Local Kids Win Ocean County Fire Poster Contest

Winners from left to right: Mackenzie Asfalg, Adriana Manochio, Abigail Fuchs, Madison Salanitro, Eva Rios and Ashely Soltis. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

OCEAN COUNTY – The Ocean County Fire Prevention & Protection Association, along with freeholders John Kelly and Gerry Little, announced the association’s poster contest winners at the freeholder’s recent meeting.

The state association sponsors a contest every year. Municipalities hold the first round of contests, and winners advance to the county, and then state, contests.

“To get to this point, just to give some statistics, is that our guys judge probably 1,000 posters from the schools,” OCFPPA president Bill Gee said. “So you’re the winners out that many kids.”

The winners received $50 gift cards and a certificate from the county.

“The message is very important this year: ‘Every Second Counts. Plan Two Ways Out.’ We would be remiss if we didn’t mention a little fire prevention while we’re here today,” Richard Orlando, vice president of OCFPPA and Brick assistant fire marshal, said. “Please, wherever you go, wherever your travels may take you, always know a second way out, not necessarily the way you went in, no matter where you go.”

The county meeting room was packed with the winners and their families, in addition to the usual crew that attends freeholder meetings.

The poster contest winners with their families, freeholders John Kelly and Gerry Little. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

“Everybody in here and everybody that took part in this year’s contest is already a winner, because you have learned something by teaching something,” Kelly said. “And really, this year’s theme is fantastic. Hopefully, none of us will ever have home or our school on fire, but, we have to be prepared in the event that it is. And that’s what this contest is about.”

Little thanked the families for coming out to support the winners.

“These kids are the future, not only of Ocean County and your local towns, but of our nation, and they have a good head start. They’re obviously good students and a lot of that is attributable to the parents and the family that’s there to support them,” Little said.

Freeholder John Kelly holds up the poster created by winner Adriana Manochio of H & M Potter School in Berkeley, joined by Freeholder Director Gerry Little and Ocean County Fire Prevention & Protection Agency president Bill Gee. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

The county had winners in six categories. The winners included:

Division 1, Kindergarten to second grade, Mackenzie Asfalg from Osbornville School in Brick

Division 2, third to fifth grade, Adriana Manochio, H&M Potter School in Berkeley

Division 3, sixth to eighth grade, Abigail Fuchs, Veterans Memorial Middle School in Brick

Division 4, ninth to 12th grade, Madison Salanitro, Central Regional High School in Bayville

Division 6, kindergarten to eighth grade, Eva Rios, Lake Riviera Middle School in Brick

Division 7, ninth to 12th grade, Ashley Soltis, Central Regional High School in Bayville

Berkeley Township fire official Fred Mitchell was also in attendance.