VFW Post 1638 Auxiliary of Merrill presented awards Monday to the local winners in the 2018 Patriotic Art contest.
The top three places in the local judging went to Merrill High School juniors. Bailey Iwen placed first, and was awarded $100. Her artwork, titled “Waiting,” has been forwarded for judging at the state level. A win at state would send Iwen to the national competition, where the top prize is a $10,000 scholarship.
Placing second was Kaitlyn Arndt ($75 award) and Elizabeth Schmidt was third ($50 award).
Post 1638 also presents Post Choice awards. Voted on by members of the Post, those awards went to Iwen, first; Schmidt, second; Arndt, third; Olivia Bauman, fourth; and Eve Akey, fifth. A total of $260 in prize money was given out along with the awards.
Merrill has a reputation of strong entries in the state Patriotic Art contest, noted local contest coordinator Tracy Jopek. Merrill has had four students win the state competition, with two of them placing in the top 10 at nationals.
Post 1638 has sold prints of the winners’ artwork to raise money to help fund the organization’s programs.
“Merrill is known in the state and the nation for our programming with Patriotic Art, Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen,” Jopek said. “That says a lot about our community that supports the patriotic programs that we do.”