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Group To Reward Generous Kids

Officials are set to recognize another batch of local youngsters for their work in the community. 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, recently kicked off the search for the next winners of the ‘Kids of Distinction’ community service based Scholarship Program for 2014.

“The ‘Kids of Distinction’ Scholarship Program was initiated in an effort to recognize outstanding young people who have been active in exceptional endeavors in their community,” Venditto said. “At last year’s ceremony, eight exceptional Town of Oyster Bay youngsters were honored for their commitment to their communities. In celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the ‘Kids of Distinction’ program the Kids Helping Kids Scholarship Committee will award 10 $2,000 scholarships this year.”

Co-founder Philip Eslick said the concept of the program is to recognize kids for taking part in service activities on their own initiative.

“Last year’s group of winners certainly fit the bill, many going above and beyond the call of duty to help others in their community,” Philip said.

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

Hicksville’s Eamonn McNicholas, currently a ninth grader at Chaminade, was one of last year’s winners, lauded for his numerous service projects.

In 2012, McNicholas organized a recycling drive during which he collected over 2,000 recyclables. He used the $300 he got from depositing the recycling to purchase 32 full size turkeys so needy families could celebrate Thanksgiving.

McNicholas also helped with Hurricane Sandy clean up and regularly visited an elderly couple in his neighborhood, bringing them dinner and talking to them for hours.

McNicoholas says he volunteers simply because that’s what his parents raised him to do.

“I’m the oldest in my family and I never had an example except my parents. I want to be a good example for my younger brother and sister,” McNicholas said. “And I feel good about it. I feel like I’m doing the right thing and being a good person.”

Robert Eslick said this year’s group of winners will be equally compassionate and worthy of this honor.

“The Kids Helping Kids academic scholarships help students fund their college education and related expenses and in these tough economic times every dollar helps,” he said.

Nominees will be placed in two categories, those currently in fifth through eighth grade and those in grades nine through 12. Five 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,” 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.”

In addition, Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way Inc. is inviting several past ‘Kids of Distinction’ scholarship recipients to attend the 2014 ‘Kids of Distinction’ scholarship ceremony to talk about what they are doing now.  

This will allow the 2014 scholarship  candidates to hear from their peers and past scholarship recipients about what they are doing at college or in their professional careers, years later in their young lives.

Any student or anyone who wishes to nominate a student (in referenced categories) must fill out an application/nominating form and submit it to Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way, Inc., prior to the May 16 2014 deadline.

Application/nominating forms can be obtained at Town Halls North (Oyster Bay) and South (Massapequa), as well as at local TOB libraries and schools. Application/Nominating forms can also be found on the Town’s Web site, www.oysterbaytown.com.

Winners will be recognized at an upcoming special ceremony held by the Oyster Bay Town Board on Tuesday, June 17 at 7 p.m. and will be presented with a citation from the Town of Oyster Bay together with a $2,000 scholarship from Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way Inc.

For more information on the ‘Kids of Distinction’ Scholarship Program call 516-249-9449 or email Kids Helping Kids at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .