Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, together with Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way, Inc. Co-Founders Robert A.J. Eslick and Philip M. Eslick, announce that their co-sponsored "Kids of Distinction" program is returning for 2009.

"The Kids of Distinction program was initiated in an effort to recognize outstanding young people who have been active in exceptional endeavors in their community," Supervisor Venditto said. "At last year's ceremony, we were proud to honor exceptional Town of Oyster Bay youngsters for their commitment to their communities."

"The point of the program is to recognize kids for taking part in activities done on their own initiative," Philip said. "Last year's group of winners certainly fit the bill, many going above and beyond the call of duty to help others in the community."

The Kids of Distinction program focuses on activities participated in outside of school. These activities should have, in some way, benefited the community.

"Last year, we recognized a diverse group of winners who really demonstrated caring and compassion to those around them," Supervisor Venditto said.

Robert added, "Following the ceremony, additional programs were created as a result of the winners' positive attitudes towards helping others. We are confident that this year's group of winners will be equally compassionate and worthy of this honor."

Nominees will be placed in two categories, children currently in fifth through eighth grade and children in grades nine through 12. The age groups were established so nominees can be evaluated fairly against their peers. Three winners will be selected in each category by a committee organized by Kids Helping Kids.

"There are so many wonderful young people living in the Town of Oyster Bay who not only demonstrate academic or extracurricular skills, but also do a little something extra to help make the world a better place," Supervisor Venditto said. "We felt it was important to recognize our young residents who involve themselves in voluntary community, charity or civic activities on their own individual initiative."

Anyone who wishes to submit a nomination should fill out a nominating form and submit it to Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way, Inc., prior to the April 30 deadline.

Nominating forms can be obtained at Town Halls North (Oyster Bay) and South (Massapequa), as well as at local libraries. Nominating forms can also be found on the Town's Web site, www.oysterbaytown.com. Winners will be recognized at an upcoming meeting of the Oyster Bay Town Board and will be presented from Kids Helping Kids a $500 scholarship (courtesy of title sponsor: Empire Bakery Equipment - Mr. Claude Zarate - www.empirebake.com) and a commemorative plaque. For more information on the Kids of Distinction Program, call Kids Helping Kids at 249-9449 or email HappyKidsClub@aol.com.

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