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Two Cranston Girls Win KDMF Writing Contest

Jacqueline Youngdahl of Hope and Alana Perez of Cranston took first and third place respectively in the tenth annual Katie DeCubellis Memorial Foundation writing contest.

Two Cranston girls took top honors (first and third place) in the tenth annual Katie DeCubellis Memorial Foundation writing contest.

“Emotionally gripping... a sensitive narrative... and “a revealing look at bullying,” are just some of the comments philanthropist and book editor Joan Parker uses to describe this year's top three winners.

Parker is the inspiration to best-selling author Robert Parker’s main female character in his best-selling Spenser for Hire book and TV series. Joan Parker continues her husband’s legacy by overseeing writers who have taken over Parker’s successful series.

We are truly excited and appreciative to Joan Parker for agreeing to serve as the celebrity judge for the KDMF’s 10thannual writing contest,” said Executive Director John DeCubellis. “This year we picked a timely topic that elicited deep and meaningful essays, and we are proud to announce our top three winners. Thanks to our corporate sponsor AAA of Southern New England we were able to award larger monetary prizes to the top three winners and honorable mentions."

This year's first place one thousand dollar winner is Jacqueline Youngdahl of Hope, Rhode Island. Here is what Parker said about her entry, “Solemnly Swear is emotionally gripping and impressive prose style. An empathic understanding of the challenges of being bullied.”

The second place award of five hundred dollars goes to Kendra Quimby of West Warwick, Rhode Island, Parker had this to say about her work, Team Anna is a sensitive narrative leading to a satisfying unanticipated conclusion.”

Alana Perez of Cranston, Rhode Island came in third place winning three hundred and fifty dollars. Here is what Parker said about her essay, “Same Love is a revealing look at bullying, its devastating affects and in this case an unexpected ending.”

For the past ten years KDMF has awarded money and prizes to students who placed in the annual writing contest. This year AAA of Southern New England joined forces with the foundation helping to also raise awareness about the dangers or drinking and distracted driving, “Whenever we’re able to engage young people on issues like impairment and distraction or other risky behaviors behind the wheel, we view it as an important opportunity to make our roads safer for all motorists”, states Lloyd Albert, AAA’s senior vice president of public and government affairs. “We are pleased to help support this year’s writing contest and to partner with the KDMF in such a worthwhile effort.” 

A ceremony was held Monday, May 20th at the Warwick Mall to announce this year’s winners. Television reporter/WPRO radio anchor and children’s book author Laura Clarizio emceed the event. 

The KDMF presented monetary awards to the winners. Additionally, professionally created posters with the winners’ names and writing entries will remain on display at the mall during the week following the ceremony. The winners also received an autographed copy of one of Robert Parker's books. For more information about the contest and annual scholarships that the KDMF awards visit the Foundation’s website at www.kdmf.org

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