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VFW Post 8577 Auxiliary announce winners of student patriotic art awards



Cove Leader-Press

Students from grades 9-12 demonstrated both their patriotism and their artistic sides when they competed in the Young American Creative Patriotic Art Awards held by the Veterans of Foreign War Auxiliary of Post 8577.

This year’s annual competition featured art by 28 talented teenagers. Saturday afternoon VFW Post 8577 held an awards ceremony which named the three winners of the local competition. Two members of the Five Hills Art Guild served as judges for the competition.

Bailey Reno won first place in the competition and received $150. Skyler Ahlers won second place and received $125. Nicole Thorpe won third place and received $100.

Aside from having a patriotic theme, the competitors had a few other requirements. For example, art had to be on either paper or canvas. Sculptures and digital art were not allowed. Competitors could use water color, pencil, pastel, charcoal, tempera, crayon, acrylic, pen-and-ink, or oils. The art could not be smaller than 8" x 10" nor larger than 18" x 24".

The local competition was part of the larger VFW Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Awards. Reno, the first place winner from Copperas Cove’s VFW Auxiliary event will move on to compete at the district level. Eventually, the winners for each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia will compete at the national level for the opportunity to win up to a $10,000 scholarship.

I’m really proud of what they did,” said CCHS art teacher Jeanne Lizama, who is Reno's teacher. “I love watching the kids do their art. And what they do totally amazes me.”

Lizama added that doing the patriotic pieces helps ground her students, and it reminds them about what makes America great. She said it has an especially great impact on her female students who might not have the same liberties that they may take for granted if they lived in another country. Lizama said, being in a military town, many of the students were able to pay tribute to somebody in the military with their art. 17 of her students entered the competition.

Bonnie L. Henderson, the president of the VFW Auxiliary, said that the main reason their VFW does the event is to promote patriotism. Henderson said she believes creating the artwork helps the teenagers to appreciate their freedom and their country a little bit more. She added that they want to encourage the kids, artists or not, and that’s why they make sure to publicize their event.

I think it’s essential for the youth to know we care about them. That they are our future. This gives them a way to express their patriotism…The biggest thing is that we try to promote patriotism,” said Karen Kaylor, the Senior Vice for the Auxiliary and the publicity chairman. “Each kid has their own view of what patriotism is.”

Every student wrote down on the back of their piece what their artwork meant to them

Breeze Scott created a piece meant to honor women in the military. She wrote, “Patriotism to me is being loyal and supporting the United States. My drawing honors the women who have supported and fought for our country. When you look into her eyes they show the passion that the women who were brave enough to fight, and protect the United States has. When it is my time to help the United States I hope that I can be as brave and supporting as the women my drawing represents.”


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