VFW Post 4031 conducted it annual Youth Scholarship Programs starting on April 1st, 2022 and ending October 31st, 2022. These scholarship programs were comprised of two different competitions. The first is called Patriot's Pen and is open to students in grades 6 through 8. Patriot's Pen consisted of a written 300 - 500 word essay which this year was entitled "My Pledge to Veterans." The second competition is called The Voice of Democracy and consisted of an audio essay entitled "Why is the Veteran Important".
The Post received only three entries to these two competitions, which was extremely disappointing. However, the disappointment was short-lived because the entries were of extremely high quality.
The judging of these scholarship entries occurred on November 4th. The judges were all members of the La Plata County community, who very willingly volunteered their time. The judges were La Plata County Manager Chuck Stevens, County Commissioners Clyde Church, Marsha Porter-Norton, and Matt Salka, Wells Group Relators Kelli Stanley, Alyse Spencer, and Christine Serwe, Chamber of Commerce representative Hannah Winkler, and private citizens John Betka, Sheryl Betka, Bob Griffith, and Lynn Griffith. The judges were hosted to a lunch sponsored by Serious Texas BBQ. Post 4031 cannot thank the judges enough for the time they spent to support our scholarship program.
At the Veterans Benefit Breakfast held on December 4th the winners of VFW Post 4031's scholarship winners were announced. The winner of the Patriot's Pen competition is Daxtin Kunch of Durango. The second place winner of the Voice of Democracy scholarship contest is Adi Hooks of Bayfield, CO. The first place winner of the Voice of Democracy competition is Kaleah Bartlett. All were awarded a Certificate, and a Medal. The two winners were also presented with a check that will help support their funding their higher education goals
Daxtin Kunch also has won the VFW District 12 (Southwest Colorado) level of competition and has been entered in the State of Colorado scholarship contest.