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A Ducky Day In Forestville: YJI Marks Ninth Year At Connecticut Community Festival
YJI Senior Reporter Yelena Samofalova, right, painted a tiger face on this happy boy before her own Batman mask could be finished.


Jean Letourneau with his daughter, YJI alum and dancing banana, Danielle Letourneau.



Youth Journalism International is feeling incredibly ducky to have
spent a glorious Sunday in Forestville.

At our booth at the annual Duck Race on the Pequabuck River, YJI
greeted many old friends and made plenty of new ones.
With superb help from YJI students Yelena Samofalova and Mary
Majerus-Collins – as well as amazing alums Danielle Letourneau and Hila Yosafi –
YJI offered free face painting, temporary tattoos and henna art to all comers. We
made many, many children happy, and quite a few adults, too.
Dressed in her banana costume, Danielle even danced in the street with
Bristol’s many pageant queens in front of our booth beside Nuchies restaurant.
Hila’s always supportive mom, Zarmina, pitched in, too, even
applying some henna. YJI is lucky to have her as a friend.


YJI Senior Reporter Mary Majerus-Collins paints a duck on a boy’s hand.


A ducky bit of painting

on a boy’s hand



The Duck Race, an annual tradition that we’ve participated in all
nine years it’s been around, brought a large crowd to the Forestville section
to see 5,000 plastic ducks float down the Pequabuck River. We hope everybody
had as much fun as we did.


YJI alum and Ambassador Hila Yosafi-Lehman and her mom, Zarmina Yosafi


Thank you to everybody who stopped by our little booth and to all
the hard-working folks who organized the event for the Central Connecticut
Chambers of Commerce and Forestville Village Association. We’re so glad we
could again be part of this terrific community gathering.


From left, Noah Lehman, his mom YJI alum and Ambassador Hila Yosafi-Lehman, YJI students Yelena Samofalova and Mary Majerus-Collins and unparalleled alum Danielle Letourneau, who cheerfully goes bananas for YJI at every festival.