VFW Post 8189 announces 2019-2020 Voice of Democracy Scholarship recipient

Front row, from left are Post 8189 Commander Jim Fuller, 1st place winner Brooke Cannella, contestant's father Tim Cannella, VFW District 7 Commander John Kieth. Back row, from left are Auxiliary 8189 Youth & Scholarship Chairman Joel Steele, Auxiliary 8189 member Kathy Ingall, Auxiliary 8189 Patriotic Instructor Mistie Pickering and Auxiliary 8189 President Roger Ingall.

Brooke Cannella, a Crystal River High School senior, was named the VFW Post 8189’s first-place winner of the 2019-2020 Voice of Democracy Scholarship program. This year’s Voice of Democracy theme was “What Makes America Great.” VFW Post 8189 and its Auxiliary were pleased to present a $150 check to Brooke for her efforts.

The Voice of Democracy competition provides high school students with the opportunity to speak out on freedom and democracy, and the program has been popular and successful since its beginning in 1947. They are proud to keep offering it to America’s young people.

The Voice of Democracy is a worldwide audio-essay competition that requires entrants to write and record a three-to-five minute essay on a patriotic-based theme. “What Makes America Great” was this year’s theme.

Hundreds of students participated in the competition this year. And if chosen as one of 53 finalists worldwide, Brooke would travel to Washington, D.C., and compete at the national level for the first-place prize of a $30,000 college scholarship.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) started the Voice of Democracy Scholarship program in 1947. The VFW became a national sponsor in the late 1950s and assumed sole responsibility for the program in 1961. The competition was created to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regard to democratic ideas and principles. Around 40,000 students participate in the competition each year and VFW awards more than $2.1 million in scholarships every year.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is the nation's largest and oldest major war veterans organization. Founded in 1899, the congressionally-chartered VFW is comprised entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. With more than 1.6 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in 6,200 Posts worldwide, the nonprofit veterans service organization is proud to proclaim “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS” than the VFW, which is dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website at www.VFW.org.

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