The VFW and auxiliary sponsor the scholarship program.
SEBRING -- District Eight Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary held its Voice of Democracy awards banquet March 13 at VFW 6730 Cross of Malta post home.
The Voice of Democracy is an audio-essay contest sponsored by the VFW and auxiliary as a youth scholarship program.
This year's theme was "Celebrating Our Veterans' Service."
There were 27 entries representing the district, and the top winners are as follows:
UFirst place -- Max Altman, a senior at Chaney High School, sponsored by Cornersburg VFW Post 9947.
USecond place -- Joshua Putnam, a sophomore at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, sponsored by VFW Post 8975 and Auxiliary.
UThird place -- Loren E. Wearsch, a senior at Mathews High School, sponsored by Vienna VFW Post 3521.
UFourth place -- Tracy Meng, a junior at Copley High School, sponsored by Copley VFW Post 7971 and Auxiliary.
UFifth place -- Ashleigh Welko, a senior at Our Lady of the Elms, sponsored by Copley VFW Post 7971 and Auxiliary.
USixth place -- Craig J. Clemson, a junior at Maplewood High School, sponsored by Warren VFW Post 1090 and Auxiliary.
District Voice of Democracy chairpersons Paul Thomas and Anna McGrath (VFW 1090 Auxiliary) presented the awards. The sophomore and junior students will be eligible to enter the 2005-2006 Voice of Democracy contest.
Among those attending the banquet were Sandra Smith Graves of VFW 6488 Auxiliary and president of District Eight; Edith Lowden, VFW 8487 Auxiliary and District Eight junior vice president; Warrine Yerkey, VFW 8487 Auxiliary and District Eight chaplain; Evelyn Anderson, president of VFW 8975 Auxiliary; and Debra Daily, president of VFW 7971 Auxiliary.
The Voice of Democracy format requires the contestants to write and record a three- to five-minute essay on an audiocassette. Each year's theme is based on some aspect of democracy. Any high-school student is eligible to participate. Scholarships and financial awards are available at the local, district, state and national levels.