Post by Category : VFW Programs

Chapel Hill VFW Teacher of the Year

C. V. Cummings Chapel Hill Post 9100 is very pleased to announce our 2018 awardee of the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.  We have selected Ms. Robin McMahon, Smith Middle  School, Chapel Hill.  As our local winner, Ms. McMahon was awarded $100 and local post support for her “NC to Normandy 2019” project.


Her nominating officer wrote, “The headline in the Smith Middle School newsletter said it all. It proclaimed “Veterans Day weekend 2018 will long be remembered by six Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools students as the official launch of their “NC to Normandy 2019” campaign to bring two World War II veterans back to Normandy, France, for the 75th Commemoration Ceremonies next June.”


Yes, Robin McMahon, a local French teacher has formed another group of current and former students for a trip to Normandy and Belgium. The students will escort two World War II veterans who served in Europe on a journey to the beaches of Normandy and the D-Day battle zones. They will stay with local French and Belgium families and relive their wartime experience, but this time as honored guests.


This is not the first trip for Robin McMahon and her students. It is the third trip that I have had the pleasure of personally supporting through our local Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapel Hill Post 9100. Several of our members have gone to France as part of her program. What makes Ms. McMahon’s efforts so very unique is that she does not treat the event as a week away from school on a field trip. It is more than a student adventure.


She insists that her students plan, fund, and take the trip as a special project that honors others and involves veterans. They are required to raise all funds needed—at least $20,000. The students work with private groups, veterans groups, and through the media to raise the money. They plan every part of the trip with the focus on the veterans’ and their experience. Finally, they report on their trip by creating a formal video project that documents the journey from concept to ‘mission accomplished’.”


The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 9100, is a strong advocate of Ms. McMahon and her students.  We look forward to assisting her and helping with project funding.

VFW Local Contest Winners Announced

Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy contests for North Carolina and National competitions are ongoing, but local winners for Chapel Hill Post 9100 and VFW District 6 have been announced.


The local Post 9100 winners are:


Patriot’s Pen – Ashlyn L Oakley 

Voice of Democracy – Amelia Solum


Both local contest winners will receive a $100 cash scholarship.


2018-2019 District Patriot Pen Contest winners are as follows:


   First Place – Rachel Manning – Post 7316 Yanceyville
   Second Place – David Campbell – Post 2417 Henderson
   Third Place – Catherine Buck – Post 1920 Mebane
District judging was done by four educators who have classroom experience.
Voice of Democracy District winner announcement was released today, Dec 5th.  They are:
   1st – – Frederick Russell, Jr – Durham Post 2740 
   2nd – – Kyrie Coverson – Mebane Post 1920 
   3rd – – Melanie Slaton – Henderson Post 2417

Youth Scholarships Available

Every year thousands of dollars are given to students by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Just think about it.  Your child could be the recipient of a $30,000 college scholarship just for writing an essay that is orally presented.


Chapel Hill students have frequently taken North Carolina top honors and some have gone on to the national competition.


Veterans of Foreign Wars scholarships are available now, but you must enter one of two national contests to have a chance to win.  Local winners receive an award certificate and a cash prize.  All local first place winners receive $100 and go on to judging in the district and state competition and one winner from each contest represent the VFW Department of North Carolina in the national competition. But remember, you have to enter to win!  Learn more


Chapel Hill contestants did quite well in the 2017-18 competitions.  Winners were:

  • Voice of Democracy, Amelia Solum.  She won Chapel Hill area, won District competition, and then went to the state-wide competition.
  • Patriot’s Pen, Summer Marold.  She also won Chapel Hill area, then won the District competition, and finally participated in the state-wide competition.



Yanceyville Receives National VFW Award

Yanceyville VFW Post 7316 received the VFW National Outstanding Community Service Award, along with 61 other posts. Post 7316 was the only North Carolina Post to receive the award: there are about 6400 VFW posts across the country and some foreign posts as well. The awards were given out at a luncheon where the Nation Commander-In-Chief spoke.


Post 7316 was recognized because of all the things done for the community in Caswell County by the local VFW Post. A major, continuing local project is the design and construction of 28 ramps for the elderly, handicapped, and Veterans built in 18 months. Keith Newcomer is the post member that has chaired the ramp project and he has been a tremendous help.


The post also does Veteran funerals, co-sponsor Memorial Day and Veterans Day, several members deliver Meals on Wheels, do the colors at high school graduation, several members are also on the committee to build a County Veteran’s Memorial also. The post also works with the middle school and high school with the Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy essay contests and many small things to make our community better, we help promote patriotism across Caswell County.


Also at the VFW National Convention in Kansas City was Trace Adkins in concert. Convention speakers for the convention included Harris Faulkner from Fox News, Lt. Colonel Ollie North-National Rifle Association President, and the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.


After the awards luncheon and business sessions on Tuesday Keith Newcomer and Post 7316 Commander Fred Smith, along with their wives started the journey home. They were beaming with pride as they were very proud to receive the award for their Yanceyville post. Commander Fred Smith commented, “We are a small post, but we are proud to work in our community to make our community better.”


In addition to the plaque given to the post, a road sign was also given. The Post will soon purchase four more signs from the National VFW Store, as the Town of Yanceyville has agreed to let Post 7316 install one at each gateway into town. The sign project will take a couple of months to complete. So, keep your eyes when you come thru Yanceyville. Look for them as you enter the town and check out the sign.

Bill Melega – America in WW I

William Melega, a National Award Recipient of the VFW Teacher of the Year Award, has a lecture series and it is sponsored by the Chapel Hill PTA at the Chapel Hill Varsity Theater.
The first of the series of ten presentations is Thursday, Oct 19th.  Reception at 6:00 pm and Lecture at 7:00 pm.  
The first lecture commemorates the 100th Anniversary of America’s entrance into the First World War.  Cost is $25, $30 at the door.  A portion of the ticket cost goes to the PTSA and The Wounded Warrior Project.  
Elmer Hughes will attend with his son as a special guest of the PTA and William Melega.
Download the event flyer and schedule of future events.  Click Here.

VFW Scholarship Competitions Now Open – $3.3 Mil Awarded

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is now accepting entries into its 2017-18 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen youth scholarship competitions. The announcement comes after students from across the globe recently took home their share of more than $3.3 million in scholarships and awards from last year’s competitions.


The VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions are dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, and to help foster patriotism among today’s youth. Students are required to submit an oral or written essay in response to a question or statement on a subject which prompts them to consider how American history and democratic ideals and principles apply to their lives.


This year’s Voice of Democracy theme asks high school students to describe, “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” Voice of Democracy is an audio-essay competition open to students in grades 9-12. The national winner is presented the $30,000, T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship award. More than 46,000 high school students competed in last year’s competition.


The Patriot’s Pen writing competition is open to students in grades 6-8. This year, students are asked to reflect on the statement, “America’s Gift to My Generation.” The national winner will receive a $5,000 award. More than 122,000 middle and junior high school students competed in last year’s competition. Both national awards will be presented during the 2018 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., in March.


Student participants are asked to submit their entry (along with a completed entry form) to Chapel Hill Post 9100 your local host VFW Post. Chapel Hill accepts entries from Chapel Hill and surrounding area. The deadline for student entries in both contests is October 31, 2017.



Local Student Wins Post and District Competition

We are very proud to announce that our local and district Patriot’s Pen Competition is now complete.  The Chapel Hill winner of the essay contest is Miss Amelia J. Solum.  Miss Solum is a resident of Chapel Hill and is a student at McDougle Middle School.


As our Post’s First Place winner, Miss Solum will receive a special certificate of recognition and a cash scholarship award of $100.  In addition, Amelia will join the local veterans for dinner and have an opportunity to read her winning essay to them.  


The topic of this year’s contest is “The  America I Believe In.”  Miss Solum was entered into district finals and took FIRST PLACE for District 6.  Her essay is now being judged in a state-wide competition with winners soon to be announced.  The state winner will compete in a Veterans of Foreign Wars National contest.


The Patriot’s Pen contest is an annual contest and is open to students in the 6th through 8th grade.  We encourage all students, including home schooled students, to compete.  Chapel Hill has sponsored students that have won district and state contests.  Why not consider entering in the Fall?

Voice of Democracy Winner Announced

We have been holding back on announcing local winners for post essay and speech contests until after the district level winners were selected.  That has happened and we now can proudly announce our Chapel Hill Voice of Democracy winner.


It is Miss Savannah R. Dowden of Chapel Hill.  Savannah is a student of Carrboro High School.  As the Chapel Hill Post 9100 winner, the post is hosting her and her family at their January 3rd meeting at the American Legion Post Home in Chapel Hill. 


Miss Dowden will join the post members for dinner and will present her winning oral essay on My Responsibility to America.  Miss Dowden will receive a cash prize of $100 and competed in district competition in December.

District Contest Winners Announced

District 6 is very proud to announce district competition winners for both the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen Contests for 2017.  The winners and their sponsoring  posts are:



Voice of Democracy


1st Place    Laura Jones          Mebane  Post  1920

2nd Place   Michael Slaton      Henderson Post    2417

3rd  Place   Litao Tu                Durham Post  2740






Patriot’s Pen


1st place    Amelia J Solum            Chapel Hill  Post 9100

2nd place   Maggie  McLean Bass   Butner Post   10777

3rd place   Aaren  C Capilitan         Durham  2740


District winners receive a certificate and a small award.  All first place winners will now compete in a state-wide competition and the winning contestants will compete in the National Finals.  We extend our congratulations to all winners and look forward to one or more  winning state and national recognition.

Voice of Democracy Scholarships


Chapel Hill Post 9100 is now accepting college scholarship applications for the Voice of Democracy contest.  The top award is $30,000 and there are more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives.  It only requires a student to compete by writing and recording an audio essay on an annual patriotic theme.  Learn more


A famous name is associated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel hill, WCHL Radio Chapel Hill, and the Voice of Democracy.  It is Charles Kuralt.  A young man of about 14 tried his hand at public speaking and won the 1948 Voice of Democracy competition.  It was the second year of the contest and he decided to enter in Charlotte. The rest is history.  Charles went on to local radio, college, more radio, our local radio station and then to television.  He is probably best known for his CBS series on the Evening News with Walter Cronkite, On the Road with Charles Kuralt.


Charles Kuralt often spoke of the VFW Voice of Democracy contest and how it influenced him to speak.  Maybe someone from Chapel Hill will enter this year and win the national competition.  It can happen and almost did a few years back when our winner competed in Washington, DC.  We were very proud of him.


So, if you are a parent, teacher, relative or friend of someone that shows speaking talent, tell them about the Voice of Democracy scholarship.  More information about our local entry process can be found here.


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