Police Officer Tony Abel shows his award; to his right are VFW Post Commander Derick Segurson and EPD Acting Chief Bob Huebler. Photo provided by VFW Post 1949

Police Officer Tony Abel shows his award; to his right are VFW Post Commander Derick Segurson and EPD Acting Chief Bob Huebler. Photo provided by VFW Post 1949

Essay winners, first responder honored by Enumclaw VFW

Gabrielle DeMarco of Enumclaw High School won the Voice of Democracy award, while Keyera Huyler of Enumclaw Middle School won the Patriots Pen contest.

Members of Enumclaw Post 1949 Veterans of Foreign Wars recognized student winners of two essay contests and honored one of the community’s first responders during a Jan. 25 meeting.

Both the Voice of Democracy and Patriots Pen contests are national scholarship programs that encourage middle school and high school students to better understand their country. This year’s Voice of Democracy theme was “American History: Our hope for the future” and the Patriots Pen theme was “America’s gift to my generation.”

Voice of Democracy winners were sophomore Gabrielle DeMarco of Enumclaw High School, first place; Zachary Zydek a senior at Enumclaw High, second place; and Carson Weisberg, a senior at Tahoma High School, third place.

Winners of the Patriots Pen contest were Keyera Huyler, an eighth-grader at Enumclaw Middle School, first place; Natalie DeMarco, an EMS sixth-grader, second place; and Ian Tobius, an eighth-grader at Thunder Mountain Middle School, third place.

Each first-place winner gave an oral presentation of their winning essay at the VFW meeting. Each received a medal, plaque and a check and each is now entered into VFW district competition. District winners move on to state recognition and state winners move on to national competition.

A student winning at all levels can obtain up to $30,000 in scholarships.

The VFW conducts a national recognition of first responders who have been recommended by their department heads for providing exceptional service to their community.

The Enumclaw VFW Post awarded its Law Enforcement Officer Award to Tony Abel of the Enumclaw Police Department. The officer has more than 18 years of law enforcement experience, the last 10 of those with Enumclaw. He was recognized for his leadership, mentoring, community contact work and life-saving efforts.

The award was presented by acting EPD Chief Bob Huebler and Post Commander Derick Segurson. Abel was awarded a plaque and a check and is now entered into the VFW district program.

Gabrielle DeMarco receiving her award.

Gabrielle DeMarco receiving her award.

Keyera Huyler receiving her award.

Keyera Huyler receiving her award.

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