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Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been Veterans of Foreign Wars' (VFW's) premier scholarship program. Each year, more than 100,000 high school students compete for more than $52.5 million in scholarships and incentives. Students compete by writing, and recording a broadcast on an annual patriotic theme. This year's theme is “Is our Constitution Still Relevant?”

The Department of North Carolina has 17 District winners, the top three of whom are invited to the Voice of Democracy/Patriot Pen Banquet to be honored by members of the VFW and its Ladies and Men's Auxiliaries. The department first place winner receives a $2,000 scholarship from the department, and a $1,000 scholarship from the family of Past State Commander Jim Black. He/she also travels to Washington, D.C. to compete against the first place winners of the other 53 VFW departments, and meet the President of the United States. The second place department winner receives a $1,500 scholarship from the department. The third place department winner receives a $1,000 scholarship from the department.


With American flags held high, members of the Macon County community filled Main Street to show their appreciation to the men and women who have served in the United States military. As the annual Veteran's Day parade headed up Town Hill, an unanimous applaud rung in the air as friends, family and neighbors braved the rain and chilly weather all for a chance to say thank you.

Led by local girl and boy scout troops, representatives from each war from Pearl Harbor to World War II to those still fighting for the country today marched down Main Street and were greeted with smiles. After the annual parade, the crowd moved to the gazebo on the square for a Veteran's Day Ceremony.


For its 13th year, Smoky Mountain Chevrolet hosted its annual Toys for Tots “Cruise In” fundraiser last Saturday.

Each year, the event has been held to raise funds and new unwrapped toys for less fortunate children throughout the region during the Christmas season.

The fundraiser, which over the years has become a regular holiday tradition for the community, saw a considerable turnout again this year.


Kicks off with ‘Let’s Dance’ gala

The Franklin Relay for Life team met for its annual combination Wrapup/ Kick Off on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at The Factory. Co-Chairs Tammy Dills and Jean Crane offered welcoming remarks and general information about the 2013 Relay for Life along with a recap of last year’s relay.

Team captains were recognized including Darlene Green, captain of the Caterpillar team who raised $9,555 for Relay for 2012.

Lucille Cox was named 2013 Honorary Chairperson in recognition of her more than 20 years of service to Relay.

Plans for the 2013 Relay for Life were announced. It will be held June 7 at the Franklin High School track with the theme “Grand Ole Relay,” and “Country Folks Can Survive.”


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