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Isaac Van Wert American Legion Auxiliary Unit 178 is proud to send eight area young ladies to attend Buckeye Girls State on the campus of the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. The 2011 season begins Sunday, June 12.

Buckeye Girls State was organized as a national Americanism activity by the 1937 National American Legion Auxiliary Convention. The first one was held in Washington D.C. in 1947. The purpose of the program is to provide citizenship training for girls of high school age in every Department of the American Legion Auxiliary, afford them an opportunity to live together as self-governing citizens, and inform them about the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship, in order that they may understand and participate in the functioning of their government.

Lauren Buchanan, daughter of Louise Buchanan, attends Parkway High School. She is active in Friends of Rachel Group, where she serves as a Leader, track and field, basketball, Foreign Language Club, Science Club, Scholastic Bowl and band. She also participates in 4-H and the Fort Recovery Christians in Action (CIA) Youth Group where she is a Group Leader/Mentor and a Leadership Training in Christ Consultant for Jr. CIA members.

Alex Burchfield, daughter of Martin and Susan Burchfield of Van Wert, attends Van Wert High School. Her activities include volleyball, swim team, drama, Student Council, BETA Club, Globally Active People, Service Pack and Choir. She also participates in journalism and has served as Class Secretary for three years. Burchfield is a member of First United Methodist Church, and the Northwest Ohio Chrysalis/Emmaus Community where she served on the weekends as a leader in different areas.

Erika Frey, daughter of Steve Frey and Dr. Lori Frey of Van Wert, attends Crestview High School. She participates in football, basketball and competition cheerleading as well as Model United Nations, track, Knight-Vision soccer. She is active in her church youth group and serves as a Junior Curator at the Van Wert Historical Society. Frey is a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council.

Taylor Grooms, daughter of Doug and Sandra Grooms of Van Wert, attends Van Wert High School. She is active in swimming, volleyball, BETA Club, French Club, Scholastic Bowl, Band and Drama. She is also a volunteer for Special Olympics swimming and Van Wert Civic Theatre. Taylor belongs to 4-H and Staff in Training at Lutheran Memorial Camp.

Madelyn Jones, daughter of Jeanette and Michael Jones of Van Wert, attends Lincolnview High School. Her extracurricular activities include band, track and field, French Club, Science Club, BETA Club, Drama Club and cross country.

Sydney Riethman, daughter of Duane and Renette Riethman of Van Wert, attends Van Wert High School. Her extracurricular activities include cross country, cheerleading, track and field, BETA Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Council, Homecoming Float Committee, and German Club. She is also active in journalism and serves as a teacher's aide and Cougar Mentor. She is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church Youth Group and a Volunteer Alter Server. Riethman participates in the Ridge Buckeyes 4-H Club where she is a 4-H leader and ambassador.

Elizabeth Smith, daughter of Paul Smith and Jennifer Smith of Paulding, attends Vantage Career Center. She has been active in Girl Scouts, softball and basketball.

Rachael Wilson, daughter of Robert and Stacy Wilson of Convoy, attends Crestview High School. She is active in the marching, concert and pep bands, choir, S.A.D.D., Girl Scouts, Color Guard, National Honor Society and Red and Blue Club.

Isaac Van Wert American Legion Auxiliary Unit 178 is able to send the delegates with the assistance of Hall Lumber, Vantage Career Center, Straley Realty, Braun Industries, Laudicks Jewelry, Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home, Brookside Convenience Store, Elks Lodge #1197, Van Wert Service Club, Convoy Lions Club, Van Wert Optimist Club, Sons of the American Legion Post 178, Johnson Law Office, American Legion Post 178 and John and Gloria Ruddock.