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Patriotic Essay Contest Will Offer Winner A Ride In A Hot Air Balloon

February 20, 2018

READINGTON, NJ — This will certainly have students looking up. 
The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning and PNC Bank are inviting New Jersey students in grades 2 through 12 to take part in the 15th annual PNC Bank “American Patriot Essay Contest” by writing a short essay on the topic “What the American Flag Means to Me.”
The Grand Prize winner will receive a tethered ride in a gigantic, 75-foot-tall hot air balloon at their school in June and a special VIP package at this year’s balloon festival July 27-28-29, 2018 at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ: a hot air balloon ride for two, four Blue Sky Club VIP tickets, and the opportunity to meet one of this year’s concert headliners, which in the past have included Disney teen sensations the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, and Sabrina Carpenter.
This year’s winning student’s immediate classmates will each receive one complimentary general admission ticket to the Festival. Second and third place prizes consisting of Festival admission and merchandise will be also awarded. The winning student’s teacher and school principal will each receive two Blue Sky Club VIP tickets.
All teachers in the state who submit a group of 15 essays or more on behalf of their students will receive two free general admission tickets to the Festival regardless of whether one of their students submits the winning essay.
Last year, Kawameeh Middle School in Union, NJ produced both the first-place and second-place finishers. Guy Francis, a seventh grade student, was the Grand Prize winner as he wrote about his ancestors’ freedom from the Nazis and slavery. Classmate Judd Espejo wrote about how living in the United States aided his mother’s full recovery from breast cancer.
“Every year we receive thousands of heartwarming essays from students across the state who are inspired by the American Flag,” said Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman. “These are their very personal stories and feelings of how the flag is a part of their everyday lives or reminds them of a loved family member. We are looking forward to this year’s entries and once again wish to thank all of the educators who encourage their students to take part.” 
“The PNC American Patriot Essay Contest gives students across New Jersey the chance to display their love of country and their skill with words,” said Joe Whall, PNC Senior Vice President and Director of Client & Community Relations. “We are delighted to support the essay contest as part of our overall sponsorship of the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank. Talent and patriotism are indeed alive and well in the Garden State.”
The essays must be 100 words or less. They will be judged by a panel of representatives from PNC Bank and the balloon festival. Winning essays will be selected based on creativity, poignancy and clarity with consideration given to the grade level of the contestant. Contestants are not required to be U.S. citizens.
Entries should be mailed to Essay Judges, QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, 363 Route 46 West, Suite 200, Fairfield, NJ, 07004, or emailed to [email protected] Entries should include the student’s name, home or school address, home or school telephone number, grade, age, school name and the name of their teacher. The deadline to enter is May 1, 2018.
Additional information may be found at www.balloonfestival.com/pncessay.
Russ Mensch
Mensch & Company, Inc.
Public Relations & Event Marketing
phone: 201-797-2448
email: [email protected]