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American Legion Post 177 sends eight to Boys State

May 16, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

American Legion Post 177 will be sending eight young men to Boys State this year on the campus of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The program helps teach the basics of the Democratic style of government and what it takes on the local, state and federal level.

The program is sponsored by the American Legion, and getting into it is not an easy task. First off, the student must have finished his junior year of high school, or have at least one semester left prior to graduation after attending Boys State.

"The candidates should possess qualities of leadership, scholastic achievement, good citizenship and a willingness to participate," said Post 177 Commander Mike Kubitza. "They must believe in United State citizenship and the ideals of God and Country for which our country and the American Legion were founded."

Article Photos

2018 American Legion Boys State candidates sponsored by American Legion Post 177 include Michael Chaplow, Noah Zoldan and Max Dawson.

Kubitza said any boy interested in attended has to meet specific eligibility criteria. They first must be recommended by a teacher or principal from their high school. The candidates then have to fill out a questionnaire and be interviewed by a panel of American Legion veterans.

The panel makes the final selection and the local Post puts up around $300 per candidate to send them to the week-long event.

At the event, the boys fill local, state, and federal government positions. They hold elections and they basically run a government between 1,200 boys from all over Ohio. When the week is done, the boys return home with a new found knowledge, new friends, and new leadership skills. Kubitza said Post 177 has the boys visit a meeting and talk about their experience.

Attending this year's Boys State are Michael Chaplow, Noah Zoldan, Max Dawson, Joseph Marzano, Vincent Patierno, Jacob Pitzer, Phillip Stanic, and Luke Bowser. They all filled out an application and had great things to say about this opportunity.

Bowser is the son of Aaron and Heather Bowser. He is an Eagle Scout with Troop 25 in Canfield and he said he is looking to gain more leadership skills.

"I hope that Boys State will help me further my leadership skills," he said.

Chaplow is the son of Patrick and Kim Chaplow and is involved in a wide variety of activities. He is a member of the Lion's-sponsored Leo's Club, robotics club and is a member of the baseball, golf, and intramural basketball teams. Chaplow said he would be attending for more than just himself.

"It is a great opportunity to represent the community and my school in a positive way," he said.

Dawson, son of Jennifer Dawson, is also involved with the Leo's Club, is in Y-teens, and plays football and intramural basketball. He said attending Boys State would allow him to pursue something he really loves.

"I love history and government and I'd love to learn and understand even more," he said. "I am hoping this experience allows people to see me without the athletics and be able to meet people who just see me for me."

Marzano is the son of Joe and Dawn Marzano. He is class vice president and a member of student council. He plays football and baseball, and is looking forward to Boys State.

"I have always been intrigued by our government," he said. "Getting a real grasp of it at Boys State would be a dream opportunity to enhance my knowledge and understanding of government."

Vincent Patierno, son of John and Angela VanDudenhoue, runs cross country and works on the school newspaper. He has written and published two books and is presently on the junior class executive board at CHS.

Patierno said, "The Buckeye Boys State program is one that will allow for me to tap into what makes our nation the prosperous and unique place it is today, to meet new individuals of different mindsetsand to grow my understanding of the workings of the society in which we live."

Pitzer is the son of Jay and Lori Pitzer. He is in Y-teens and Leo's Club, and runs track.

"I am interested in government and I believe this program will allow me to get an even better understanding of the subject," Pitzer said.

Stanic is the son of Dan and Marianna Stanic. He is a junior class officer and plays soccer at CHS.

"I have always held a fascination about the ancient Athenian and Roman governments and how modern government has similarities to them," he said.

The final delegate is Zoldan, son of Scott and Bethann Zoldan. He is involved in tennis and golf and has been a peer counselor at CHS.

"My nickname has become the Mayor of Guidance," he said. "I consider this a compliment. I enjoy listening to others and helping them navigate their way. I am trustworthy, honest, and organized. I am a hard worker and enjoy keeping busy. I feel that when one looks at a government leader, they want someone with all these traits."

All 8 candidates are 17 and all have a deep interesting in learning more about the inner workings of government. This year's event will take place June 10 through 17.



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