VFW Blakeley Moore pic

Blakeley Moore of Williamsburg Academy

Photo by Michaele Duke

VFW Sasha Gibson pic

Sasha Gibson of Hemingway High School

Photo by Michaele Duke

VFW Lauren Darby pic

Lauren Darby of C.E. Murray High School

Photo by Michaele Duke

Williamsburg County students were recognized during the Kingstree McClary-Cole VFW Post 6500 Annual Recognition Awards Ceremony. The event was postponed to a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic and held June 12, with limited participation. Students were presented certificates for winning The Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen contests.

The 2018-19 participants were Janae Dorsey of Kingstree Senior High School who was the recipient of The Voice of Democracy contest. The theme was “Why My Vote Counts.” Dorsey is currently a student at the College of Charleston.

Blakeley Moore of Williamsburg Academy was the recipient of Patriot’s Pen. The theme was “Why I Honor the American Flag.”

Teacher of the Year went to Richard McBride, Kingstree Senior High School, JROTC instructor. 

The 2019-20 participants were Voice of Democracy recipient, Sasha Gibson of Hemingway High School. The theme was “What Makes America Great.”

Patriot’s Pen recipient was Lauren Darby of C.E. Murray High School. The theme was “What Makes America Great.”

Teacher of the Year was awarded to Lorraine Wilson of Kingstree Senior High School. Wilson also received the District 7, Citizenship Award.

VFW Teacher Lorraine Wilson pic

Teacher Lorraine Wilson of Kingstree Senior High School

Photo by Michaele Duke

The News was presented with a plaque for 25+ years of service to the Kingstree VFW.

Following the awards presentation, the members conducted a Change of Command ceremony on the lawn where Richard Dukes took command. He will serve for one year unless post members vote to extend his term.

The Voice of Democracy program helps encourage a better understanding and appreciation for our great country by requiring entrants to write and record a three-to five-minute script on a patriotic theme. The Patriot’s Pen essay contest is for students in grades sixth to eighth and challenges them to reflect on American history and their own experiences based on a patriotic theme.

McClary-Cole VFW Post 6500 was chartered in 1946. Besides hosting the annual awards, the non-profit assists veterans and their families in filling out claims for entitlements and the appeals process. The members, along with the auxiliary, participate in many community endeavors such as conduct monthly visits to the senior care center, hosts “Buddy Poppy” drives and children’s programs and participate in local events to include the Town of Kingstree parade. The members also were instrumental in gaining the support of Senator Ronnie Sabb, Williamsburg County Supervisor Tiffany Wright, and Williamsburg County Council to make a vision of a new facility a soon-to-be reality.