Sequim sisters win VFW essay contests

Two sisters claimed the top prizes for the Sequim VFW Post 4760’s essay contests, with one advancing to the state finals earlier this year.

Miranda, 12, and Makaila, 8, Marihugh advanced to District 14’s finals for the Olympic Peninsula for writing essays about “How the American Flag makes me feel” (Makaila) and “Why I honor the American flag” (Miranda).

Both girls won $25 from the Post and its Auxiliary, with Makaila winning the district’s contest and advancing to state. She competed against third-fifth graders for a $100 state prize but did not win, Post leaders report.

Miranda entered the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay (300-400 words) contest, vying for a $5,000 prize and all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

VFW Post 5760 leaders Steve Henrikson, quartermaster, Bob Wasserman, president Post 4760 Auxiliary, and John Down, post chaplain, honored the girls at their Jan. 8 meeting.

Descendants of the Cays pioneer family in Sequim, the girls follow a long line of veterans — including their great-grandfather Glen W. Cays, great uncle U.S. Navy, Richard O. Cays, a member of the 82nd Airborne, and their grandfather Harold Wayne Carroll, U.S. Naval Air Corps.

Their parents are Randy and Doni Marihugh.

The girls said they appreciated the honor and seeing all the people who had served the country in the military at the ceremony.

Essay contests are open to any child in specific grades, including the youth essay for students in grades 3-5, Patriot’s Pen for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, and Voice of Democracy for high school-aged youths. The high school competition features a top prize of a $30,000 scholarship award.

Deadlines for contests end tentatively October 2019.

For more information, contact the Sequim Veterans for Foreign War Post 4760, 169 E. Washington St., at 360-681-0434 or visit