It was an honor to represent ALMS, New Rochelle, New York State, the USO of Metropolitan NY, Volunteer New York!, and all of my friends and their parents who have helped me with Stars for Cars. I want to thank Mrs. Tatarka for believing in me in the 3rd grade, Mr. Miele for allowing the very first “3 Holidays Announcement” to be read at Ward, to all of the Principals and our Superintendent for allowing it to expand across our city and to the more than 100 schools who say it across NYS. Thank you also to AJ’s Burgers for being one of the first businesses to put my stars up. Thank you to Frank at Minuteman Press for making the star decals. Thank you Mr. John Barnes and all of the staff at ALMS for helping me to grow. Thank you Alisa H. Kesten, Executive Director of Volunteer New York! for not only nominating me but for being as my Mom says, “nice and friendly.” Thank you to Brian, Jessica, and Kim of the USO for EVERY single thing you do for “Our Brave One Percenters.” Thank you Jim Maisano for letting me speak in front of the whole County Legislature when I was 8. Thank you Mayor Noam Bramson for being the very first person in town to buy a star. Thank you Aunt Alice for being Aunt Alice & for being the Best/Great/Aunt/Nun Ever. Thank you Cousin-Uncle Greg Varian for always being there. Thank you Mom & Dad for Dad’s expert driving and Mom’s expert planning to get me to DC. You took me seriously from day 1. Thank you Audrey K. Marcy for being one of my favorite volunteers on this whole earth. Thank you Gayle Fish for helping me stuff those letters. Thank you Uncle Mike Hodes for covering your new car in star decals and driving it around. Thank you ALL GALLINS ALL THE TIME. Thank you to Grandma “G” up in heaven for opening the gate into this wonderful family. Thank you Mrs. Arciola for being brave enough to tell your story on the Oprah Winfrey show so I could see it when I was 8 and learn about “Blue Star” and “Gold Star” Military Families. Thank you to your entire family for your sacrifice. Thank you Michael Arciola, Private First Class, United States Army, for giving your life at age 20 in Iraq so we can be free. I let everyone in DC know about you. I let everyone in my 7,000 letters see your name. It’s not about winning awards, although it is nice, it’s about my trip to Arlington last week. I will write about my experience there and my thoughts on a hero I never met who changed my life. Thank you “Blue Star” and “Gold Star” Military Families everywhere.
Your Neighbor,


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