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Page 8 THE VILLADOM TIMES III • December 24, 2008 Six win contest; judges recognized Above: Judges Janet Alverson, Cynthia Baxter, Barbara Mason, Allan Parker, and Sue Veerling- Steinhoff. At left: Stanley Kober with fi rst place winner Sara D’Iorio. At right: Contest winners from fi rst through sixth place. Six middle school students representing Ho-Ho-Kus, Ridgewood, and Saddle River were honored last week for their top-rated entries in the Patriot’s Pen Essay Competi- tion. The program was sponsored by the Washington Elm VFW Post 192 (Ho-Ho-Kus/Ridgewood) and featured the theme “Why America’s Veterans Should Be Honored.” Sara D’Iorio of Ho-Ho-Kus was named the fi rst place entrant. Her winning essay has been forwarded to the dis- trict level competition. The winning entrants also included Julia Koski of Ridgewood, second place; Katherine Martini of Saddle River, third place; Emily Pagano of Ho-Ho-Kus, fourth place; Jacqueline Sloan of Ho-Ho-Kus, fi fth place; and Branden Youssef of Ho-Ho-Kus, sixth place. All of the winners received certifi cates, mousepads, pins, and a book on the U.S. Constitution. The fi rst place winner received a backpack, the second place winner received a sports bag, and the third place winner received a belt pack. VFW Commander Stanley Kober introduced each of the contestants in alphabetical order. He explained that each student’s entry had been assigned a number, so only he would know which student had submitted each essay. The judges then assigned points for theme knowledge, theme development, and clarity of ideas. Kober collated the results and announced the names of the top entrants. As Kober announced the winning contestants, a clear pattern emerged: the students had won in alphabetical order. In addition, the top three entrants represented one of each of the three municipalities that had participated. “I believe that it is important for our young people to fi nd out fi rsthand, wherever possible, not from just the Inter- net, what our rich American history contains. Talking to family relatives who, in the case of this essay competition and others, may have gone through, and some may even have formed, some of our historic heritage, is an extremely important part of that education. It is my hope that these young people, as well as all those who participate in our VFW competitions and others, will do effective, thorough research into their history studies so that they understand clearly, and better, the true principles on which our coun- try was founded, and that we, and millions of others have fought -- and will fi ght --and some of whom gave -- and will give -- the ultimate sacrifi ce to preserve and defend for these young people and future generations,” Kober said. Along with the students’ parents, Ho-Ho-Kus Public School Principal Alexis Eckert and history teacher Kath- eryn Ferdinand of Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood were in attendance. Kober also recognized judges Janet Alverson, Cynthia Baxter, Maryellen Lennon, Barbara Mason, Allan and Connie Parker, Cindy Tharayil, and Sue Veerling-Stein- hoff. Those present received certifi cates. SHOP LOCAL by Jennifer Crusco Emmanuel asks Can You Help? Our hat’s off to all of our supporters this past year. You have all made it possible for us to do our work in the north- ern seven county area (Bergen, Essex, Sussex, Hudson, Passaic, Morris and Warren counties). It has been a chal- lenging year and there are many challenges still ahead of us. We appreciate your year-end fi nancial support. (Please write a check before Dec. 31 to make your tax-deductible contribution to our families.) We do need your direct help in order to keep up with the current level of programs that we offer. Underwriting the costs of electricity, telephones, the rent and salaries may not be romantic, but they are real expenses that we must meet each month. Help us to help them. Your funds are meticulously well spent and most of the money goes directly help the families. Involve your group now and in the New Year. Enlist the aid of your coworkers, team, or other organization members in conducting a fundraiser or food collection to help get us through the winter months. Keep in mind that whether the times are hard or are good, many people dealing with a child diagnosed with cancer have a tough go of it, espe- cially those with a moderate income. We thank you for helping this little girl who has big problems in her daily living! Allie, age four, was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor seven months ago. She had one kidney removed and then months of chemotherapy treatment. The treatment, unfortunately, left her with one kidney an overactive bladder and leg muscle damage. She now suf- fers from bladder spasms, discomfort, frequent urges, acci- dents, and constant urination. She goes through multiple packages of Pull-Ups every day, with night time being the worst. She wakes up two to three times a night needing a change of PJ’s and bedding. All of this is happening at the vulnerable age of four years old! Her mom, Sarah, is handling this as a single parent who had to quit work as a teacher’s aide. Allie has a string of doctor’s appointments, medical tests, check-ups, and physical therapy. Basically, you could say that she is under siege. The next hurdle is leg casting to correct leg damage and prevent walking diffi culties. The main cost this small family has is the high expense for many packages of Pull-Ups. Any help with donations is greatly appreciated. She wears a 4T or 5T Pull-Ups or Goodnights brand (38 pounds plus). Her family desperately (continued on page 10) Support Your Allendale Merchants Allendale Chamber of Commerce Visit us at Spotlights on new and existing members on a rotating basis. Find out about upcoming events and goings on in Allendale