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Letters: Participation awards give kids a thrill

My two sons participated in Little League while growing up in East Northport and collected trophies for participation as well as those for winning teams ["Feel-good awards have merit," Editorial, Aug. 18].

After the boys grew up and moved out of the house, the trophies sat in the basement until it was time to clean out 20 years of stuff before we retired and left Long Island. I tossed the broken ones, gave each son a huge trophy from his winning team, and donated the rest to a group that refurbishes them for teams in low-income communities.

It felt good, although when one of my daughters-in-law saw the trophy (along with around 20 binders of baseball cards), she almost fainted in horror.

Participation trophies should be given to the youngest children as a welcome to league play. Perhaps a few trophies for most improved, best sportsmanship and best effort should be added. After all, some children, whether with physical disabilities or just less natural ability, may never get to hold a trophy and break into a winning smile as a result! It's not always about the score.

Ellen Mesmer, Boynton Beach, Florida

In response to football player James Harrison's criticism of participation trophies for children, let's not get carried away.

Winners deserve awards, but they are no more deserving than the kid who struck out every time or the little girl who didn't know the right dance moves.

Receiving the awards and trophies should be cherished whether the kids are 4 or 24.

Mom and dad, brothers, sisters and grandparents should have the chance to applaud the kids. Whether their awards were received in preschool or college, I look at my kids trophies and I always smile, because I shared the joy of watching them earn them!

Jay Gorman, Brooklyn

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