Elmira Legion looks to build on success of poster contest

Last updated on Aug 31, 23

Posted on Aug 31, 23

2 min read

After having a very successful Legion Remembrance Contest last year, which saw an EDSS student place second in her category for the province of Ontario, Richard Clausi is hoping to build on that momentum with this year’s entries.

Shana Mitchell’s poster entry in the colour poster category received many accolades, including first in the Elmira branch, first in the district and first in the zone in the senior age category. Her second-place finish at the provincial level was followed up by her work being chosen to don the cover of the 10th volume of the Ontario Command’s Military Service Recognition Book, to be released later this year.

“We’re really excited about Shana. The booklet commemorates and recognizes soldiers and their stories in their background. That’s kind of a neat honor and it’s nice for her too… It’s the first time we’ve had somebody go that far, so it’s nice seeing youngsters do well,” said Clausi, the youth education leader for Elmira Branch 469.

“As a retired teacher, it still gives me a chuckle when I see kids do something really extraordinary. You go, ‘Yeah, good for you – that’s great.’”

Mitchell’s entry was one of 384 posters and poems from youth to the local branch. There has been a wide range of submissions, Clausi added. A total of 55 medals were handed out, with eight entries being sent to the zone level. There are four age groups primary (grades 1-3), junior (4-6) intermediate (7-9) and senior (10-12).

“We had a few schools locally that actually did projects based on dogs and their role in war, with ambulances and such. We also have some who focus on as a good example what’s going on right now. The military is out there and fighting forest fires and the floods out east – they were there. And don’t forget COVID – they were in the long-term care homes. So we have kids who explore those, but the theme is recognition of their service,” he said.

With the contest starting again soon, there are no guidelines other than keeping it respectful of the service and sacrifices of military members. Clausi is hoping local schools and teachers will include it in their fall lesson plans.

“What we’re looking for is something that respectfully remembers and recognizes the sacrifices that were made. This is not meant to glorify war or anything,” Clausi explained. “We just like to see those veterans recognized and remembered. It is our responsibility as a country, I think, to remember and also provide for them when they come back.”

This year the Ontario Command is also holding a video contest for students in grades 7-12, with the deadline on December 13.

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