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Armed Services YMCA Announces 1998 Essay Winners

American Forces Press Service

SPRINGFIELD, Va., June 5, 1998 – Twenty-one children of military and DoD civilian-employee families have been named winners in the Armed Services YMCA Young Readers 1998 essay contest.

Six students won in five categories, and 15 were runners-up. Two winners each won a $1,000 bond, while four won $500 bonds. The 15 runners-up will receive $100 bonds. More than 4,000 youngsters entered. Fifty other students received honorable mention and a congratulatory letter from the Armed Services YMCA.

YMCA officials said the Young Readers project, supported by the U.S. Naval Institute, is intended to nurture a love of reading and knowledge among military families. The contest judges were from DoD, the YMCA and the institute.

"I wish everyone could have read at least some of the essays submitted this year," said retired Rear Adm. Frank Gallo, national executive director of the Armed Services YMCA. "They are all outstanding, and every student who participated is a winner. They wrote beautiful, humorous, insightful essays on the importance that reading has in their lives."

Contest officials said about two-thirds of the entries were submitted electronically this year, up from one-third in 1997.

The Naval Institute's publishing division has announced plans to contribute a number of its books as gifts to the school or installation library in the name of each of the five winners. The Armed Services YMCA Young Readers Project 1998 contest winners are:

  • Overseas High School: Douglas Chiles, 16, an 11th grader at the American High School, $1,000 bond, son of Army 1st Sgt. and Mrs. Douglas Chiles Sr., Vicenza, Italy.
  • U.S. High School: Matthew Wycoff, 14, a ninth grader at Summer Memorial High School, $1,000 bond, son of Navy civilian employee Guy and Lori Wycoff, Franklin, Maine.
  • Grades 7-8: Kiauna S. Townsend , 12, a seventh grader at Lester Middle School, $500 bond, daughter of Air Force Master Sgt. Charles and Tech. Sgt. Linda Baugh, Okinawa, Japan.
  • Grades 4-6: Chris Peterson, 10, a fifth grader at Stone Street Elementary School, $500 bond, son of Marine Corps Maj. and Mrs. Randolph Peterson, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; and Elliott Souza, 11, $500 bond, fifth grader at Finley Elementary School, son of Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer and Mrs. Scott Souza, Kennewick, Wash.
  • Grades K-3: Kelsey Brenna Sparks, 7, first grader at Pope Elementary School, $500 bond, daughter of Air Force Staff Sgt. and Mrs. Robert Sparks, Pope Air Force Base, N.C. The runners-up are:
  • Casey Held, 15, daughter of Army Master Sgt. and Mrs. Carl Held, Fort Bragg, N.C.
  • Nicole Edgeworth, 14, daughter of Army 1st Sgt. and Mrs. John Edgeworth, Fort Benning, Ga.
  • Torrey Hampton, 16, son of Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Lloyd Hampton, Kadena, Japan.
  • Monique Loren Wine, 13, daughter of Air Force Master Sgt. and Mrs. Lorenzo Wine, Sumter, S.C.
  • Rachel Boatright, 14, daughter of Army Maj. and Mrs. Allen Boatright, Heidelberg, Germany.
  • Shayna Brothers, 12, daughter of Air Force Tech. Sgt. and Mrs. Marty Brothers, Lajes, Azores.
  • Kelly M. Porter, 11, daughter of Air Force Tech. Sgt. and Mrs. Paul Porter, Lakenheath, England.
  • Lisa Ann Guerrero, 12, daughter of Army Sgt. 1st Class and Mrs. Andrew Guerrero, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
  • Aubrey Campbell, 12, daughter of Air Force Sgt. and Mrs. Shawn Campbell, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska.
  • David Blore, 9, son of Coast Guard Capt. and Mrs. Gary Blore, Astoria, Ore.
  • Dean Crossno, 7, son of Army Sgt. and Mrs. Gerald Crossno, Fort Benning, Ga.
  • Christina Dayyani, 6, daughter of Army civilian employee Deborah Dayyani, Fort Myer, Va.
  • Samantha R. Burnett, 8, daughter of Army Sgt. and Mrs. Lawrence Burnett, Fort Knox, Ky.
  • Rebekah Miller, 14, daughter of Navy civilian employee Mr. and Mrs. Frank Miller, Rota, Spain.
  • Christian A.C. Sanchez, 8, son of Chief Petty Officer and Mrs. Abraham Sanchez, Yokosuka, Japan. (From an Armed Services YMCA release)
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