VFW District 15 Scholarship and Community Awards

- 12/6/2022

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Department of California District 15 Student Scholarship and Community Awards Judging took place Saturday morning, December 3, 2022 at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Chico.


Seven judges from the local community judged four Voice of Democracy (VOD) scholarship entries, 10 Patriot’s Pen (PP) scholarship entries, four Teacher of the Year (ToY) Entries and four Law Enforcement of the Year (LE) entries.


District 15 Posts had 14 VOD participants from four Posts, 127 PP entries from five separate Posts, for ToY entries from three Posts, and four LE entries from four Post advance for higher recognition.  More than $5,700 in monetary awards has or will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in the scholarship programs. Another $675 will be awarded to Teacher’s at local schools and $800 to first responders.


About our judges:

Tony Munroe was from the local Ace Hardware.  Ace Hardware is a Foundation Partner with the VFW.  

Linda Watkins-Bennett is a local news media icon from Action News Now.

Shirley Huffman is a Physician’s Assistant at a local medical practice here in Chico.

George Zepeda is the Store Director at our local Save Mart.

Jeff Wagner is a Physical Therapist and owner of Valponi and Wagner Physical Therapy.

Hunter Hampton, former General Manager of the Chico Heat collegiate baseball team, and local real estate agent

Bob Kurts is also a Physician’s Assistant.


Save Mart and The Donut Nook provided refreshments for the Judges and Veterans.


District 15 proudly announces the winners of our competition. The 2022-2023 District Winners are: (First place finishers advance to Department)


Voice of Democracy:

1st - Gannon R. Blake, Marysville Post 948

2nd - Janae E. Fleshman, Gridley Post 5731

3rd - Chloe Alchin, Chico Post 1555


Patriots Pen:

1st - Ileana Arivett, Oroville Post 1747

2nd - Delaney Ruth Doolittle, Chico Post 1555

3rd - Lila J. Wheeler, Gridley Post 5731


Teacher of the Year:

Sandy Granicher, Chico Post 1555


Law Enforcement of the Year:

Michael Aguilar, Gridley Post 5731


Fire Fighter of the Year:

Derrick Logan Ash, Colusa Post 2441


Congratulations again to all the winners.






Mike DiGiordano

District 15 Commander