YES For Liberty, the education arm of FlintHills TeaParty once again knocked it out of the ballpark with the 3rd Annual Constitution Bee.
Judges Richard Fry, Legal Counsel for Patriot Coalition, Paul Ibetson, Conscience of Kansas Radio, and Brenda Bowser, Central Kansas Patriots were the three judges,
Pastor Paul Barkey and Kansas Representative Ron Highland were the guest speakers.
Moderator George Washington (played by John Ball) and Robert Deemie MCed the event.
$5750 in scholarships were given to three top contenders.
The 3rd Annual “YES for Liberty” Constitution Bee was held Sunday, March 2nd at 2:00pm in the KSU Alumni Center. Fifteen of the original eighteen finalists braved the winter elements to compete for the top scholarship award of $3500.00, ultimately awarded to Chandler Huddleston, a junior at Rolla High School in far southwestern KS and 2013 second place award winner.
Jacob Nicolet, junior at Burlington High School in Burlington, KS, will receive the second place scholarship of $1500.00. Third place honors and $750.00 will go to senior Kasey Holle, from Wamego High School, in Wamego. Juniors Huddleston and Nicolet will be eligible to compete again in their senior years. The awards apply to tuition at any accredited 2- or 4-year public or private college or university; vocational-technical school or trade school located anywhere in the United States. For more details visit YESforLiberty.org.
Other qualifying finalists from across the state included:
•Taylor Latham, Great Bend HS, Great Bend;
•Allison Basore, Centre HS, Lost Springs;
•Taliesin Hutson & Zebulon Hutson, Westmoreland, Blue-Valley HS, Randolph;
•Nelsa Beckman, Manhattan, Riley County HS, Riley;
•Abigail Wahl & Michaella Wahl, Riley County HS, Riley;
•Mitchell Porter, Topeka, Rossville HS, Rossville;
•Christian Garland, II, Russell HS, Russell;
•Jacob Milham (2012 - 3rd Place winner), St. George, Rock Creek HS, Westmoreland/St. George;
•Laura Nicolae, Washburn Rural HS, Topeka;
•Marilyn Nguyen, Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic HS, Wichita;
•Alex Wakim, Northwest HS, Wichita;
The event was co-hosted by the Flint Hills Tea Party Educational Fund, Inc. and the KSU College Republicans. Manhattan Christian Bookstore provided the flags for posting the colors.
Invocation performed by Rev. Dr. Paul Barkey, US Army Ret.
Keynote speakers were Representative Ron Highland, 51st District and Dr. Paul Barkey, US Army Ret.
2013-2nd Annual Constitution Bee 1st-Place winner Nicholas Ercolani also addressed this year's participants to express how the Constitution impacts his life today. He also shared his future plans and how the award will assist in those plans.
Judging the competition were Dr. Paul Ibbetson, popular author & “Conscience of Kansas” talk-radio host; Richard Fry, General Counsel, JD, VP Oath Keepers, Co-Founder Defend Not Amend; and Brenda Bowser, Co-Founder of Central Kansas Patriots, State Director Kansas Patriot Action Network and Co-Host of “The Scene” on Access TV, Saline County.
Special guests in attendance included KS Rep. Ron Highland and his wife, Linda, of Wamego; John Matta, Mayor, Manhattan, KS; Lane Frazier, 2012 – 2nd Place Award Winner, Nick Ercolani, 2013 – 1st Place Award Winner.
Invitations were mailed to more than 480 high school principals and counselors across Kansas, including all known public, private, military & home-schools. Applications for the school year 2013-2014, from eligible Kansas 9-12 graders, opened on Constitution Day, September 17, 2013 and closed on December 31, 2013.
FHTP-Educational Fund Board Chairman Robert Deemie hosted the event, ably assisted by his wife Linda and FHTP-EF Board members John & Judy Ball, John Ford, Tom & Sylda Nichols, Marvin & Vicki Rodriguez, Larry & Chris Tawney, with Celebrity Statesman Master of Ceremonies "George Washington" to oversee the proceedings.
Bockers II of Manhattan provided terrific and splendid catering for the reception after the awards.
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