Essay contest winner, Hannah Niggemeier, poses with her new friends from the Ducks and TD Bank

(Sayville, N.Y., Feb. 5, 2013) – On Tuesday, the Long Island Ducks Street Team, powered by National Grid, spent the morning with Hannah Niggemeier and her classmates at Sayville Middle School. Hannah was one of four winners in the annual TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest, and for her efforts, she received a special visit from TD Bank, QuackerJack and 2012 Atlantic League champion Ray Navarrete.

The assembly began in the gymnasium with TD Bank representatives Eric Fishon and Therese Mora presenting Hannah with a Visa gift card for being one of the winners and writing a terrific essay, which she then read to the entire 6th grade. Long Island’s favorite mascot, QuackerJack, then came out to say hello to the class and Ray spoke to the children about the importance of community and how “you must always believe in yourself and never give up on your dream.”  Following Ray’s speech, Hannah and some classmates, including Principal Murray, played a little whiffle ball with Ray while the entire grade cheered them on.  When the assembly ended, QuackerJack and Ray joined Hannah and the rest of her class for a private meet and greet in their classroom. Students posed for pictures and were given a gift bag full of goodies, courtesy of TD Bank.

Contestants were able to pick up applications from local TD Bank locations this fall and submit an essay of 250 words or less on “Why my community is important to me.” Out of thousands of essays received from all over Long Island, four winners were selected.  Each winner received a visit from a Ducks player and Long Island’s most popular mascot, QuackerJack, along with a Visa gift card from TD Bank.

Once again, here were the four winners in this year’s TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest:

Amanda Dewey, 9 – Paul J. Bellew Elementary School in West Islip
Austin Faber, 9 – Forest Brook Elementary School in Smithtown
Alexa Lipsenthal, 7 – East Plain Elementary School in No. Massapequa
Hannah Niggemeier, 11 – Sayville Middle School

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