Department of Massachusetts
General Order # 8

Massachusetts VFW Announces Voice of Democracy Scholarship Winner
Leominster, MA (January 27 th , 2019) – Matthew Tibbitts , a Junior at Ludlow High School > in Ludlow, MA, was named the VFW Department of Massachusetts’s first-place winner and recipient of the $3500 award in the 2018 Voice of Democracy Scholarship program. VFW Post 8006 and its Auxiliary in Florence, MA,  sponsored Matthew.

“The Voice of Democracy competition provides high school students with the opportunity to speak out on freedom and democracy,” says VFW Department Commander Keith Jackson. “The program has been popular and successful since its beginning in 1947, and we’re proud to keep offering it to America’s young people.”

The Voice of Democracy is a worldwide audio-essay competition that requires entrants to write and record a three-to-five minute essay on a patriotic-based theme. “Why My Vote Matters” was this year’s theme.

Almost 500 Massachusetts students participated in the competition this year. As one of 53 finalists worldwide, Matthew will travel to Washington, D.C., and compete at the national level for the first-place prize of a $30,000 college scholarship.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) started the Voice of Democracy Scholarship program in 1947. The VFW became a national sponsor in the late 1950s and assumed sole responsibility for the program in 1961. The competition was created to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regard to democratic ideas and principles. Around 40,000 students participate in the competition each year and VFW awards more than $2.1 million in scholarships every year.
Massachusetts VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest Winner

Leominster, MA. (January 27 th , 2019) - The VFW Department of MA is pleased to announce that Addison K. Perkins, a student at The International School of Boston, is the Massachusetts first-place winner of the VFW’s 2018-2019 Patriot's Pen youth essay contest. Addison, who was sponsored by VFW Post Boston Police Post 1018 and its Auxiliary in Boston, MA., wrote his winning essay based on this year’s theme, "Why I Honor the American Flag."

The VFW enacted the Patriot’s Pen youth essay competition in 1995 as a way to encourage young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society while improving their writing skills.

The contest is a worldwide competition that gives students in grades 6, 7 and 8 the opportunity to write a 300- to 400-word theme-based essay expressing their views on democracy while competing for worthwhile awards and prizes.

Over 1200 Massachusetts students participated in the competition this year. As one of 53 finalists worldwide, Addison will compete at the national level for individual awards ranging from $500 to $5,000.



2018-2019 Voice of Democracy
This audio-essay program provides high school students grades 9-12 th the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic themed recorded essay. This year’s theme was “Why My Vote Matters.” Thank you Voice of Democracy Chairman Doug Wood and Auxiliary Scholarship Chairman Betty Mae Tenney
Over 64 posts, 16 Auxiliaries, and 10 Districts participated in the Patriots Pen Essay Contest. 482 students competed with 69 advancing. Collectively at the Post, Auxiliary, District, and State lever over $39,000 was awarded. Congratulations to the District Winners:
District 5      Post 2498              Daniel Richmond
District 6      Post 9059              Jarod Orlacchio (2nd Place)
District 7      Post 8006              Matthew Tibbitts
District 8      Post 10278            Paulina Hruskoci
District 9      Post 10338            Katherine Wilson
District 10    Post 1011              Sophia Brunet (3rd Place)
District 11    Post 1807              Nicole Robinson (5th Place)
District 12    Post 697                Abigail Rinker
District 15    Post 6538/3291      Andrew Gaskins (4th Place)
District 18    Post 620                Anika Nath



2018-2019 Patriot Pen
The essay contest encourages students in grades 6-8 to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300 to 400 word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-In-Chief. This year’s theme was “Why I honor the American flag.” Thank you Patriot Pen Chairman Russell Jobe and Auxiliary Scholarship Chairman Betty Mae Tenney
Over 50 posts, 18 Auxiliaries, and 9 Districts participated in the Patriots Pen Essay Contest. 1241 students competed with 92 advancing. Collectively at the Post, Auxiliary, District, and State lever over $19,000 was awarded. Congratulations to the District Winners:
District 5      Post 1018    Addison K. Perkins 
District 6      Post 6643    Ella B. Fisher         
District 7      Post 3236    Aaron J. Little        (5th Place)           
District 8      Post 5594    Alex J. Heather       (4th Place)         
District 10    Post 8349    Laura M. Barden              
District 11    Post 6907    Mackenzie C.Hanna                   
District 12    Post 1787    Victoria L. Dolan      (3rd Place)         
District 15    Post 8164    Morgan Kelly                    
District 18    Post 2394    Meghan R. Maher   (2nd Place)
TEACHER AWARD
The VFW teacher’s award recognizes three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. Each year, a classroom elementary, junior high and high school teacher, whose curriculum focuses on citizenship education topics, for at least half of the school day in a classroom environment, can be nominated for this award. Thank you Teacher of the Year Chairman Patrick Logue.
Each teacher will receive $250.00 and a plaque. The 2018-2019 winners are:

Grade K-5 Elissa Gould of Garfield Elementary School, Sponsored by D-18 Post 529: Somerville

Grade 6-8 Charles Rockwood of Hopkinton Middle School, Sponsored by D-5 Post 1526 Medway

Grade 9-12 Jennifer Gaspar of New Bedford Reg. Vo-Tech, Sponsored by D-6 Post 7239 Acushnet


DECEMBER TOP INDIVIDUAL RECRUITER:   Michael Raymond Post 2498 (7 Members)
January TOP POST : Post 2498 (7 Members)
Congratulations to the following Posts for attaining 100%+ in Membership for 2018-2019:

100% Membership Award Deadline: March 31, 2019: Post achieving 100% membership by March 31, 2019 will be entered to win a $1000.00 cash prize (1 winner) and two $500 cash Prize (2 winners). Note: Post must have a minimum of 50 members (prior year total) or more to qualify for this award. Post with 49 or less members will be entered for a chance to win $200.00. Note: All Post that achieved 100% prior to 28 December 2018 are eligible for this award.


Commander-in Chief’s Challenge: At close of business on February 28 th , 2019, the Post in each Division that shows the highest growth in their membership percentage for the month (measured from close of business 1/31 through close of business 2/28) will receive a $1000.00 award to be deposited into the Post Fund.  
March Council of Administration (CoA): Will be held on March 16 th at Pepperell Post 3291 located at 55 Leighton St, Pepperell, MA 01463 at 10:30.
Convention Corporation Meeting : Will be held on March 16 th at the DoubleTree by Hilton Leominster located on 99 Erdman Way, Leominster, MA 01453.   

Newspaper: The deadline for the next paper edition of the Department Newspaper is April 15th. All State Officer are required to submit an article, all District Commanders are required to submit a minimum of two pictures with caption (event and who is in the photo). Any post that wants to submit a photo is highly encouraged. Please send articles and photos to PSC Eric Segundo at esegundo@vfwma.org

Buddy Poppies:  Commanders on all levels should begin organizing their 2019 Memorial Day “Buddy”® Poppy Campaign. Every Post is urged to order and distribute VFW “Buddy”® Poppies.

District Meetings: All District Commanders are reminded that if a District meeting is cancelled due to inclement weather, they are to immediately notify the Department Representative, the State Adjutant and their respective Posts Commanders. WE do not want anyone to have an accident due to inclement weather.

National Convention registration Fee: Attention of Post Commanders is directed to Section 222 of the National Bylaws and the Manual of Procedure, which provides that each Post will pay, in advance, a National Convention registration fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) which shall entitle the Post to a packet of convention information and materials and one identified registered delegate for the National Convention. Each additional delegate attending the National Convention will pay a ten dollar ($10) delegate fee. Posts are encouraged to register their Post delegate(s) online through the Online Membership System (OMS) or by submitting their National Convention Post and Delegate Registration form that will be mailed to all Posts as part of the Election Report/Convention Registration mailing going out later this month. Registration forms for the 120th National Convention may be mailed to: Convention Registration, 406 West 34th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111.

Post Election Report: Attention is directed to Section 217 of the National Bylaws and the Manual of Procedure covering the nomination, election and installation of Post Officers. Post Election Report forms are being mailed to Post Quartermasters with instructions that they complete the form online through the Online Membership System (OMS) or they can complete the form and return directly to National Headquarters immediately following the election of Post Officers but not later than June 1.

Delegates: Section 222 of the National Bylaws and the Manual of Procedure provides that delegates and alternates for the District Convention and Meetings, Department and National Conventions shall be elected at a regular meeting in April. Posts are entitled to one (1) delegate and one (1) alternate for each thirty (30) members or fraction thereof in good standing in the Post as of March 31.

District Convention: Pursuant to Section 403 of the National Bylaws and the Manual of Procedure, each District shall hold an annual District convention for the purpose of electing District officers, such convention to be held not less than ten (10) days nor more than seventy-five (75) days prior to the convening of the Department convention.

Pursuant to Section 403 of the National Bylaws – Regular Meeting, Districts shall hold at least two (2) regular meetings each year for purposes of transacting business and conducting schools of instruction.

Pursuant to Section 417 of the National Manual of Procedure, District officers shall not assume the duties of their office until the Department Commander is installed.
District officers shall not be installed or assume the duties of their office until proof of eligibility has been submitted and properly reviewed in accordance with Section 416 of the Manual of Procedure.

Trustees Report of Audit : Attention of Post Commanders is directed to Section 218 (a) (11) of the National Manual of Procedure, Officers: Duties and Obligations. Trustees Report of Audit must be prepared in detail within thirty (30) days from the end of each quarter, one of which ends March 31.

Dates to Remember:
3 Feb - Four Chaplain’s Day
9 Feb - Yellow Ribbon 151 RSG Great Wolf Lodge Fitchburg
14 Feb - Salute to VA Patients Bedford VA 1PM
16 Feb - Auxiliary Midwinter Conference Abington Post 5737
18 Feb - President’s Day
19 Feb - USCG Reserve Birthday
2-7 Mar - Legislative Conference Washington, DC
8-10 Mar – Commander in Chief Visit to Massachusetts
9 Mar – Commander in Chief Banquet The Crystal Room, Milford, MA

Candidates for Department High Office 2019-2020:
Department Commander - Jeff Najarian, Post 1788
Department Sr. Vice Commander - Russell Jobe Post 6538
Department Jr. Vice Commander - Doug Wood Post 6539
Department Quartermaster - John Larney Post 1526
Department Chaplain - Fr. Joseph J. Gallick Post 697
Department Judge Advocate - Michael Raymond Post 2498
Department Surgeon - James Morrissey Post 3264
Department Surgeon - Christine Tron Post 545

District Meetings:
Feb 11 - District 12 Middleboro Post 2188 7:30PM
Feb 17 - District 10 Townsend Post 6538 10:30
Feb 17 - District 8 Millbury Post 3329 2PM
Feb 17 - District 9 North Adams Post 996 1PM
Feb 17 - District 11 Westminster Post 7389 2PM
Feb 24 - District 7  Holyoke Post 801 12 PM
 

I wish you and your family good health and happiness with many blessings and Thank you all for continued support



Keith M. Jackson
State Commander
Together We Can Build a Stronger VFW!


NEWSPAPER DEADLINE
Newspaper: The deadline for the next paper edition of the Department Newspaper is April 1st. All State Officer are required to submit an article, all District Commanders are required to submit a minimum of two pictures with caption (event and who is in the photo). Any post that wants to submit a photo is highly encouraged. Please send articles and photos to PSC Eric Segundo at esegundo@vfwma.org
The VFW Needs YOU: As a grassroots organization, the power of the VFW is in its membership. That means all 1.7 million of our members. We are stronger together and effective because of what our collective efforts accomplish. Part of being great advocates means renewing your membership and we encourage you to do so. We also encourage you to consider becoming a Life Member of the VFW as a permanent show of your support. If you are not yet a member, we encourage you to join. Renew your membership or become a Life member. Please click here to join.
Important Information
Statewide Events

Council of Administration Meeting
Saturday, March 16th 2019 10:30AM
Pepperall Post 3291
55 Leighton Street Pepperell, MA 01463