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Times News carrier, 13, wins top state award

A Times News carrier has won the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation’s 2023 Newspaper Carrier of the Year Award.

The award recognizes the exemplary performance of newspaper carriers across Pennsylvania. More than a dozen carriers - from 13 to 73 years of age - were nominated for their outstanding efforts in delivering the news to Pennsylvania readers.

Alex Silfies, 13, of Lehighton, is recognized with first place honors. John Murray, 71, Valley News Dispatch, Trib Total Media, wins second place. Austin Sienkiewicz, The Citizens’ Voice, Wilkes-Barre, is honored with third place.

The judges also recognized two carriers - Michael Balint, 39, and William Gregory, 54, both of The Times-Tribune, Scranton - with special honorable mention awards this year.

Alex won $350 along with the award. The second-place winner is given $250 while third place captures $150. Honorable mention recipients receive $50.

The nominating manager of the first-place winner is presented with a $100 gift card.

Sponsors of the cash prizes include The York Dispatch and RouteSmart Technologies.

In acknowledging Alex Silfies as the overall winner in 2023, the judges said they “were impressed by his enthusiasm, his commitment and his willingness to learn new things, especially at such a young age.

“Alex himself said that ‘providing the customers with a smile, a simple hello or even a laugh … brightens my day.”

The judges commented, “Alex certainly brightened our day when we reviewed his entry. He is a shining example of how important newspapers and their tireless employees are to communities.”

Times News Circulation Director Christine Campbell, agreed. “Alex is an ambitious young man with a wonderful work ethic and warm smile. He’s very polite to his customers and they appreciate his timely delivery.”

Judges said it was difficult to select just five winners.

“Some carriers had as little as seven months of experience under their belts while others had worked for more than 28 years delivering papers in all kinds of weather,” judges said. “We were inspired by their abilities to juggle a variety of activities, jobs and responsibilities while focusing on providing top notch customer service.”

Since 1959, the PNA Foundation’s Newspaper Carrier of the Year contest has helped Pennsylvania newspapers recognize the exemplary performance of carriers of all ages.

Jana Metro and Bob Ardle of the Times News circulation department present a certificate to Alex Silfies, 13, of Lehighton. CHRISTINE CAMPBELL/TIMES NEWS