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Ducks in the Community


Ducks begin TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest visits

(Centereach, N.Y., Dec. 17, 2015) – On Wednesday, December 16, the Long Island Ducks kicked off their annual TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest visits at North Coleman Road Elementary School. Third grader Samantha Rivera received the special appearance and was honored as this year’s first contest winner for her essay on “Who is a hero in your community and why?”

to view a Facebook photo album from the event

The afternoon began with an assembly in the cafeteria for the entire third grade class. Ducks representatives congratulated Samantha for her terrific work, and she read her essay out loud to her classmates. Samantha was then presented with a $50 Visa gift card by Eric Fishon, TD Bank Vice President of U.S. Field Marketing Strategy, and Kerry Baardsen, TD Bank Lake Grove Branch Manager.

Following the presentation, Samantha was joined by members from Engine Company 2 of the Centereach Fire Department, who she chose as her heroes in the community. Those in attendance included Commissioner/Firefighter Thomas Doyle, Ex-Chief Joseph Losquadro, Lieutenant Gerald Sposato, Firefighter Vito Graziano, Firefighter Anthony King and Firefighter/Paramedic Joseph Westenberger. They all congratulated Samantha for her meaningful essay and thanked her for choosing them as her heroes.

After a stirring ovation, Long Island’s favorite mascot, QuackerJack, was welcomed by the students in attendance. Samantha, the firefighters and QJ rounded out the assembly by taking part in a question and answer session. The day was capped off with a special autograph and photo session for those in Samantha’s class. Everyone got to see Engine Company 2’s fire truck up close and also received a gift bag full of goodies, courtesy of TD Bank. Samantha and the fire department were interviewed by local media covering the event.

TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” essay contestants were able fill out applications available at this fall and submit an essay of 250 words or less on “Who is a hero in your community and why?” Four lucky winners were selected from an entry pool that included a record number of essays. Each winner will receive an hour-long visit to their school from QuackerJack and the Ducks as well as a Visa gift card from TD Bank.

Here are the remaining winners in this year’s TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest and when the Ducks will be visiting their school:

Sean Napoli – Sixth Grade – Jonas E. Salk Middle School (Levittown, N.Y.) – Monday, Dec. 21 at 1:00 p.m.
Kevin Mauri – Fourth Grade – Bayview Elementary School (West Islip, N.Y.) – Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 9:30 a.m.
Ayse Yildiz – Fifth Grade – Santapogue Elementary School (West Babylon, N.Y.) – Friday, Jan. 22 at 10:00 a.m.

The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bethpage Ballpark. For further information, call (631) 940-DUCK or visit