The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9 in Gardiner presented awards on Feb. 9 to the Patriot’s Pen winners at Gardiner Regional Middle School.

More than 80 seventh-grade students, under the guidance of Diana Dionne-Morang, wrote essays on the topic “America’s Gift to My Generation.” Awards were presented to the top three winners, with all participants joining in the awards ceremony that included ice cream and cake.

Shawn Jiminez placed first, Avery Markos, second, and Dakota Lovely, third.