State winners in Elks Americanism Essay Contest announced

State Elks Americanism Essay Contest winners Garvon Golden and Tyler Todd are pictured with Thomas Paulsen, chairman of the local and state programs and Deadwood Elks #508 member. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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DEADWOOD — Several Lead-Deadwood students took top honors in the 2020-2021 Deadwood Elks Lodge #508 Americanism Essay Contest, the winners announced this week by Local and State Elks Americanism Chairperson and Lead-Deadwood Elementary fifth-grade teacher Thomas Paulsen.

The theme and writing prompt for this year’s contest was “How Can Patriotism Be Demonstrated?”

“It is a way for kids to think about patriotism, think about their respect and love of their country, and what they can do to become better citizens of the United States of America,” Paulsen said. “I think it’s a really good program.”

State winners first placed in the local contest sponsored by Deadwood Elks Lodge #508 earlier this year and their entries were forwarded on to the South Dakota State Elks Association for consideration in the state contest.

State winners in the seventh-grade boys division were: first place, Garvon Golden and third place, Tyler Todd.

Previously announced local contest winners of the seventh-grade boys’ and girls’ divisions were: first place, Garvon Golden and Nevada McMahon; second, Tyler Todd and Alyssa Ulvestad; third, Brady Rantapaa and Nikiah Black.

Paulsen also announced the fifth-grade local and state winners at an awards ceremony on the school’s playground Wednesday.

Local contest winners of the fifth-grade boys’ and girls’ divisions are: first place, Enzo Stone and Darci Nelson;    second place, Oliver Cortez-Pray and Madison Murray; and third place, Parker Millard and Rylee Bingham.

From these local winners, Stone won first place in the state boys’ division, Nelson won second place in the state girls’ division, and Murray won third place in the state girls’ division.

Local winners receive $50 for first; $30 for second; and $20 for third place.

State winners receive $95 for first; $70 for second; and $60 for third place.

As part of the state Americanism Essay Contest, Paulsen said Lead-Deadwood students competed with entrants from Rapid City, Yankton, and Hot Springs.

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