Great Barrington: VFW names Berkshire County 'Voice of Democracy' essay winner

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GREAT BARRINGTON - Benjamin G. Shultis, son of Michael and Gina Shultis and a senior at Monument Mountain Regional High School, has been named the first place winner of the Veterans of Foreign Wars "Voice of Democracy" essay contest for Berkshire County, according to Arnold Perras, commander and contest chairman for VFW District-9.

Shultis has won a total of $2,250 as first place winner for Berkshire County and $2,000 for third place winner for Massachusetts. Awards were presented on Jan. 26 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Leominster.

Students compete by writing and recording a three to five minute broadcast script on an annual patriotic theme. This year's theme was "What makes America Great."

Shultis has been a member of Monument Mountain's golf, baseball and basketball teams, was selected for the American Legion's 2019 Boys State program at Stonehill College, and has volunteered at St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Housatonic, collecting food and clothing for the community pantry, serving meals to the elderly and participating in church fundraisers. He is employed by Big Y supermarket in Great Barrington.

Voice of Democracy judges for the Berkshire County contest were Jonathan Levine, Rose Ann Sturgeon and Kathy Yon.

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