Gilda’s Club NNJ Hosts Teen Essay Contest

HACKENSACK – Gilda’s Club Northern New Jersey is hosting its second annual “It’s Always Something” Teen Essay Contest to encourage high school teens to write an engaging, heartfelt essay that focuses on the impact cancer has had on their lives.

The mission of Gilda’s Club is to provide welcoming communities of support to anyone affected by cancer and bring together people who are experiencing similar situations. The contest is open to teens that have had cancer, had a family member or friend with cancer or lost a loved one to cancer.


“While a cancer diagnosis impacts everyone in their own way, teenagers dealing with cancer have a different perspective,” said Ruth Dugan, Gilda’s Club NNJ president. “It can be very difficult for teens to express their feelings and emotions about the impact of cancer on their lives. This essay contest provides them with a unique opportunity to share their personal stories and views with the community.”

Entries will be reviewed by a panel of celebrity judges and five winners will be selected. The judges include: Harlan Coben, New York Times best-selling author; Deirdre Imus, author, philanthropist, children’s health advocate and Gilda’s Club NNJ board member; Lori Stokes, Emmy award-winning news anchor for ABC Eyewitness News and Jeff Feagles, former punter for the New York Giants.

The first-place winner will receive a laptop computer, the runner-up will receive an iPod and a $50 iTunes gift card, the third-place winner will receive an iPod and the two honorable mentions will each receive a $100 gift card.

Essays and completed contest entry forms may be submitted by regular mail, postmarked by Friday, April 29, or by email, no later than 5 p.m. Monday, May 2. Essays must be typed, double spaced and no more than 1,000 words. Mail entries to Brooke Laster, Gilda’s Club NNJ, 575 Main Street, Hackensack, NJ, 07601 or email to Students in grades 9-12 are eligible to enter.

All contest entrants will be invited with their families to a ceremony on Wednesday, May 18 at the Hackensack clubhouse. Winners and prizes will be announced at the ceremony.

For contest flyer and entry form or for any questions, contact Brooke Laster at 1-201-456-1670 ext. 111 or at More information about Gilda’s Club NNJ is available at

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