News Release
Homer CCSD 33C
Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler
Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High
Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager | 708-226-7628
For Immediate Release:
March 4, 2016
Hadley Middle School student wins Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest
A Hadley Middle School student was honored Friday (March 4) for winning the VFW-sponsored youth essay contest Patriot’s Pen.
The student, a sixth-grader at Hadley, was surprised with a special visit from the VFW Auxiliary to Lockport Post 5788.
“We see in you young Americans who express themselves well,” said Lori Toscano, the Auxiliary’s Americanism Chairman.
She, along with Auxiliary President Karen Szynkowski and Auxiliary Junior Vice President Annette Eichorst, presented the contest winner with a certificate and medal.
One hundred and thirty 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students from the Lockport Township area entered the contest this past fall by writing about “What Freedom Means to Me.”
A committee of VFW members read each essay from the 13 public and private schools and selected their favorite based on the student’s knowledge of this year’s theme (“What Freedom Means to Me”), how well they developed the theme and the clarity of their message.
The winning essay had judges hooked from the first paragraph. It read, “Freedom: The one word that describes our whole country. Freedom is so much more than a seven letter word; it’s a way of life. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to wear the clothes we want, eat the foods we like, and much more.”
Each entry had to be at least 300 typewritten words but no more than 400.
Organizers say they were impressed with each and every one.
“We loved every single entry,” said Toscano, explaining how judges were most impressed with the level of introspection students displayed in their essays as well as their personal points of view.
They congratulated each student who entered the contest and thanked them for participating.
They also thanked Hadley Middle School social worker Mary Beth Rebollar who has worked closely with the VFW Auxiliary through the years and organized the school’s annual Veterans Day program as well as its collection efforts for troops stationed overseas.
“We heard a very special lady is retiring,” said Toscano, as she called Rebollar up to the front of the room to accept a certificate from the VFW Auxiliary to Lockport Post 5788.
“She has helped us immensely,” Toscano told students.
Rebollar is retiring at the end of the school year.
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