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 NEW YORK, Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Twelve children from four metro areas -- New York City, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Boston -- have been selected to serve as members of the national Mario Peer Advisory Panel. A list of these special kids, and their hometowns, follows. As national advisers, their first task will be to select -- from among hundreds of applicants -- the nine members and 50 "pinch hitters" named to the Super Mario All-Stars Team.
 "The Nintendo All-Stars program is by, for and about kids," said Marian Salzman, president of BKG Youth, which is working with Nintendo of America Inc. to implement the program. "With guidance from our staff, the 12 national advisers, between the ages of nine and 12, will establish the guidelines for what makes a kid an All-Star: what characteristics and accomplishments make a child worthy of other children's respect."
 Empowering children to take responsibility for themselves and others while working to build a better planet is the cornerstone of Nintendo's new program, said Perrin Kaplan, Nintendo's manager of corporate communications. "Nintendo's business is about kids, and we want to find out what's important to them. To do so, we've assembled this team of outstanding children to enable us to see through their eyes which of their peers deserve to be recognized."
 Eleven-year-old advisory panel co-chair Karina Meckel, explains, "We will select as team members those kids who have shown that they care enough to make the world a better place." A sixth grader at The Spence School in New York City, Karina has done volunteer work for a number of causes and is particularly involved in working to help the homeless. She is also a named contributor to Kids Can Do, a book by BKG Youth about young Americans working to make a difference. Kids Can Do will be published by Avon books in 1994.
 Joining Karina as panel co-chair will be Sean Donohue, an eight grader at Woodward Middle School in Southborough, Mass. Sean is an announcer for a children's radio program called "Kid Company" on WBZ Radio in Boston. He has appeared on "The Tonight Show" and has had an opportunity to meet and become friends with President Clinton.
 Karina, Sean and the other 10 members of the Mario Peer Advisory Panel will meet at the Plaza Hotel in New York City over the week of Sept. 1-3 to judge the applications to the Super Mario All-Stars Team. From the pool of applicants, the panel of judges will select three team captains, six additional team members, and 50 "pinch hitters" -- one from each state. The three team captains will receive an all-expenses- paid trip to Washington, where they will meet with elected officials in an effort to make the voices of American youth heard. The remaining team members and pinch hitters will receive Nintendo products and other prizes.
 The Super Mario All-Stars Team is open to kids in or about to enter grades three through eight. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by Aug. 31, 1993. Application are available by calling 800-528-9206.
 Super Mario All-Stars Advisory Panel:
 Lauren Alesse, 12 Boyce Middle School, Pittsburgh
 Hector Castillo, 12 Our Lady of Sorrows, New York
 William Curry, 12 Our Lady of Sorrows, New York
 Sean Donahue, 13 Woodward Middle School, Southborough, Mass.
 Julia Glanternick, 11 The Spence School, New York
 Ethan Goodman, 9 Forest Elementary School,
 Farmington Hills, Mich.
 Adam Hertz, 10 Forest Elementary School,
 Farmington Hills, Mich.
 Roberta Manetta, 13 P.S. 3, New York
 Karina Meckel, 11 The Spence School, New York
 Una Osato, 11 P.S. 3, New York
 Amanda Ponko, 10 Boyce Middle School, Pittsburgh
 Thomas Wilson, 14 Woodward Middle School, Southborough, Mass.
 -0- 8/23/93
 /CONTACT: Marian Salzman of BKG Youth, 212-807-4063/

CO: BGK Youth; Nintendo of America, Inc. ST: New York IN: SU:

MP-SM -- NYMFNS2 -- 4883 08/23/93 07:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 23, 1993
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