Faith Academy of Marble Falls eighth-grader Halley Offutt (center-left) was awarded a certificate and a $250 check by VFW District 14 officials Feb. 17 for her first-place essay in the district-level Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. Giving her the prize was (left to right) District 14 post Commander Reece Carter, District 14 auxiliary President Kat Carter, and Post 10376 Trustee Jeffrey Zak. Staff photo by Brigid Cooley
An essay written by Faith Academy of Marble Falls eighth-grader Halley Offutt is advancing to the state level of the Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest held by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. A ceremony honoring Offutt was Thursday, Feb. 17, at Marble Falls VFW Post 10376, 1001 Veterans Ave.
The Patriot’s Pen contest is an annual youth scholarship program for the VFW at local, district, state, and national levels. Students from sixth through eighth grades participate by writing essays on patriotic themes.
The 2021-22 contest question was: How can I be a good American?
Offutt’s essay, which centered on showing others respect and doing small acts of kindness, won first place at the Marble Falls post in October 2021. She won again for District 14.
“It feels really special (to win),” Offutt said. “I put a lot of effort into writing it.”
Her essay is now headed to state. Monetary prizes are given to winners at all contest levels; national winners are awarded up to $5,000.
During the Feb. 17 ceremony, Offutt received a certificate and a $250 check. She was joined by her parents, grandparents, and members from both the Marble Falls and District 14 VFW posts.