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ReesSpecht Life Foundation wins $35K prize

Four-minute video features Specht sisters Abigail, 13, and Lorilei, 11, of Sound Beach.

A video created by Rich Specht of Sound

A video created by Rich Specht of Sound Beach and his daughters Abigail, 13, and Lorilei, 11, explains the difference between "nice" and "kind." Photo Credit: ReesSpecht Life Foundation/Rich Specht

Long Island’s ReesSpecht Foundation has won a $35,000 prize for a four-minute video explaining the difference between “nice” and “kind,” featuring sisters Abigail and Lorilei Specht, ages 13 and 11.

The contest was sponsored by Kind Snacks, with entrants able to submit a video, photographs or an essay. Rich Specht of Sound Beach and his two daughters shot the video at their home. They explained how after Rees Specht, then 22 months old, drowned in their family’s backyard pond in 2012, people who were nice used words to express their condolences, but people who were kind took actions. Rees drowned two days before Superstorm Sandy, and the video notes that afterward, one stranger, for instance, cleaned the Spechts' yard of storm debris for free.

After Rees' death, the Specht family formed the nonprofit ReesSpecht Foundation to carry on his memory by inspiring others to undertake acts of kindness and by educating children about accidental drowning. The Kind Snacks prize includes $25,000 for the foundation and $10,000 for the winner personally, but Specht said his family is donating the entire $35,000 to the foundation so it can create an animated video about how to avoid drowning to be show at schools on Long Island and nationwide.

Kind Snacks posted a message on its website: “Congratulations to the three winners of the #moreKIND contest! Rich Specht won the video part of the contest with a beautiful and inspiring video featuring his family members. The video truly demonstrated the difference between nice and kind, and showed how powerful a community and family are when they come together.”

For more information about the ReesSpecht Foundation, visit reesspechtlife.com.

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