LAKE COUNTY JOURNAL
SPRINGFIELD – VFW Department of Illinois Cmdr. Jeffrey Hastings announced that the first-place winner for the 71st Voice of Democracy audio speech scholarship is Thomas A. Pearson, 17, a junior at Libertyville High School.
Pearson received a $2,500 scholarship as well as an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., with his family.
Pearson will represent the VFW Department of Illinois in Washington, where he and his family will join 53 other finalists from the other VFW departments worldwide to compete for $154,000 in scholarships. First place receives a $30,000 scholarship.
Pearson was sponsored by Libertyville Memorial VFW Post 8741 and its Auxiliary.
Pearson and his family were invited to Springfield, where they joined the 16 other district winners for a tour of Springfield, a pizza party and the awards banquet, as well as an ice cream social after the banquet.
Voice of Democracy winning entries were announced after dinner commencing with the 12th-place award for $325 and advancing to the John H. Emery Youth, Pageantry and Patriotism Fund first-place award for $2,500.
The Department of Illinois awarded a total of $14,000 in scholarship funds to the district-winning entries.