LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Astoria Federal Savings held its third annual essay contest for children, ages 5-12, asking the students to complete the statement: "If I save a lot today, in the future I could ... " The essay contest was part of Astoria Federal's fun and educational Teach Children to Save Celebrations beginning April 29, in every neighborhood branch throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080815/NYF052 ) Astoria Federal's local branch managers each selected one winner, and the seven top winners were selected from among these finalists. The grand prize winner was 9-year-old Connor Molloy from Garden City, who received a new personal computer for his essay, in which he expressed his heartfelt wishes to help people who have cancer by inventing a drug that had no harmful side effects. This drug, Connor explains, "would only beat up and destroy bad cancer cells. It would also make sure that bad cells would not come back." Connor hopes that instead of losing their hair, "People taking the medicine would want cake and candy all the time." Three first-place winners were chosen, and each received a $500 Savings Bond. They are:
-- 7-year-old Lara Ellentuck from Dix Hills -- 8-year-old Olivia Richards from Astoria -- 11-year-old Alexandria Best from Medford Three second-place winners were chosen, and each received a $250 Savings Bond. They are:
-- 7-year-old Crystal Jaiserie from Brooklyn -- 9-year-old John Munroe from N. Massapequa -- 11-year-old Anthony Tolba of Brooklyn Every child who was selected as a local winner from their community won a $50 U.S. Savings Bond, a Teach Children to Save Celebration Award Certificate and an Education First medal. The top seven winners and their families were invited to a reception at Astoria Federal's Lake Success Headquarters on July 24th, where they were congratulated by Astoria Federal executives and received their prizes. According to Astoria Federal Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing Brian Edwards, the community bank is committed to improving financial literacy in young people because it serves as a foundation for financial health as an adult. "The principle of saving money is a lesson that is best taught at an early age. As one essay author said, simply 'fill up your piggy bank ... when it is extremely full take it to Astoria Federal and add it to your account.' That's sound advice that spans generations, whether you are counting pennies in a piggy bank, cashing a paycheck or managing investments." Edwards added that the judges were impressed with the youngsters' ability to look well into the future. Many said they would use their saved money for college, to establish a business or to help others less fortunate. "This contest is just one of the fun, engaging ways to promote financial literacy to young people in our communities," said Edwards. Astoria Federal's Education First initiatives include the Student Savers and Bank-at-School programs, as well as the Kids Tools for School Collection Drive to help children be prepared on the first day of school by providing them with new school supplies, and The First Home Club(TM) to promote homeownership. These programs and others were all designed to encourage lifelong learning in the communities Astoria Federal serves. For additional information about Astoria Federal's Education First financial literacy programs, please call 1-800-ASTORIA. Astoria Financial Corporation, with assets of $21.6 billion, is the holding company for Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association. Established in 1888, Astoria Federal, with deposits in New York totaling $13.1 billion, is the largest thrift depository headquartered in New York and embraces its philosophy of "Putting people first" by providing the customers and local communities it serves with quality financial products and services through 85 convenient banking office locations and multiple delivery channels, including its enhanced website, www.astoriafederal.com. Astoria Federal commands the fourth largest deposit market share in the attractive Long Island market, which includes Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties with a population exceeding that of 38 individual states. Astoria Federal originates mortgage loans through its banking offices and loan production offices in New York, an extensive broker network covering twenty-two states, primarily the East Coast, and the District of Columbia, and through correspondent relationships covering twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia.
SOURCE Astoria Federal Savings