LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Aug. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Astoria Federal Savings, Long Island's fourth largest bank by deposit market share and the second largest community bank headquartered in New York, recently announced the top seven winners of its eighth annual Teach Children to Save essay contest. More than 550 children from close to 150 schools in Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester counties participated in the contest by submitting an essay to their local branch completing the statement, "If I saved a lot today, in the future I could…"
"We were very impressed with the essays we received, and enjoyed reading about their detailed plans," said Brian Edwards, executive vice president and managing director of the Retail Banking Group at Astoria. "This contest is a great, fun way for children in our communities to start thinking about saving money to reach their goals. We think many of these young people have a very good grasp on what it will take to be successful, starting with getting a good education and trying to find ways to make a positive difference in the world."
In the essays submitted this year, young people shared their dreams of making the world a better place, providing food and shelter for the homeless, as well as arranging for elderly people to have pets as companions.
Astoria's team of judges selected seven overall winners. The Grand prize was awarded to 10-year-old Gregory Kies of Plainview, whose essay expressed a desire to build a peaceful place for military veterans to live when they return from service. Gregory was presented with a new laptop computer at the Teach Children to Save awards ceremony held at Astoria's headquarters in Lake Success, N.Y. on August 15, 2013. The principal of Gregory's school, John McNamara from Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School, was also presented with a laptop for the school's use.
The three first-place winners each received $250 American Express® Gift Cards:
- 7-year-old Liliana Millea of Stony Brook, Suffolk
- 8-year-old Cayla Rosenhagen of Selden, Suffolk
- 12-year-old Daniela Diaz of Bay Shore, Suffolk
The three second-place winners each received $100 American Express® Gift Cards:
- 6-year-old Lilah Lindemann of Miller Place, Suffolk
- 8-year-old Millicent Mullins of Yonkers, Westchester
- 11-year-old Lisa Motti of Farmingville, Suffolk
Each of the top winners in attendance also received recognition certificates from their county executive, as presented by Maggie Martinez Malito, executive director of the Office of Youth Services for Nassau County, and Rosa Leibrock from the Youth Bureau of Suffolk County.
Along with the top seven winners, local winners were also selected from each participating branch location. Local winners were invited to their neighborhood Astoria branch to receive a $25 American Express® Gift Card, a Teach Children to Save award certificate and a medal.
The Teach Children to Save program is a part of Astoria's Education First initiative, which also includes special Student Saver accounts, the Kids Tools for School collection drive to help prepare disadvantaged children for the first day of school by providing them with new school supplies, and The First Home ClubTM to promote savings and homeownership for first-time buyers. These programs and others were all designed to encourage lifelong learning. For additional information about Astoria's Education First financial literacy programs, please call 1-800-ASTORIA.
About Astoria Financial Corporation
Astoria Financial Corporation (NYSE: AF), with assets of $16.1 billion, is the holding company for Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association. Established in 1888, Astoria Federal, with deposits in New York totaling $10.2 billion, is the largest thrift depository 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, http://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 residential mortgage loans through its banking and loan production offices in New York, a broker network in four states, primarily along the East Coast, and through correspondent relationships covering nine states and the District of Columbia. Astoria Federal also originates multi-family and commercial real estate loans, primarily on rent controlled and rent stabilized apartment buildings, located in New York City and the metropolitan area.
SOURCE Astoria Federal Savings