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American Legion Post 93 recognizes local youth at annual reception

The American Legion and Auxiliary Post 93 held their annual youth reception on Thursday August 2, 2018. The reception honored the 201 graduates of Palmetto Boys State and Palmetto Girls State. In total 18 rising seniors from Colleton County High School and Colleton Preparatory Academy were able to attend this year’s Palmetto Boys and Girls State thanks to the amount of sponsors and persistence of Post 93 for asking for additional stops other counties were unable to use.

Students are recommended for this life changing program by teachers from their schools. Those who are recommended show strong leadership skills, community involvement, and participation at their schools. The program teaches the rising seniors about local and state government. During the week, students are placed in mock cities, hold mock elections, and learn all about the political process all the while making new friends and potential contact for their futures. This year Palmetto Girls State was held at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina and Palmetto Boys State was held at Anderson University in Greenville, South Carolina.

Palmetto Girls State graduates are James Bailey, Wesley Bryan, Lance Calcutt, William Collins, Thomas Frank, Thomas Warren, Jake Burttrum, Conner McMillan, Jesse Murdaugh. Palmetto Boys State graduates are Cameron Coursen, Kendall Bell, Caroline Duffie, Stephanie Hooker, Elizabeth McLaughlin, Anne Garrett Carter, Gracie Griffin, Tenna Marie Kinard and Meredith Ware.

At the annual reception each graduate was given the opportunity to tell about their experience. Almost every one of them expressed how they have made lifelong friends and have still been in contact with other students they met while there. Many told funny stories about what they had expected the week would be. Then they told how they were pleasantly surprised to find out their expectations were wrong. Instead of feeling alone they felt a new since of family. Instead of feeling like an outsider they felt involved and supported by their new friends. Graduate Kendall Bell said “I really didn’t know what to expect going into the week and it was truly an eye opener to learn how government was run. It was nice to be surrounded by girls who were not at all like me but who all had the same mindset and goal”. Bell ran for and won the state party chair for the National Party during their mock elections. Several other students also ran for high positions. Calcutt and Murdaugh both ran for and won Senate seats.

Post 93 was excited to have the opportunity to send 18 delegates from Colleton County. Post 93 Commander, John Wallace, reported they were able to pay in full the total cost for each of the 18 students to attend. Sponsors of the 2018 Youth Program were WIRE-Women In Rural Electrification, Lions Club, Dr. Shannon Pye, North Side Pac & Sac, Carter’s Barber Shop, Civitans, H. H. Bonds, Dorcas Tuten, Mr. Murdaugh, Education Association, Mcleod, Frasier, and Cone, Dr. Drew Calcutt, Dr. Vonda Calcutt, Coastal Electric Company, South State Bank, Palmetto Rural Telephone Company, Bank of Walterboro, ROTARY, Dr. Witkin, DMD, Bethel United Methodist Men, IGA Sales, Press and Standard, Do It Best Hardware, Charles Armentrout, John Wallace, Mike Kuszmaul, Redfern Crosby, Elks Lodge, VFW Post 12102, RW Books, Roger Williams, ACE Hardware and Bonita Fey.

Christie Slocum (538 Posts)