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Two students win Voice of Democracy speech contest at VFW/Ladies Auxiliary post

Veterans of Foreign Wars and Ladies Auxiliary Post 9946 Atwater held their annual holiday potluck dinner Dec. 18. Also in attendance were the winners of the Voice of Democracy, who received their awards and gave their winning speeches to those assembled, including their families.

The Voice of Democracy is an annual speech competition sponsored by the VFW and the Ladies Auxiliary providing opportunities for students from ninth to 12th grades to win scholarship money. Entrants to this year's competition addressed the question, "Is there pride serving in the military?"

Atwater High School Decathalon coach Tina Jacobs encouraged her members to participate in the three-minute-speech competition. Judges Glen Haynes, commander, Debbie Sullivan, Ladies Auxiliary president, Del Scoggins and Chris Martin, all from VFW Post 9946, narrowed the 23 entrants to a first-place tie between junior Adrian Hernandez and freshman Karina Garcia. Students prepared and delivered their speeches to Atwater High School teacher and Post 9946 Ladies Auxiliary member Heather Doughery.

Hernandez's and Garcia's speeches have been sent to be judged at the district level. If they are again chosen, they will compete at the state level.

For more information, please contact Heather Dougherty at (209) 628-5474.