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Del Val High School sophomore wins Voice of Democracy contest


Delaware Valley High School sophomore Clare Erwin of Holland Township, N.J., has added the District 19 (Hunterdon County) title to her Frenchtown-Milford win in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy speech contest.

Although there are five VFW posts in the county, the Frenchtown-Milford Post 7857 dominates the annual competition. That’s because Del Val history teacher Jim Kluska and English teacher Tara Civitillo use the patriotic exercise as a writing prompt for their students. This year’s topic was “Why My Vote Matters,” and Erwin’s effort was one of almost 70 entries.

She won a check for $500 from the Frenchtown-Milford post. Karla Jenkins got $300 for second prize, and Nicole Planer got $100 for third prize.

The Hunterdon County win netted Erwin an additional $200. The check, a plaque and a congratulatory handshake were presented by VFW rep Gerald Cadwallader at Del Val on Dec. 13. As a district winner, Erwin was invited to a Jan. 19 banquet in Cherry Hill at which the statewide Voice of Democracy winner as announced.

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