OAKLAND — The Bank of Maine, Oakland Branch, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1285 recently announced the local winners of the The Patriot’s Pen, a nationwide essay competition for children in grades six through eight. The theme was “Are you proud of your country?”

The 2011 winners are Makenzie Charest, first place; J. Maxwell Russell, second place; and Emily Lagace, third place.

The Bank of Maine received 122 entries. VFW members picked the top three. The winner will be forwarded to the district competition.