Kruszewski wins 9 VPW awards

Henrico Citizen Managing Editor Patty Kruszewski won nine awards in the Virginia Press Women’s 2012 communication contest, including four first-place entries that will advance to the National Federation of Press Women contest.

Kruszewski collected two of her first-place honors in the Special Articles category, with stories about religion and health topics. In the health category, the winning articles were about two non-profits, ASK and the Richmond Hope Therapy Center, which support families of children with cancer and children with special physical needs. The stories in the religion category described changes in location and leadership for Congregation Or Atid and profiled a long-time member of Sandston Baptist Church, which recently celebrated its 85th anniversary.

In the category of feature articles written specifically for the web, Kruszewski won a first place for her story about a rare Robert E. Lee letter coming home to the Dabbs House Museum, where it was originally written, after almost 100 years.

Kruszewski also earned a first place in feature stories for her article, "Maronite Marathon," about the annual preparation for the Lebanese Food Festival produced by St. Anthony's Maronite Catholic Church. "Since every newspaper reports on the local food fundraiser, it's difficult to make the yearly report interesting," wrote judges. "'Maronite Marathon' manages by 'mixing in' many specific details that describe the preparation process and the women who volunteer."

Kruszewski took a second place in the Special Series category for two stories from the Citizen's Top Moments in Henrico History Series, published during Henrico County's 400th anniversary year.

"A lot of research and hours went into this," judges wrote of the stories, which centered around the 1865 surrender of Richmond at Tree Hill and the 1614 marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe.

In the Special Articles category of education, Kruszewski took a third place award for a story about Boardrooms to Classrooms, a Henrico Business Council program in which business leaders shadow school principals, and an article promoting the universal kindergarten registration date and the need for getting children off to a good start in school.

Kruszewski also took a third place award in the Special Articles history category, for stories about the colonial-era college planned for Henricus and the 1864 Battle of New Market Heights, in which 14 African-American soldiers won the Medal of Honor. She earned third-place honors, in addition, for a feature story entitled "Beauties Raise Bucks," about a womanless beauty pageant that raised funds for the American Cancer Society and honored the memory of a young cancer victim.

In the Special Articles health category, Kruszewski also won an honorable mention for a story about the Man of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and for "Life, One Breath at a Time," about a Henrico man recovering from his second double lung transplant.
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