Kettwig to host Armed Forces events

The evening began on a patriotic note — and stayed there.

Olympic High School senior Megan Kettwig earned the top prize in Tuesday’s Armed Forces Festival Ambassadors Scholarship Program.

She received $1,000 to help pursue her dream of going to Indiana University School of Music to study the flute.

“My goal is to play classical music in a professional orchestra,” she said after the two-hour ceremony at the Elks Lodge in East Bremerton, sponsored by the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce. About 75 family members and friends attended.

Sandra Howes, program chair, opened the ceremony by telling of hearing Tami Michaels, host of “The Home Front” on KOMO-AM Radio, report from New York on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“Her hotel was right across the street from the twin Trade Towers when the attack took place,” said Howes.

The chamber was able to get Michaels and Capt. Richard Wren, commander of the recently returned carrier USS Carl Vinson, to act as co-masters of ceremonies.

Each of the eight contestants — seven young women and one young man — was required to interview a foreign national, who had immigrated to the United States, and give a short talk on what they’d learned.

Kettwig spoke about a favorite teacher named “Solomon.”

“As a teacher, his most important goal is to teach his students to embrace who they are ... the simplest and most vital freedom — the freedom to be,” Kettwig said.

Finalists wrote essays on “What Does the Armed Forces Day Mean to Me?” and also answered impromptu questions.

Six judges rendered their verdicts:

l Kettwig, the big winner, is the daughter of Kathy and Dan Kettwig of Port Orchard. She is self-employed as a private music and yoga instructor and participates in the Tacoma Youth Symphony. She is an officer in the National Honor Society at OHS.

l Heidi Bay, Silverdale, second prize $750 scholarship.

l Haley Shapley, Bremerton, $500 scholarship.

l Ashley Bean, Poulsbo, $250 scholarship.

l Kettwig was also top ticket seller for the ceremony and earned another $100 for this. Bean was second highest ticket seller and received a check for $50.

Other contestants included Cassandra Bennett, Amanda Goodsell, Steven Ishmael III and Julia Sweet.

Each of the eight young Ambassadors representing Bremerton will ride on a vintage 1931 fire truck in the Armed Forced Day Parade, May 18.

The Bremerton Rotary and Bremerton Central Lions donated the scholarships.

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