By Stephen Boylan, Director of Marketing
(From left to right) Dan Cole, Anna Swartout, Hannah Crum, Sydney Kightlinger, Lexie Erdos, Don Powell
“What is the American Legion and what does it do as an organization?” This was the topic of the 80th Annual American Legion Essay Contest. On Feb. 17, Dan Cole and Don Powell, Commander and Chief Financial Officer of Saegertown Legion Post 205 came to Saegertown High School to present awards to four winners, senior Lexie Erdos, first place, and sophomore runners-up Sydney Kightlinger, Hannah Crum, and Anna Swartout.
Saegertown Legion has been actively involved in the essay contest for the past several years. “As American Legionnaires, we fully believe that education is the cornerstone upon which the future of America is built. Our Essay Scholarship Contest gives the students an opportunity to showcase their talents and abilities in English,” said Cole.
The essays were judged by English teachers at Saegertown, and the final selection of winners was made by the board of Post 205.
All 53 students from Saegertown who entered the essay contest researched the American Legion before beginning their writing endeavor. “I really enjoyed researching and writing the essay. I also never realized how much the Legion does on the local and national level,” said runner up Sydney Kightlinger.
The first place essay, written by Erdos, moved on to district level judging, and Cole returned to Saegertown on March 5 to give her an additional award for her efforts. Erdos’ essay did not advance to interdistrict competition. “Writing is a highly underappreciated talent, and it was nice to see it get some recognition,” Erdos said.
Mrs. Stacey Hetrick, who supervised the Saegertown writers, said, “It was amazing all the things we learned about the Legion. As a result of this essay contest, we now have students attending Keystone Boys and Girls State this year. We are incredibly thankful for all the Legion does for students.”