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From left are Peter Dellarco, president, FRA Branch 294; Allie Stover, North Cumberland Elementary eighth-grader receiving her second first-place award from the FRA SE Regional Americanism Essay Committee; and Stuart Litman, FRA Branch 294 Americanism Essay Contest chairman.

Fleet Reserve Association Branch 294 is pleased to announce that Allie Stover, an eighth-grade student from North Cumberland Elementary School, has won first place in the Americanism Essay Contest. Her essay, “What My Vote Means to Me,” was judged against essays submitted by students in her grade group from surrounding Cumberland County elementary schools. Allie’s essay was forwarded to the Southeast Regional Americanism Essay Committee where it was judged against essays submitted by eighth-grade students from FRA branches located in Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida. FRA Branch 294 is even more pleased to announce that Allie has won first place in the FRA Southeast region.  

On March 3, FRA Branch 294 members attended a ceremony at North Cumberland Elementary. A surprised Allie was brought before an audience of the seventh- and eighth-grade classes, her teachers, parents and FRA Branch members where she received another first-place certificate and monetary reward recognizing her outstanding achievement. Allie was asked to read her essay to the audience which was received with a favorable shout of appreciation and chant of “Allie, Allie, Allie” from the students and teachers.  Her teachers challenged the seventh-grade students to follow Allie’s lead in next year’s contest when they will be in the eighth grade. 

Her essay will be forwarded to FRA National, located in Alexandria, VA, where it will be judged against other eighth-grade first-place winners from seven FRA regions throughout the United States. 

Allie Stover is actively involved in her church youth group, the Beta Club, cheerleading and is a student council member. She loves to write as is evident by her winning essay. She enjoys playing the violin and her long-term aspiration is to become an orthodontist.  FRA Branch 294 wishes her the luck in the national contest and hopes to see her compete in the 2020 Americanism Essay Contest as freshman.


What My Vote Will Mean to Me?

By Ally Stover

North Cumberland Elementary


When will you vote? A vote is a very precious thing, a privilege and honor that Americans tend to take for granted. I will not take my vote for granted. My vote will mean my freedom and my honor. My vote will mean the world to me because my vote matters.

My vote will mean my freedom because the person who I vote for will be an extension of myself and who I think is best for the job. The individuals elected to office are there to defend our Constitutional rights or freedoms. They are employed to keep America running well and keep her people happy, healthy and free. This is why my vote will represent the people who will give me my freedoms. Freedom is defined as “The power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” This means that I will vote for whoever will protect those freedoms the most.

My vote will mean my honor because not all countries of the world are a democracy where everyone can vote. America is blessed to be a country where we are able to choose our leaders. It is also an honor because I have a say. I will get the honor to be a part of who goes into the office. A tradition that many generations have been a part of. This is why my vote means my honor.

In the end, a vote is a very personal experience. It comes down to your individual beliefs and principles, but the experience of voting and having the power to vote is an honor and freedom. A great privilege that makes my heart swell with pride for America. In the words of the national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brace?” I am proud to be an American and have the right to vote to represent my honor and my freedoms.