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THE WINNERS IN the Clarence Hoyt VFW Auxiliary’s recent patriotic essay contest included, from the left, Michael Wagner, contest coordinator Henrietta Phelps, Erin Slaver, Pranali Trevedi, Liberty English teacher Glenn Spielmann and Auxiliary President Jill Devery.

Liberty VFW Auxiliary Announces
Winners of Annual Essay Contest

By Dan Hust
LIBERTY —February 13, 2001 - Held appropriately enough in the Clarence Hoyt VFW Post #9217 Hall’s lower floor in Liberty, the VFW’s Ladies Auxiliary proudly listened with VFW members and parents to the patriotic speeches of several Liberty Central School students on Thursday night, February 8.
In an annual contest conducted in cooperation with Liberty Middle School English teacher Glenn Spielmann, the auxiliary announced and awarded the winners after their speeches concluded.
First-place awardee Erin Slaver, a 13-year-old seventh-grader, used the essay contest’s theme of “What Does It Mean to Be Patriotic?” to delve into the actions of “responsible citizens” (i.e., voting, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, obeying the laws), the sacrifices of veterans (including the participation of her grandfather, Abe Kleinman, as a radio operator in World War II) and the celebrations of patriotic holidays.
Coming in at second, 13-year-old eighth-grader Michael Wagner spoke of service in the armed forces, of learning and knowing the characteristics of America, the history of patriotism, and truly having love and passion for one’s country.
Third-place winner Pranali Trevedi, a 13-year-old seventh-grader, wrote about respecting, honoring, loving and taking pride in the United States of America. She said more people should know and understand the pledge to the flag, not just recite it, and that veterans should be honored, laws should be obeyed and rights should be respected.
“Other countries don’t have this luxury,” she remarked.
“It’s so nice for you to take the time to remember what our veterans did and what they fought for,” said Auxiliary President Jill Devery to the winners once their speeches were completed. “It’s wonderful.”
Devery and auxiliary member/ contest coordinator Henrietta Phelps handed out the awards, which included certificates and checks for $25, $15 and $10 to the first, second and third place winners, respectively.
Phelps said approximately 140 young people participated.
“And we’re proud of all of them,” she added.

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