Americanism Awards are given to pair of Mt. Pleasant Area students
The James E. Zundell American Legion Post 446 and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 446 in Mt. Pleasant recently honored two recipients during the annual Eighth Grade Americanism School Awards program.
Donegal's Michael Sarnelli Jr., a student at Mt. Pleasant Area Junior-Senior High School and the son of Michael Sarnelli Sr. and Gloria Sarnelli, was presented with a gold pin and certificate by Legion Post 446 executive committee Chairman Gene Calabrase.
Mt. Pleasant's Anna Billey, a classmate of Sarnelli and the daughter of Brian and Andrea Billey, was presented a certificate by Legion Auxiliary Unit Chairwoman Barbara Rudnik.
Both recipients said they were unaware of the existence of the awards when the school's faculty told them that they had won.
“I was very surprised,” Billey said.
Sarnelli said he was told he had won “based on what I did at the school and for the community.”
The American Legion National Americanism Commission School Award Medal program recognizes a boy and a girl who are deemed most worthy of recognition for the high qualities of citizenship and of true Americanism, with an emphasis on their development of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service, according to legion.org.
Each year, the Legion contacts the school and Legionnaires work in conjunction with students and faculty to choose the medal recipients.
Legion Auxiliary Unit 446 President Ferne Brown said the program is very important “to show their patriotism, and to show love for the (American) flag and pledging allegiance.”
Students from the school's eighth grade class are chosen because it is the most impressionable age to reach youths, according to a summary provided by the Legion.
Billey is a volunteer with Visitation Church in Mt. Pleasant, where she is a member, who helps carry out festivals and assists during services.
Sarnelli — who plays the trumpet — is elected by the American Legion to play at funerals for Legion members. At such times during the school year, the Legion's Honor Guard transports Sarnelli from school to funerals.
Barbara Denning is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Christmas in the Mountains’ to be held Dec. 4-6 in Mt. Pleasant area
- Black Friday could be a wet one in Connellsville, Mt. Pleasant areas
- Mt. Pleasant Business District Authority plans ‘Small Business Saturday’ event
- Westmoreland County, Mt. Pleasant Borough officials try to solve Willow parking issue
- Mt. Pleasant Borough’s $10M Main Street project postponed
- Donegal merchant revives cancer research fundraiser
- Life Skills students tour Mt. Pleasant-area Subway restaurant