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Local students win National Anthem singing contest

VFW Post 2426 sponsored a special day for area veterans and the community on Sept. 23 with a free barbecue and kids’ activities.

The post and ladies auxiliary held a Family Fun Festival that included a bounce house, face painting, games, candy walk game and popcorn. Attendees were encouraged to make cards and color pages for the nation’s soldiers who are now serving overseas. The auxiliary also had free school supplies and clothing items available.

Later in the afternoon, the auxiliary-sponsored National Anthem Singing Contest winners were announced. Those winners received cash prizes and certificates of appreciation for their patriotism and effort in entering the competition. Prizes included $50 for first place, $25 for second and $15 for third. Fourth and fifth places received $5. The contest was open to students in two categories, third through fifth grades and then sixth through eighth grades.

Winners for third through fifth grade included Matti Griffin, first; Molli Reid, second; Jaxon Smith, third; Emma LaBrot, fourth; and Abigail Kahn, fifth. Participants included Presleigh Carrow, Landon DeClue, Sophia Smith, Emma Roper, Cencio Bonvivino, Abbi Oder, Lilly Oreste, Kailey Williams, Madison Wells, Emma Branham, Wyatt Roth, Jewel Williams and Carly Stevens. First-place winner Matti Griffin sang the National Anthem at 2 p.m., just before the VFW conducted its annual POW/MIA ceremony.

The sixth through eighth grade winners included Alivia Simily, first place; Katlyn Hartley, second; Madalyn Swift, third; Grace Barton, fourth; and Lillian Roth, fifth. Participants included Kirsten Jarrett, Paetyn Swiney, Emma Oreste and Trinity Dalton. The winner of this division, Alivia Simily, will perform the National Anthem at the post’s annual Voice of Democracy and Patriot Pen pizza party in Desloge in March.

Alivia Simily poses with Shirley Brinkley, youth activities chairman for the Desloge VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

Alivia Simily poses with Shirley Brinkley, youth activities chairman for the Desloge VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

Matti Griffin poses with Shirley Brinkley, youth activities chairman for the Desloge VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

Matti Griffin poses with Shirley Brinkley, youth activities chairman for the Desloge VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

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