to develop, and I am proud of the young people in our area who are taking the initiative to do such,” Harris emphasized.

Vidalia Heritage Academy 6th grader Bonnie Davis took home the 1st place prize in the Patriot’s Pen competition. “She competed with 50 to 60 others from the 6th to 8th grade, and still came out on top – that’s truly impressive,” Harris commented.

In 2nd place was Brantley Black, whom Harris said was titled the “outstanding young spokesperson of the future” by the judges, who were impressed with his composition.

The 3rd place award was given to Noah Proenza and Georgia Braddy, who completely tied throughout the judging process. “The way the scoring is done – for two students to come up with the exact same score – is an anomaly. It’s incredible and extremely rare,” Harris added.

These winners were each given two scholarships — one from the Ladies Auxiliary and one from the local VFW. “I am so proud of these students, and hope to see more from them in the future,” Harris remarked.

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