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.

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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