Patriotic art and volunteer activities by two area teenagers were recognized by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary.
Caitlyn Cross, 15, is this year's Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary to VFW Post 1647. Helen Doucette and Judy Wayt, co-chairwomen of youth activities program, said the contest for students age 12-15 is challenging because it recognizes students who do volunteer work throughout the year.
Cross volunteered to help both deployed soldiers and veterans.
The Forestview Middle School student said volunteering is just part of her life and family.
Tia Przybilla, 17, Brainerd High School senior, was the winner of the Young American Creative Patriot Art award sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW Post 1647 in Brainerd. Her pencil drawing depicting the American flag, a bald eagle and the Twin Towers has been entered in a state competition
"I love doing it," she said, adding the benefit comes from feeling she helped someone. Her mother, Nancy, said one of the aspects she enjoys most as a parent is the fact that Caitlyn can show other young people they can make a difference.
"You've done a fine job," Doucette told Cross.
In addition, Cross was recognized in a new youth program for her efforts to support deployed troops. Cross spent more than 200 hours and sent more than 6,000 letters after learning about a nationwide campaign to provide care packages to deployed soldiers.
Cross will be awarded a national citation and letter from the VFW's national president. She has been entered, by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary and Mahlum-Hanson Auxiliary, in the Youth Supporting Our Troops competition, which is designed to thank young people for their efforts to support the military. Cross' entry of "Why I am a Volunteer" was sent to the VFW Department of Minnesota for judging. State winners will be recognized this June during the state convention in Moorhead. The national competition first-place winner receives a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond, jacket, plaque, along with airfare and two night's lodging to attend the national convention in Kansas City, Mo.
Caitlyn Cross was named Outstanding Youth Volunteer.
Tia Przybilla, 17, won the Young American Creative Patriotic Art award sponsored by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary. The Brainerd High School senior's pencil drawing, which depicts an American flag, bald eagle and the Twin Towers, has been entered in the state competition.
Przybilla said she knew she wanted the flag and eagle for the drawing. When she decided to put more detail into the art work, the Twin Towers were added. Doucette and Wayt said they were proud of Przybilla and happy to have participation in the art program.
The art competition, which is open to students in the ninth- through 12th- grades, rewards high school students who express their patriotism through art.
"Anytime we can work with the youth we are happy to do that," Doucette said. "They are our future leaders for our people."
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.