2016-2017 Voice of Democracy Program
All information pertaining to the theme, judging, eligibility, awards and
other aspects of this program are contained in the Veterans of Foreign Wars
program booklet for the Annual Voice of
Democracy Scholarship Program. District
Chairmen are responsible to ensure that their District programs are conducted
within these rules and deadlines. District Chairmen are solely responsible
for the conduct of the program within their Districts. Make sure that you distribute copies of your
program to all Posts in your District in sufficient time to ensure a successful
The Voice of Democracy Program is a joint program with the VFW Auxiliary
to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Michigan. The Auxiliary does not need the
permission of a Post to participate in the Voice of Democracy Program. Post and District Chairmen are expected to
include their VFW Auxiliary counterparts in all activities concerning the
conduct of local and District programs. Coordination of the District program is
the sole responsibility of each District Chairman. Post Chairmen must refer to their District
program for their District program requirements and deadline dates.
Responsibility To America”
Eligibility: Ninth (9th), Tenth (10th),
Eleventh (11th) and Twelfth (12th) grade students in
public, private, parochial and home schools in the State of
Michigan. Former first place winners at the State and National level competition
or any foreign exchange student are not eligible. Students
do not have to be a relative of a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars or its
VFW Auxiliary to participate.
Recording: Recorded scripts must not be less than
THREE (3) minutes nor longer than FIVE (5) minutes. A five (5) second variation is acceptable to
compensate for the possible deviation in equipment. Scripts MUST be recorded on full size
standard FLASH DRIVE OR CD ONLY. Record
all on CD’s
or a Flash Drive on a single track. Scripts must be recorded without music
or background voice. Students must not
use their names, the name or location of the sponsoring VFW unit, or the name
or location of their school. Recordings
must not include any introduction of the script. The only voice on the recording must be that
of the student’s. Special consideration
may be given for students that are speech challenged upon written request
through District to Department. Scripts
should be recorded using the best possible equipment available. Post and District Chairmen are responsible
for the content and quality of the entry. Every effort should be made to submit the best quality entry possible.
Tapes are no longer accepted by State or National.
School Release Form 2016- 2017.pdf
Make certain your CD or Flash Drive Plays
on another piece of play back equipment other than on the one it was recorded.
To receive credit for participation in the Voice of Democracy Scholarship
Competition, a Post MUST SPONSOR THE
PROGRAM IN THEIR COMMUNITY. While it
is important to offer the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program in our
schools, it is not solely a program for the schools. You may offer the competition to any ninth,
tenth, eleventh or twelfth grade student. Foreign exchange students are not eligible. All entries MUST be submitted directly to the Post. They may be sponsored through local schools,
Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Church youth groups, Junior ROTC programs, the home
schooled, etc. The Post is encouraged to
solicit participants from as many sources as possible.
The Post will hold their own
judging and may submit to District the number of students permitted by
the following breakdown.
1-15 student participants = 1 top
Post entry is allowed to advance to
16-30 student participants = 2 top Post entries are allowed to advance to
31-45 student participants = 3 top Post entries are allowed to advance to
46-60 student participants = 4 top Post entries are allowed to advance to
61-75 student participants = 5 top Post entries are allowed to advance to
Posts may advance as many winners as they select based on the total
number of students participating. Post
judging is the responsibility of the Post Chairman and must be conducted in
accordance with the National Judging Criteria.
The Post may forward each 1st place winning entry to
District. Each student entry submitted
by a Post to District must be an equal 1st place winner. This means each Post student entry sent to
District must receive the same award. For example, a Post has 55 student entries and is eligible to send four
entries to District for judging. These
four entries must each receive an equal first place award from the Post. If the Post lists them as 1st, 2nd,
3rd, 4th place, then they can only send in one entry as
the 1st place winner.
School Option. A teacher working in cooperation with a Post
can elect to hold a competition in the school, judge the participants and
advance one student entry selected as the school first place winner. The one declared school winner will advance
to District as the "School Winner” from each participating school sponsored by
Each District shall be responsible for the conduct of the program and
judging of entries within their District. District Chairmen are expected to promote the expansion of the program
by encouraging the participation of additional Posts. It is not always possible to restrict
sponsorship strictly along VFW District Boundaries. Posts may solicit student participation from
any geographical area within the State of
Michigan as long as they do not interfere
with the sponsorship of other Posts. District Chairmen are expected to assist Posts in the coordination of
sponsorship of all schools in their District. It is unacceptable that a school is not contacted.
Each District may submit only one entry to the Department for
judging. This entry must be certified on
the proper National Entry Form by the District Chairman to be the District
First Place Winner of the District Program judging.
The following items MUST accompany the District entry to Department for
A) One student script taped
in accordance with the above rules.
B) One completed student
entry form from the National Program booklet.
C) One good quality picture,
preferably wallet sized.
D) One typed copy of the
E) One signed student release
form provided by Department.
F) One Student Biographical
It is the responsibility of the
District Chairman to ensure that all materials are included. Any entry that does not include all materials
may not be judged.
Reporting: To obtain program credit the Post
Chairman portion of the Student Entry Form must be completed and submitted to
District with each Post entry. The form
must include the number of students participating from the school and the
approximate cost for the program and awards for that school. Proper credit cannot be given without this
information. District Chairmen are required to prepare and submit a consolidated
report of Post participation within their District using the District Report
Form and the District Summary Form. These reports should accompany the District entry to Department.
Deadlines: Deadline for Post sponsored program
entries is November 1, 2016. Post
judging may not be held before November 2, 2016 and must be completed in time
to ensure that winning entries are delivered to the District Chairmen by
November 15, 2016.
District judging may not be held before November 16, 2016 and must be
completed in time to ensure that the winning entry with all required materials
are in the hands of the Department Chairman by December 7, 2016. District
judging is the responsibility of the District Chairman to be conducted in
accordance with the National Judging Criteria.
Department deadline for District entries is December 7, 2016. This deadline is ABSOLUTE and it includes all
paper work. Department
judging will be closed and will be the responsibility of the Department
Committee. Be advised that the state judging will be attended only by the VFW
Department Committee Members, VFW State Ladies Auxiliary Committee Members and
the State Judges. The Committee has the sole authority to disqualify from the
Department judging any entry which is in violation of the rules as stated in
the Department Program and the National Program booklet.
All Post and District awards are the responsibility of those
Department Awards will be as
First Place: $6,000.00 Ralph J. Seabold scholarship, plaque,
all expense paid trip to Washington
D.C. and all expense paid trip to the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge
Pennsylvania. Awarded by the Veterans of
Foreign Wars, Department of Michigan.
Second Place: $3,500.00
VFW Auxiliary Scholarship and plaque. Awarded by the VFW Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of
Third Place: $2,500.00
Hazel Park VFW
Scholarship and plaque. Presented by the 5th District Commander of
the Veteran of Foreign Wars of Michigan.
Fourth Place: $1500.00
Past Commander-in-Chief James N.
Goldsmith Scholarship and plaque. Awarded by Barbara Applebee .
twelfth places are awarded $1000.00 scholarships. The selection of these
scholarships are randomly selected
from the donors listed below and do not necessarily indicate the students
VFW Auxiliary Scholarship and plaque. Awarded by the VFW Auxiliary to the
Veterans of Foreign Wars of
Newberry Post Scholarship and plaque. Awarded by the Newberry VFW Post and presented by the 14thDistrict Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Michigan.
Orvel J. Walter Memorial Scholarship and plaque. Awarded
by the family of Orvel Walter.
$1,000.00 Past Commanders Club Scholarshipand plaque. Awarded by the Past
Commanders Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars of
$500.00 Dick & Vi
Thorpe Memorial Scholarship and $500.00
VFW Post 4644 Scholarship and plaque. Awarded by VFW Post & VFW
Auxiliary 822 and VFW Post 4644.
$400.00 John &
Shirley Sweebe Memorial Scholarship, $400.00 Donald Mrdjenovic Scholarship and
$200.00 Rob and Marcia Weiss Scholarship and plaque. Award by
Department of Michigan VFW Post 3033, Donald Mrdjenovic and Rob and Marcia
Weiss, VFW Members of the VFW and VFW Auxiliary from Michigan.
$1,000.00 Scholarship and plaque. Open
$1,000.00 Scholarship and plaque. Open
The Department of Michigan Voice
of Democracy Traveling Trophy will be awarded to the Post of the 1stplace winner to display for one year. The trophy will be returned to the Department Chairman not later than
December 7 each year to be awarded to the Post of the next year’s State winner.
Department awards will be presented at the 2017 Department of Michigan
Mid-Winter Conference. All District
winners are expected to be present. Each
District must assume the cost of their winner’s transportation, meals and lodging. Department will provide each District winner
one banquet ticket. Banquet tickets for
family members and other guests are the sole responsibility of the District in
cooperation with the sponsoring Post.
Bio Form to be used for BOTH Voice of Democracy and Patriots Pen:
Harry "Les” Croyle, Director James
M. Galen, Assistant Director
30086 Trailwood Drive 76200 North Ave.
Warren, Michigan 48092 Armada, Michigan
Shepherd VFW Auxiliary Chairman