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Essay winners have all the write stuff

Mayor Michael Nutter and Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce president Al Taubenberger appeared at Rising Sun Plaza on Saturday to honor winners of a children’s essay contest.

Children were invited to enter the fourth annual Ed Cutler Memorial My Mom’s/Dad’s the Greatest Essay Contest. Cutler was the longtime owner of Ferguson’s Jewelers and the original site manager for Rising Sun Plaza, which opened in 1979 at Rising Sun and Adams avenues. He died last year.

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Cutler started the essay contest, and it continues in his memory.

Among those in attendance were Carole and Eric Cutler, Ed’s widow and son; Joanne Kaminski, vice president of LRF Slater Companies Inc., which manages the shopping center; 2nd Police District Sgt. Kenneth Delgado; and a Mummers trio.

The overall winners were 10-year-old Miten Amin, who wrote about his mother Monika, and 17-year-old Katie Crespo, who wrote about her father, Edgar Martinez.

Miten and Katie each won $500 gift certificates to Roses, a department store in the mall. Their parents won free one-year memberships to Planet Fitness.

The runners-up were 18-year-old Lakeda Williams, 15-year-old Mariah Martinez, 14-year-old Jonae Mack, 11-year-old Asia Martinez, 10-year-olds Zakira Jackson, Nick Vassallo and Jade Lebron and 8-year-old Destiny Tull. All runners-up received $100 mall gift certificates.

Nutter said families are the heart and soul of the city, adding that strong families make strong neighborhoods.

Taubenberger, who lost to Nutter in the 2007 mayor’s race, credited Ed Cutler with having the vision to create a contest that allows children to show their love and respect for their parents for Mother’s and Father’s Day. There’s something special, he said, about expressing thoughts in a written format.

“Those words will live forever,” he said. ••

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