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Student Wins Essay Contest

Third-grade student Jasmine Roldan from Fork Lane Elementary School recently won the Long Island Ducks essay contest for her piece on all the things she loves about Hicksville.

The Long Island Ducks, a minor league baseball team, holds the “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest every year. This year, the Ducks wanted participants to explain “Why My Community Is Important to Me.” Roldan’s essay stood out among the thousands who participated. She was one of only four contestants to win.

Roldan truly believes in what she wrote about Hicksville. “Almost every day the birds are chirping and the sun is shining,” she said.

In her essay, Roldan interviewed Legislator Rose Walker about her involvement in the community. Roldan expressed her interest in being a part of Hicksville through community events such as fundraisers, fairs and parades.

“Hicksville is beautiful,” said Roldan. “It’s my community and where I grew up. I think it’s more special than other communities because everybody is nice to everybody.”

As part of her prize, Roldan and her classmates received a visit from the Ducks' team mascot, Quakerjack, and team manager Kevin Baez this past Friday.

Roldan read her essay in front of Quackerjack and Baez, as well as her teacher, classmates, parents and TD Bank representatives.

“We look for people who are interested in the community because that’s what the Ducks are about,” said LI Ducks Assistant General Manager Doug Cohen.

Baez spoke to Roldan and her classmates, and then followed up with a question and answer session during which the students asked him about his job, the Ducks, baseball, interests, and more. Afterwards, Baez and Quackerjack signed autographs for the students.

At the event, Eric Fischon and Xiomara Leto, representatives of TD Bank, presented Roldan a $50 Visa gift card.

“I’m happy to say that in all my years of being a part of this essay contest, Jasmine’s essay is the best essay I’ve ever heard,” Fischon noted.

After meeting members of the Ducks, Roldan and the rest of Mrs. Koerner’s third grade class had a celebration with cupcakes and chips back in their classroom.

Roldan’s classmates were just as excited as Roldan about her winning the contest. They congratulated her and thanked her for bringing the Ducks to their school. Two students in her class even wrote and performed a song congratulating Jasmine on her essay.

Roldan’s favorite part of the entire event was getting autographs from Baez and Quackerjack, and “especially the $50 gift card,” she added.

She said that she is going to use the gift card to buy her whole family tickets to a Ducks game.