The McPherson VFW Post 2715 awarded four area students for their efforts in two youth essay competitions. Pictured from left to right are Riley Mader, Post Commander John Harper, Morgan Van Der Wege, Katherine Ebert and Leah Sauerwein. Sauerwein won first place in McPherson’s Patriot’s Pen essay competition. Mader, Van Der Wege and Ebert, all seniors at Smoky Valley High School, competed in the Voice of Democracy competition. Ebert went on to take third place in the state, out of 245 participants.