Rutherford HS Students Shine

March 30, 2024
AMVETS Official logo provided by local Amvets. AMVETS Official logo provided by local Amvets.

PANAMA CITY, FL - AMVETS Post 2298 Second Vice Chairman, Brad Custer, is pleased to make the exciting announcement that entries in the AMVETS National Americanism Essay Contest that were written by two deserving students at Rutherford High School in Panama City, Florida, have been advanced by the AMVETS Department of Florida, to the AMVETS National Americanism Essay Contest. One student is in 9th grade and the other is in 10th grade at Rutherford. The Annual Theme for the 2023 – 2024 school year was a very appropriate theme for 2024, “Why Is It Important to Vote?”

The Criteria for Judging included Originality, Literary Composition, Creativity, and Adherence to Theme. The contest rules required that all student entries must address the current theme. Essays for this grade level must be typed in 12-point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and 400 words or less. The First Place Winners of the Department’s Contest will receive a plaque and gift card, and Second Place Winners will receive a certificate and gift card.

Even more exciting than that, the First Place Winner for the Department of Florida Essay Contest in 9th or 10th grade, may be nominated by the AMVETS National Service Foundation, for an all-expense-paid trip to Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania ( The four-day weekend will have lots of fun, educational, youth-oriented activities with dynamic speakers, and sightseeing as highlights of a trip that is sure to be long remembered. Students must meet the requirements for airline travel, and Freedoms Foundation to be able to participate in this trip. Registration packets from AMVETS and Freedoms Foundation will be available online in August.

All students in Bay County who are currently in grades 6 through 12, who attend public, private, and parochial schools, or who are home-schooled, were eligible to enter the AMVETS National Americanism Essary Contest. Entry forms were provided to the JROTC Advisor in all High Schools in Bay County. Principals at elementary schools in Bay County were provided contest information for the AMVETS Flag Coloring Contest for grades K & 1, which invited students to color an American Flag template and answer and few related questions, and for the AMVETS Poster Contest for grades 2 – 5, which requested that students make free-hand drawings, using any art medium, related to the Annual Theme, “Why Is It Important to Vote?” Also eligible to participate were members of youth organizations, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Boys and Girls Clubs.

This is the first time in recent years that Bay County students participated in the AMVETS National Americanism Contest with very successful results. We encourage more students to participate next year. Congratulations to Rutherford High School!