High school freshman Maria Burns wins VFW-sponsored district-level essay contest

PHOTO COURTESY OF SALLY ANN MARSON - Pictured is Post 1440 Commander Jayson Hester, Maria Burns and VFW Auxiliary member Sherry Belden.Maria Burns, a homeschooled ninth-grader from Columbia City, was recognized as the Voice of Democracy essay contest district winner by the St. Helens Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1440 and the VFW Auxiliary Unit on Monday, Dec. 11. Burns will now compete with 12 other district winners at the state level in January for a chance to attend the national awards. Each level of the essay contest corresponds with a varying scholarship amount as well. Burns previously won post-, district- and state-level awards in the middle school version of the essay contest, Patriot's Pen.

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