MASON — For the third time in eight years, the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason has been awarded the National Outstanding Community Service Award.
The post was the recipient of the state award earlier this summer, and then advanced to the national competition. The local V.F.W. also won the award in 2008, and again in 2015.
According to Ray Varian, senior vice commander of the local post, several factors are evaluated to determine who wins the award. Among things taken into account include how much the post does for the community, funds donated and hours contributed to local projects, and participation from individual members.
“Member involvement counts for a lot,” said Varian. “We have veterans involved in their churches, coaching children’s sports teams, in local fire departments, on city councils, and more.”
The winning post is presented a plaque and a large sign. Last year, the post received two small signs, which members placed along Second Street in Mason, near the First Baptist Church. The 2015 signs were used to replace the ones from 2008.
This year, only one sign was awarded to the post, but it is much larger in size. Varian said it will be erected in the post home.
The local V.F.W. post holds many activities throughout the year, as well as assists with many others. Varian said a number of them involve children.
Members help with the local Special Olympics, and then hold a Christmas party for all the participants. At Wahama High School, the V.F.W. hosts both the “Patriot’s Pen” and “Voice of Democracy” contests. Winners are presented plaques and cash awards.
The post gives out fifteen $500 scholarships to area seniors. Members also hold a program at New Haven Elementary School for Veterans Day to teach students the importance of the American flag and how to care for it properly.
Flag raising ceremonies are conducted by V.F.W. members at local ballgames, as well as other events. They also recognize a teacher, firefighter, and police officer of the year at their annual Loyalty Day dinner in May.
Varian said any veteran wanting to join the V.F.W. or wanting additional information, can contact him at 304-593-3098 or the post home at 304-812-5905.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at email@example.com.