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7th-grader to represent local VFW at National Patriot's Pen essay competition

Sat, Feb 1st 2020 07:00 am

Lewiston’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Downriver Post 7487 announced Simon Zawistowski will represent the local legion at a national competition.

VFW annually invites middle-schoolers to enter its Patriot’s Pen essay contest. More than 120,000 students participate each year, vying for a portion of over $900,000 in state and national awards.

The competition provides students with an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. The 2019-20 essay competition theme is “What Makes America Great.”

Each first-place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, while the national first-place winner earns $5,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

“Out of 120,000 young students that enter this competition, it is remarkable that Simon was able to advance to the national level and write a meaningful essay, representing our region,” VFW Downriver volunteer Vince Canosa said. “He is involved in this community and wrote about what was important to him. We are proud to have him represent this region.”

The 12-year-old Simon is a seventh-grade student at Lewiston-Porter Middle School who lives with his mother, Maria, and sister, Nina, in Youngstown. He enjoys excelling in his studies, running, biking, ski club and participating as an athlete on the wrestling team.

Simon is a member of Boy Scout Troop 824 where he has attained the rank of First Class Scout with a goal of one day becoming an Eagle Scout. He has been an active participant in the VFW’s recent Memorial Day observances.

Since 2018, Simon has been a carrier for The Sentinel, delivering it every Saturday morning. During the summer months, one can find Simon at the entrance to Artpark with a group of volunteers collecting money to benefit Community Missions and Heart, Love & Soul food pantries.

Canosa and Cmdr. Bill Justyk said VFW Downriver Post 7487 is excited for Simon and his family on this accomplishment.

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