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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.
by Jennifer Crusco
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)
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