FLORENCE, S.C. — The Fred H. Sexton American Legion Post 1 held its annual Boys/Girls State Banquet on Oct. 8.

The Boys/Girls State is a program where students attend a weeklong, live-in experience learning about how government works. It is a hands-on activity where students form cities and then establish political offices that they campaign for and then govern.

“The American Legion is very proud of its children and youth initiatives,” Post Commander Ken Curran said. “Boys/Girls State is just one of our programs for our youth. These young men and women are our future leaders, and we are proud to say that the community will be in good hands.”

The boys attended Anderson University; the girls went to Presbyterian College.

There were 1,050 boys from across the state attending. Post 1 sponsored 38 boys and six girls.

Judge Gene Morehead, a longtime Post 1 member, was recognized for his dedicated service as post chairman for Boys State. His committee raised more than $11,000 to sponsor this year’s participants.

The banquet had more than 100 guests, including students, family, Legionnaires and Auxiliary members.

The program started with a catered dinner by Missy’s Cafe’.

The certificate awards began with Auxiliary President Vickie Gimla presenting two of her girls, Taighen Poston and Keirsten Hopkins. They both said they loved their experience and praised the program.

Post Adjutant Mike Richey opened the Boys’ segment of the program. Each participant was presented with his Award Certificate by Curran, and then each one spoke briefly about the experience.

The following schools participated in the Boys/Girls State program (number of participants in parentheses):

Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School (8).

Wilson High School (8).

West Florence High School (12).

South Florence High School (4).

Kings Academy (3).

Florence Christian (1)

Hannah Pamplico High School (1).

His Blessing Academy (1).

The Girls State students represented Carolina Academy, King’s Academy and Johnsonville High School.

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