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Ducks in the Community


Nicholas Illare honored for being a TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” winner

(Islip Terrace, N.Y., Feb. 6, 2015) – On Friday morning, the Long Island Ducks continued their annual TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest visits at East Islip Middle School. Sixth grader Nicholas Illare was the third student this year to win with an hour-long visit from the Ducks after submitting an essay about “Who is a hero in your community and why?”

CLICK HERE to view a Facebook photo album from the event

The day started with an assembly for the entire sixth grade class, which featured a total of nearly 350 students. The Ducks congratulated Nicholas on being one of this year’s winners and explained why his essay stood out from the record number received from students across Long Island. The lucky winner then read his essay aloud and received a long ovation from his classmates. TD Bank Vice President of U.S. Field Marketing Eric Fishon and East Islip Branch Assistant Manager Stephanie Polidoro then presented Nicholas with a $50 Visa Gift Card for being one of this year’s winners.

After Long Island’s Favorite Mascot, QuackerJack, greeted all of the students, the hero of Nicholas’ essay was introduced. Anthony, who is Nicholas’ cousin, works as an architect and real estate developer and uses his good fortune to give back to the community. He has offered to rebuild homes after Hurricane Sandy, sponsored a “Meals on Wheels” event at a local neighborhood park and donates to the ASPCA, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer.

Following the assembly, Nicholas and his classmates received a special autograph session with QuackerJack and got to take pictures with the lovable mascot as well. Each of the students in his class received a gift bag full of goodies, courtesy of TD Bank and the Ducks.

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?” Out of a record number of essays received from all over Long Island, four lucky winners were selected. Each one will receive an hour-long visit to their school from Long Island’s most popular mascot, QuackerJack, along with a Visa gift card from TD Bank. Here is the remaining winner in this year’s TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest:

Amy Whitman – Edna Louise Spear Elementary School (Port Jefferson, N.Y.)

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