Getting young people to express their feelings about patriotism is the purpose of the Patriotic Art Competition sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
For the last ten years, Billy Huddleston, Ladies Auxiliary VFW Post #10046 has been the chairperson of the local regional level Patriotic Art Competition, "When we first started out we didn't have much money to offer the winners, but through the years we've gotten it up to where we have pretty reasonable prizes for the top three winners from the four high schools," said Huddleston.
2nd Place winning entry by Brandi Danra of SoHi
The cash awards for 1st Place from each school are $100, 2nd $75, and 3rd $50. To the overall regional winner goes an additional $500 for 1st, 2nd $300 and 3rd $150. Huddleston believes that over the past decade there has been a renaissance of sorts in or young peoples feelings and artful expressions of patriotism, "I think the children today have gone through a lot more and have gained an appreciation for our history as well, and that is reflected in what they are feeling in their art," added Huddleston.
3rd Place entry by Emily Bevzin of Skyview
For the rest of the month, all the regional placing entries will be on display at the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center. 1st Place winner from Soldotna High School was Kaitlin Vadla, Skyview, Karalee Martin, and at Kenai Kaitlin Walker. Taking overall regional 1st Place honors and advancing to the State VFW competition was SoHi Senior Kaitlin Vadla. "I drew a picture of the Statue of Liberty looking over two hands clasped in union with a flag woven in the background with other symbols of what patriotism means to me. I was thinking of what it meant to serve your country through the VFW and wars uniting us in friendship. I'm grateful for those who have gone before me and I'm very grateful to be able to participate in a competition like this sponsored by the VFW," said Vadla. If her piece is selected as the State winner she will win additional cash prizes and advance along with 51 other State and District of Colombia winners to the national VFW Patriotic Art competition, and receive a trip to Washington D.C. compliments of the VFW.
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