FREEHOLD, N.J., June 5 -- Monmouth County issued the following news release:
The Monmouth County Historical Commission has announced the winners of the annual fifth-grade essay contest and the County's 2014 Preservation Awards.
"It is a pleasure to salute our young residents who have developed a keen awareness of history and the importance it plays in their lives," said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Monmouth County Historical Commission. "Monmouth County is rich in history and I am glad to know that our youth are growing up with the desire to visit and to know more about local history."
The 2014 first-place essay winner was Allie Van Pelt, of Stone Bridge Middle School in Allentown, who wrote about Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan and received a $100 book store gift card.
Second-place winner Matthew Desiderio, of Holy Innocents School in Neptune, wrote about the Arlington Cemetery where his great-grandmother was buried and received a $75 book store gift card.
There were two third-place winners. William Hurley, of Oak Hill Academy in Lincroft, who wrote about the Seabright Lawn Tennis and Cricket Club in Rumson and Hunter Lane, of St. Leo the Great School in Lincroft, who wrote about Woodrow Wilson Hall at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. Both third place winners received a $50 book store gift card.
In addition to the essays, preservation awards were given to the individuals and groups who have engaged in successful preservation and restoration projects on their own. The winning projects reflect the preservation movement and restoration of historic sites in Monmouth County.
Douglas Jemal, Cathy Zukerman of CDZ Architects and Douglas Kitchell were recognized for the preservation and restoration of two Life Saving Stations in Long Branch. Beth Woolley of Deal nominated the project.
In Ocean Grove, Amira Yunis and Dudley Hancox wanted to restore their Victorian home to its original character. They found a photo of their home from 1875 and worked with home design consultant Jay Cortese to complete the historically authentic restoration of their home.
Gloria Saker was lauded for commissioning Jay LaPointe for the restoration of the 1801 Stone Smokehouse in Freehold. The project was nominated by Cheryl Cook and Michael Berman of the Freehold Township Historic Preservation Commission.
The Township of Ocean Historical Museum received recognition for their successful establishment of a historic museum in the Eden Woolley House in Ocean Township.
"We speak regularly of Monmouth County as a historic county," Burry said. "Monmouth County is historic not only for what happened here, but for the efforts of those who preserve its buildings to ensure that they will be here for future generations. Preserving these sentinels of the past takes more than interest in history; it takes personal dedication, hard work and financial commitment by these current guardians of our shared heritage."
Preservation awards are given out annually to recognize people who have preserved a piece of Monmouth County history.
"Monmouth County has an amazing collection of historic buildings," said John Fabiano, executive director of the Historical Commission. "These include places to live, places to worship and places of public accommodation. The owners of these properties, and community organizations, work tirelessly to maintain these properties not for the awards, but because they care about preserving our heritage for the next generation."
See more event photos here (https://www.flickr.com/photos/monmouthcountygov/sets/72157644614394460/).
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