Voice of Democracy
The VFW No. 2118 Post oversees the 9th-12th graders that participate in the oral/essay scholarship. Each student writes a 3 -5 minute essay that is then orated and submitted as their entry. Brookings High School along with nine other surrounding schools had possible entrants to the scholarship competition. The essay topic this year was: “Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?”
Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 regulations, the state winners will not be going to Washington, D.C., for the announcement. The winners and the presentation took place on the VFW Facebook page. The national winner received a $30,000 scholarship to his/her choice of college or vocational school.
Erin Stoeckig, a high school junior from Mayo High School in Rochester, Minnesota, was named the 2020-2021 Voice of Democracy first place winner. Erin’s speech on the theme, “Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?” won her a $30,000 college scholarship.
This year’s South Dakota scholar representative is Michelle Soukop, from District 7.
Patriot’s Pen Scholarship
Sixth- through eighth-grade students are given the opportunity to compete for essay honors.
The written essay, “What is Patriotism to Me,” is chosen by the VFW National Commander. This scholarship requires a 300-400 word written essay.
The Brookings County schools and home schooled students are all eligible to compete for scholarships.
The student essays are judged by a panel of three judges with criteria lists provided by national headquarters.
The first place winner is Taya Haselhorst, Mickleson Middle School, Adain Salinas, Mickelson Middle School, placed second and Maya Jensen, Elkton Middle School placed third.
Because the national rules stipulate that one essay for every 15 entries may be entered into District competition, both Taya’s and Adain’s entries were submitted.,
The state winner, Bennett Gordon, from District No. 10, represened South Dakota at the national competition in Washington DC. The national winner of the $5000 scholarship was presented April 1.
Wyatt Perkins, a sixth-grade home school student from Mayville, North Dakota, was named the 2020-2021 Patriot’s Pen first place winner. His essay on the theme, “What is Patriotism to Me?” won him a $5,000 award. Wyatt was sponsored by VFW Post 4221 in Portland, North Dakota.
Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America is a nationally recognized program honoring our veterans during the holiday season.
Each year wreaths are available for purchase by the public. Each wreath is placed at the grave of a veteran.
The wreath can be designated for a particular veteran or given as a gift to a veteran in one of the national cemeteries.
This year, the Brookings No. 2118 VFW and VFW Auxiliary purchased four wreaths and placed them at the entries of the Greenwood Cemetery and the First Lutheran Cemetery.