The Second District VFW and its Auxiliary met on Saturday, Jan. 7 at the American Legion clubrooms in Montgomery.
Honored guests included Department of Minnesota Representative and Senior Vice Commander Dan Meyer; Department Judge Advocate Ed Keogh; Department Auxiliary Senior Vice President Dave Scofield; and National Auxiliary Councilmember for Area E Frankie Bill.
District Commander Leon Grack presided over the joint meeting, where district contest winners were announced for several competitions, as well as the District Buddy Poppy Display contest.
Voice of Democracy oral essay competition winners were:
First place – Martha Price, 11th grade, Mapleton VFW Post 5338
Second place – Lauren Zanto, 11th grade, Prior Lake VFW Post 6208
Third place – Madeline Davey, 12th grade, Chaska VFW Post 1791
Fourth place — Addison Hage, 10th grade, New Ulm VFW Post 1648
Patriot’s Pen written essay competition winners were:
First place – Chase Walgrave, 8th grade, Prior Lake VFW Post 6208
Second place – Raina Schroeder, 7th grade, Prior Lake Post 6208
Third place – Aliya DeWilde, 8th grade, Farmington VFW Post 7662
Fourth place – Celeste Mochama, 6th grade, Rosemount VFW Post 9433
The first place winners in both contests advance to the Department of Minnesota (state) competition at the Mid-Winter Conference, Jan. 13-15 in Brooklyn Park.
The District Teacher of the Year, Grades K-5 was Veronica Ransom, Prior Lake VFW Post 6280. She is a two-time winner. Grades 6-8 winner was Christine Trcka, Montgomery VFW Post 5340. There were no entries for grades 9-12.
Public Servants of the year who were also recognized were:
911 Dispatcher – Melanie Nelson, Le Sueur County, Montgomery VFW Post 5340
Law Enforcement Officer – Joshua Gladis, Le Sueur, Le Sueur VFW Post 4297
Firefighter – Andrew Beck, Burnsville, Burnsville VFW Post 5833
EMT/Paramedic – Tom Svihel, Le Sueur, Le Sueur VFW Post 5297
Buddy Poppy Display Contest winners were:
• Category 1 – Public Promotion of Poppy Campaign – no entries
• Category 2 — Memorial or Inspirational Display
First place – VFW Post 295 South St. Paul
Second place – VFW Post 1791 Chaska
• Category 3 – Artistic or Decorative use of Poppies
First place – VFW Post 5340 Montgomery
All poppy display contest winners are eligible for the Department of Minnesota (state) competition to be held at the Mid-Winter Conference, regardless of placement at the district level.