MANASQUAN — Families gathered at The Salty Whale on Saturday afternoon for Manasquan VFW Post 1838’s annual Citizenship Awards Luncheon, celebrating students and members of the local communities.
The awards were presented by post Commander John Murphy and Senior Vice Commander Tom Crowley.
The post recognized the winners of its annual Patriot’s Pen written essay contest. The theme of this year’s contest, which is open to middle school students, was “What is patriotism to me?”
Brandon Grossman, of Sea Girt, came in first place followed by Chloe Scardino, of Wall, in second and Dylan Thomas, of Spring Lake, in third. All three recipients are students at St. Catharine School in Spring Lake.
The VFW also sponsors an audio-essay contest for high school students called Voice of Democracy. This year’s theme was, “Is this the country the Founders envisioned?”
Taina Montoya, of Belmar, came in first place followed by Rebekah Fishoff, of Spring Lake, in second and Emmanuel Shim, of Spring Lake Heights, in third. All three winners are students at Manasquan High School.
Following the academic awards were the post’s citizenship awards, which honor exemplary citizens of the communities that the post covers. Mr. Crowley said that the recipients were a “thrilling group of people to look at this year.”
The post recognized Manasquan First Aid Squad Capt. Andy Mills as its First Responder of the Year; Charles Bass of the Manasquan Fire Department as Firefighter of the Year; John Clayton of the Wall Township Police Department as Dispatcher of the Year; Tom White of the Belmar Police Department as Officer of the Year; Matthew Rose, of Manasquan, as Scout of the Year; Michele Sayre of Manasquan Elementary School as Teacher of the Year; and Manasquan Councilman Jeff Lee as Citizen of the Year.
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