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Newtown VFW Names Patriot Pen Winners

The Newtown VFW Post #308 named its winners for the Patriot Pen essay contest during several recent presentations.

Last week, VFW Post #308 representatives also announced the winner of the Patriot Pen Voice of Democracy Award as Newtown High School senior Brittany Pearson. The Voice of Democracy scholarship program is an audio-essay contest for high school seniors. As the award winner in Newtown, Brittany’s entry will go on to the state level of the competition.

Brittany was given a plaque and pen in honor of her achievement by VFW Post #308 Commander James Rebman and VFW Post #308 Scholarships Awards Officer of the Day Donna Monteleone Randle.

The Patriot Pen program is open to students in sixth to eighth grade. The theme for this year’s Patriot Pen essay contest was, “What Patriotism Means to Me.” Reed Intermediate School sixth grader Quinn McAndrew was named the first place winner on Friday, December 13, when VFW Post #308 representatives and judges for this year’s contest in Newtown paid a surprise visit to his classroom.

Each sixth grader who submitted an essay received a certificate, but Commander Rebman waited to announce Quinn’s certificate until the end. Like Brittany, Quinn also received a handmade pen, created by a VFW Post #308 member, to mark his accomplishment.

Quinn’s parents, Chris and Christine McAndrew also surprised him during the event, stepping in just as he was announced as the winner. Quinn’s teacher Valarie Pagano-Hepburn read his essay after he was announced as the winner.

As the first place winner in Newtown, Quinn’s essay went on to be judged at the district level of the competition. He earned second place at the district level, and will receive a check award in January for that accomplishment.

According to a release from VFW Post #308, Quinn loves learning about history and reading. He also plays the keyboard, and he plays on the Newtown Soccer Club’s U12 Travel team.

Quinn has been a supporter of the American Heart Association with its Jump Rope for Heart program as it combined his love for athletics and helping others, according to the release.

During a separate presentation, two second place winners at Newtown Middle School were named. Eighth graders Jackie Seras and Jermane Anyoha tied for the second place title.

Brittany and Quinn were also honored during a meeting with First Selectman Pat Llodra later on Friday at the Newtown Municipal Center.

Further information about VFW Post #308 is available at www.vfwpost308.com and on its Facebook page “VFW Post 308 Newtown CT.”

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