UT Townhall

Aaron Wittkamp Colwell American Legion Post 239 financial secretary Robert Smith (left) and past American Legion commander Dennis DeSalvo with (from left) Angelina Ocello, Colin Bowman, Gabriella Rodriguez Delarosa, Chole Howard, and Makayla O’Brien.

Ted Klepac

MARMORA – Aaron Wittkamp Colwell American Legion Post 239 in Tuckahoe recently honored five local students for their submissions to its annual coloring contest.

Fourth-grade winners were Makayla O’Brien and Gabriella Rodriguez Delarosa; in fifth grade the winners were Colin Bowman, Chloe Howard, and Angelina M. Ocello. Each student responded to a series of questions regarding their studies at school, other awards, their favorite subject, hobbies and future plans.

O’Brien, 10, earned honorable mention in the coloring contest. He enjoys writing and plans to become a doctor. She has one sister and two brothers. She thanked the American Legion for the honor and their kindness.

Delarosa, 10, listed gym as her favorite class. Reading, extended walks with her family, and drawing remain her favorite activities. She has one sister and two brothers. She earned first place honors in the coloring contest. Delarosa said she aspires to be a police officer. She thanked the Legion for the honor and their service to her country.

Bowman earned second place honors in the contest. He listed gym as his favorite class and playing soccer as his favorite pastime. He hopes to one day become a professional soccer player.

“I thank the American Legion for the awesome prizes,” he said.

Howard earned third place and enjoys sports. She plans to become a Disney dancer. She listed art as her favorite subject in school. Howard has one brother and one sister.

“I thank the American Legion for the plaque and cash award,” she said. “I am so happy.”

Ocello, 11, said history is her favorite subject and sports her favorite pastime. She plans to be a doctor. She has one brother and one sister.

“I am grateful to the American Legion members for their generosity,” Ocello said.

The recipients also extended their gratitude to past Post 239 commander Dennis DeSalvo and financial secretary Robert Smith, and all other members of Post 239, for the awards. Smith said it was his pleasure to present the awards to the students.

“I was happy to see their proud smiles,” he said.

“Principal Andrea Urbano and her professional staff are to be commended for their efforts in these endeavors, including the positive demeanor displayed by the students receiving our awards,” DeSalvo said. “I was also impressed by the demeanor of the young students passing through the hallways from class to class. It’s a reflection on their parents. Congratulations to all including our local Board of Education. Keep up the good work.”

American Legion Post 239 in Tuckahoe sponsors a number of charitable organizations and groups. They include the Coalition Against Hunger, the Mid-Atlantic City for the Arts & Humanities, Boys and Girls State, K-9 protective vests at a cost of $2,400 a piece, youth programs, a van for disabled veterans in Vineland, POW/MIA flags, Seaville fire company donations, Bingo gifts, and school scholarships.

Post 239 will soon be seeking used bicycles for homeless veterans at Veteran’s Haven South in Ancora. Veterans at the facility have to walk five miles to work each day. Eight of the 84 veterans have cars. Details regarding the project will be released in the near future.

Veterans of all branches of the military can join the American Legion. For more information, call DeSalvo at 609-390-9203.

(Editor’s note: Ted Klepac is a retired Ocean City High School teacher and coach. He is a former public information officer for Upper Township and a longtime correspondent for the Upper Township Gazette, along with his copy editor Wyatt.)

Stay informed! Sign up to receive top headlines from Cape May County delivered to your inbox.