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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-05-2004, 08:33 PM
Rich Kressly's Avatar
Rich Kressly Rich Kressly is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

Eleven winning entries to date, including the "biggie" along with one bonus story. Fifteen more are still out there. Don't be shy, cut and paste it, upload it the CD whitepapers and link it here, or post it on your team website and provide the url here...
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Unread 05-15-2004, 10:51 AM
AsimC AsimC is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

Here is the entry for Brian Buonomo from Team 871, the winner of the SBPLI Long Island Regional. (Written by Asim Chaudhry, Dave Brethel, Denise Stephenson, and Joe Capo)

At the root of every successful robotics team there is a mentor that strives for nothing less than what is best for the team. In the case of our team, 871 of West Islip, New York, this leader is Mr. Brian Buonomo. Mr. Buonomo, or Mr. B as we call him, is the driving force behind our team. The idea to start a FIRST robotics team began in 2000 when Mr. Buonomo was informed of an event in which students from around the country construct robots and compete in a game to learn the principles of engineering. He researched the competition, realized that it was something he wanted to pursue as a mentor, and in 2002, he single handedly started our team. As the years progress, the team grows tremendously in students, mentors and sponsors because of his influence. Mr. Buonomo’s knowledge of technology and life experiences allows him to relate to all his students on a level that is not often reached by teachers.

One of the most admirable characteristics of Mr. Buonomo, which all FIRST mentors should possess, is that he is set on having a one hundred percent student designed, built and tested robot every year. As the team leader, he employs very effective facilitation. Mr. Buonomo leads exceptionally lively discussions, making sure each student feels comfortable to contribute. During the design stages of the six week build season, each student is involved in the design of the robot through means of debating, analyzing, and voting on the best possible outcome for the team. Also, any time the team faces a problem, Mr. Buonomo is there to unite the team. He makes certain that everyone has input on deciding the necessary actions so that the team can move forward.

Given that Mr. Buonomo believes in an entirely student built robot, he allows the team to grow intellectually by promoting independent thought. He takes the time to walk through complex problems or situations, step by step, to ensure the student fully understands the problem and why the solution they chose is best. At times, to aid in the comprehension of a complex mechanism, Mr. Buonomo uses Lego’s so that all students are equally able to understand. However, Mr. Buonomo does not only mentor his students in building a robot. He prepares them for real life situations, by mentoring them in public speaking as well as effective leadership.

Effective mentoring requires open communication, one of Mr. Buonomo’s strong points. He is considered a very approachable person which allows him to bond with his students by creating a strong foundation of trust and respect. Students are free to discuss a myriad of issues with him because of the comfortable environment he produces. Mr. Buonomo’s enthusiasm for science and engineering fosters the communication he sets forth within the team. Each time a student successfully fabricates a part for the robot, or writes a functional line of programming code, he shares his infectious excitement with everyone on the team. He constantly praises and supports students for their accomplishments, which brings his relationship with his students closer together.

Mr. Buonomo’s dedication to FIRST is an inspiration to our team. Even with a new born baby in his household, he commits numerous hours after school, as well as on Saturdays. Over the past three years, Mr. Buonomo’s mentorship has had an enormous impact on each one of his students, inspiring them to reach their goals. This dedication that he provides is truly priceless.
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Unread 05-15-2004, 01:06 PM
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

Here is our Paul Roush essay... Winner of the PNW WFA from Team 360:

Paul Roush, Bellarmine Prep class of 1994, is an engineer on Team 360 and has been an integral part of the team since it started, five years ago. Paul has provided the team with an incredible amount of dedication and enthusiasm. His knowledge of engineering stems from his extensive training as a Professional Engineer. His dedication to FIRST and the community comes from his Bellarmine and college education.

Not only is Paul an engineering mentor to the team, he is an invaluable teacher for the students who make up the team. The Socratic Method, knowledge through questioning, allows us to not only understand what we are doing, but why. To accomplish this, Paul understands that some people learn by doing, others by listening; and some through effectively combining both methods. In a very non-intrusive way he shows us potential mistakes we may make, before they are made, and how we can fix them. A notable example of this is in teaching students how to take the tabs off the drill transmissions. Working in tandem, Paul will instruct the student how to remove the tabs while doing it himself. To ensure comprehension, Paul will sometimes undo what he has done, and tell the student to do it, watching carefully for mistakes with gentle corrections.

Another thing you notice about Paul is his quiet patience and sense of humor. This allows him to become close to a very demanding group of highschoolers. Not a single person on the team can ever remember hearing Paul lose his temper. At competition his patience extends so far as to allow the team’s spirit corps to put his hair in little pigtails.

There are a lot of small things around the work area that Paul does that many people do not realize the significance of. He always has a box of his own tools, nice tools, which he brings from his workplace. He allows us and instructs us how to use them in a safe and smart manner. Even Paul’s title is significant because he doesn’t insist on the moniker of Mr. Roush, we maintain a level of respect without needing to differentiate ourselves to that extent.
Paul’s efforts for the team do not solely remain in the world of engineering, however. You will find him everywhere the team needs help. For example, he shows us how to create our team signs with help from his own sign company which has donated very generously to the team because of his involvement. His help in the community goes far beyond Team 360. Paul is an active member of WETOC (Washington Engineering & Technology Outreach Committee), the FIRST Pacific Northwest planning organization which helps start new teams and keeps veteran teams running smoothly.

Paul Roush is an example of someone in a career that many of us at Team 360 are considering going into; he becomes our model of an engineer. Frequently talking about his work and current project and problems, we see applications of how things we learn in robotics can be applied in real life. Working with Paul gives our team a view of what engineering is in the professional world. Being an engineer is more than just sitting in a nice warm office crunching numbers; it is getting grease under your fingernails and putting your sweat and blood into bringing something to life. It is about embodying a project and bringing it to successful conclusion. Paul demonstrates this principle daily.
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Unread 05-18-2004, 11:33 PM
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

Here's the essay submitted for Mr. John Budish, Team 537, at the Midwest Regional...

Someone once told me a story about my breakfast. More specifically, about the eggs and bacon I devoured earlier in the day. He then changed tactics and asked me what the difference was between being involved and being committed. When I looked at him with a bemused expression, attempting to find the correlation between breakfast and commitment, he told me that the chicken was involved by laying the egg; however, the pig was committed because it gave its life for the bacon. Our mentor, Mr. John Budish, is the “pig” of our Robotics team. Not only is he deeply committed, but he inspires the students to find their inner “pig”. With an encouraging smile and an optimistic attitude, Mr. Budish has led our team for the past four seasons.

In our charter season, Team 537 consisted of 12 students. Over the course of four years, our team has more than tripled in size. With this increase in students, there has been a corresponding increase in talent, as well as new challenges. Mr. Budish fosters this budding talent with creativity and dedication. He is actively involved in recruiting new members with a multitude of different strengths, including leadership, technical abilities, and problem-solving skills. Using these talents, Mr. Budish has transformed a previously mentor-based program into our current student-driven team. He communicates his aspirations to our team and allows us to interpret and act accordingly. The challenge presented with this form of interaction enables students to control the fate of our team and our success.

Last year, Mr. Budish coordinated a school-wide assembly to promote the success of our Robotics team. The excitement and passion he conveyed proved to be contagious. Students are not only more eager to participate in robotics, but are also more appreciative of the sciences. This assembly attracted many new members to our team who lacked a technical background. His ample supply of enthusiasm has also been enough to motivate teams around the state. This is demonstrated by his leading of Team 537 as the host for the Statewide Open House for four consecutive years.

For students who are new to the program, Mr. Budish is capable of communicating complex ideas through basic terminology. He continuously challenges our perspective with a non-traditional approach. At the beginning of our season, Mr. Budish led a team discussion to demonstrate how various cognitive styles can integrate. Our team was directed to separate into two groups based on creative or technical preferences. Mr. Budish then proceeded to incorporate the contributions of both groups to exhibit the interdependence needed to achieve mutual success.

Mr. Budish may not be the obvious choice for an honor traditionally granted to an engineer; however, we commend him to FIRST as our beloved and respected teacher. His passion for robotics brings out the best in his students. His easy-going, fun-loving nature makes him approachable and his students come to know him as a friend. An outsider can quickly recognize something different about this robotics program. The students are positively influenced through their experiences with Mr. Budish and Team 537.

Mr. Budish epitomizes the difference between being involved and being committed through his charismatic personality and multitude of talents. He is a dedicated teacher that connects with his students, encouraging and motivating them to achieve their greatest potential. Through open communication, Mr. Budish provides opportunities for students to take on new responsibilities within Team 537. He is the comedy relief, alleviating the tension by causing challenges to appear less daunting. His inspirational attitude is the keystone of our team’s spirit. When all is said and done, Mr. Budish brings home the bacon!

Congrats Mr. Budish!!!
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Unread 05-21-2004, 11:46 AM
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

Because I'm having difficulties with white papers...
This is the essay Team 71 submitted about Darrell Noble, who won the Regional Woodie Flowers award at the West Michigan Regional.


Commitment is a big part of being a FIRST mentor. No engineer is more dedicated to the success of Team Hammond than Darrell Noble. He has been mentoring Team Hammond since their inception in 1996. Employed at Beatty Machine for 39 years, Mr. Noble got involved with FIRST through his employer, Bill Beatty. Once he got involved with high school students in the FIRST program, he was completely hooked and hasn’t lost his enthusiasm.
Mr. Noble is our electrical and mechanical engineer. If a situation arises with the machine, all one needs to do is call out “electrical” and he comes to the rescue. Mr. Noble’s determination and commitment has inspired his student workers to speak up during meetings and actively participate in designing, building and maintaining award-winning robots.
While communication often drives the success of a team, Mr. Noble fuels that drive on team Hammond. He takes the time to explain complicated engineering concepts to both the rookies as well as the veterans to make sure everyone is on the same page. There is always something that needs to be done and Mr. Noble is there to take charge, assign tasks and be sure everyone understands their job.
As the build season progresses and the tension mounts, Mr. Noble, who engineered bridges during combat in the Vietnam War, is unnerved under pressure. His calm demeanor and unique sense of humor keeps the team on track while often providing much needed comic relief. This is obvious when there is a lull in the action, a student may be told to go find a “wire stretcher”, although mankind has yet to invent such a tool.
Mr. Noble is well respected among peers within Team Hammond and from those throughout the robotics community. For many years, he has made and maintained friendships with fellow mentors, engineers and students. In addition to Team Hammond, Mr. Noble has helped numerous other teams. He is the definition of Gracious Professionalism. He makes an effort to talk to the teams face-to-face and is the first to lend them spare parts. He generously shares expert knowledge and often volunteers to help other teams repair their robot, all to the benefit of the robotics community.
The adult mentors have become a close knit group. When they go out wearing Team Hammond shirts, people regularly stop and ask about our robotics program. Mr. Noble becomes the spokesman of the group and answers questions about FIRST and invites them to competitions, team events and the FIRST website. He has also worked at all the team fund-raisers, regardless of when they are. Mr. Noble believes the robotics season runs from Kick-off to the day before the next Kick-off. There are no off days when it comes to robotics.
Mr. Noble contributes to Team Hammond every year, not because of self-recognition, but because he enjoys teaching, communicating and inspiring the students. Even though he does not go out searching for fame and recognition, it always seems to find him. In 1997, Mr. Noble and the other adult mentors were honored by Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction with the Bell Ringer Award, which is the highest award given in the State of Indiana by the Department of Education.
As long as there is a Team Hammond competing in the FIRST program, all one needs to do is look in the pit and Mr. Noble will be there, leading his team and spreading the word.


Congrats again Mr. Noble!
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1747- Rookie Inspiration Award Winners @ Buckeye- 2006
Highest Rookie Seed- Buckeye- 2006
Autodesk Visualization Award- Buckeye- 2006
Rookie All-Star- Boilermaker- 2006
Technokats' Spirit of Indiana Award- IRI- 2006
Congrats to Allison Babcock- WFA St. Louis Regional!!

Former Member of Team Hammond 71: 2002-2004 +2001 CDI
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Unread 05-23-2004, 02:37 PM
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

Hi everyone, here is the entry for Robert Mainieri winner of the SoCal Regional Woodie Flowers Award, [WE LOVE YOU MR. MAINIERI!!!!]:

Captain Commando


“It’s sad…Mr. Mainieri doesn’t have a life. We make fun of him a lot for that. But, we all have deep respect for him,” said Giang Pham, a Team 812 student. Mr. Mainieri has gained this deep-found respect from his students by promoting engineering, teaching with innovative techniques, and instilling the importance of teamwork at the Preuss School.

In his third year at Preuss, Mr. Mainieri has brought FIRST, engineering, and math to its peak. Now, 13% of the high school student body participates in FIRST and 50 students take a class in either Introduction to Engineering or Principles of Engineering. The mania has even spread into the middle school as Mr. Mainieri’s efforts have started a FLL team, mentored by Team 812, and a LEGO Robotics class for sixth graders.

Besides bringing the culture of FIRST to its height at Preuss, Mr. Mainieri is an effective teacher with his own unique teaching style. His technique gives students the basic concepts and then pushes them to discover ideas beyond the classroom environment. He takes engineering ideas, such as the physics theories surrounding the EduRobot and breaks them down so that the students can understand them. For the robotics program, rather than teaching all the concepts himself, Mr. Mainieri works hard to give the participants access to experts in the engineering field. Because of this, students are able to work with real-life engineers and gain knowledge through another person’s perspective. Through Mr. Mainieri’s persistent effort, Team 812 now has twelve engineers. He has taught the students that learning doesn’t just happen during school hours but at all times and in many different ways.

Another skill that students have leaned from Mr. Mainieri is the importance of teamwork. From the conception of Team 812, he created subgroups covering each area necessary for a successful FIRST program. He established two main groups, business and engineering, with subgroups for each. Under Mr. Mainieri’s guidance, all these subgroups are able to communicate with one another constantly throughout the process, working with each other to ensure the robot and everything else is done successfully. Students see from this process how crucial teamwork is in order to accomplish any task.

Ultimately, a team is made of individuals and each individual of Team 812 can attest to the impact that Mr. Mainieri has had on their lives. Six hundred words is not sufficient to account for the stories of all those involved with the program. But here are a few: Julian Hernandez struggled for three years at Preuss before joining robotics. Afterwards, not only did he become engaged in school but his grades improved, his self-esteem increased, and he is now a leader on the robotics team. The 27 girls on the team, who are excited about engineering, could also tell many stories. Brigitte Rubidoux puts it best when she says, “Robotics is fun!” Mr. Mainieri inspires girls at Preuss to pursue engineering despite the stereotypes. He also helps the students use their imaginations. Vu Hong remembers a time when the team lacked the tools needed to build the robot so he encouraged them to be creative and substitute other mechanisms. He has also shown them how to use the resources of the community and other schools when Preuss cannot provide for the needs of the team. A Preuss teacher sums it up when she says, “Mr. Mainieri has created a spirit of teamwork, cooperation, and enthusiasm for the school that did not exist here. He basically began a tradition of first-class involvement that will serve as a model for generations of Preuss students to follow.”
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Unread 05-24-2004, 08:29 PM
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Rich Kressly Rich Kressly is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

That's 16 of the 26 winners ... only ten left ...
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Unread 07-03-2004, 01:47 PM
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Rich Kressly Rich Kressly is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

In an effort to continue to inspire others I'm bringing back this thread. We'd also like to see the other ten nominations posted here. When you post them, they will be linked from this page:

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/wf...tail&year=2004
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Unread 09-06-2004, 11:10 AM
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

Bringing back an older post. I think it would be great to see all of the Woodie Flowers Award Winners essays. If you know of a team that has not submitted or if your team has not submitted, PLEASE try and get a copy or link so that others can see the reasons for the nominations. It is good to nominate but what better way to honor the person than to let others know why you thought they were Woodie Flowers Award material.
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Unread 09-06-2004, 02:25 PM
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Rich Kressly Rich Kressly is offline
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

Hey Steve .... Thanks. In an effort to keep it positive, I'll refrain from naming the 10 winners who are not yet posted here. However, we know who you are and how to find you ... In all sincerity, every positive mentor story posted here gives many mentors a lift when they may be running low on fuel and who knows how many others out there it may inspire to become FIRST mentors.
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Unread 09-06-2004, 09:21 PM
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

Rich, could you post the teams that have not posted? It would save me the effort of going through all of the posts and then getting the winners and.....

Also is it possible to get the submissions from FIRST? Some of the teams (bite my tongue) may not read CD so therefore wouldn't know to post. If you post the missing entries then maybe people on CD could contact the teams for a copy of their entry.
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Unread 10-11-2004, 06:05 PM
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

OK Steve, since we know ALL TEAMS are going to honor a special mentor with a WFA nomination in 2005 and they are looking to start now to avoid crunch time, we need those last ten 2004 winning nominations posted here to elevate that much needed inspiration!

looking here
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/wf...tail&year=2004
we see that the following nominations have not yet been linked/included:
Ken Ardizzone (108)
Tim Flickinger (27)
Frank Larkin (272)
George Perna (125) - Help us out here Erin!
Jay TenBrink (494)
Bill Vinnage (1038)
Rick Pierce (1164)
Andy Bradley (233)
Lender Luse (462)
Bill Soetebier (415)

If you know anyone on these teams, contact them and let them know we need to make this thread a complete and inspirational lead-in to a renewed effort to celebrate our mentors!! As you begin brainstorming/drafting your 2005 WFA essays, remember that this online submission process was incredibly user friendly in 04 and will be so again in 05. Also, remember our friend Andy Baker (who won some sort of an award wayyyy back in 2003) posted these helpful hints for WFA submissions from a judge's point of view:
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...83&postcount=7
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Last edited by Rich Kressly : 10-11-2004 at 06:49 PM.
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Unread 10-14-2004, 07:42 AM
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

Here is the WFA for Jay TenBrink
Mr. Jay TenBrink is truly an inspiration, motivation, and encouragement to myself as well as the entire team. His enthusiasm for his engineering profession as well as his desire to share his learnings with others is always evident.
During our brainstorming sessions each year, Mr. TenBrink continuously reminds us that there is no such thing as a dumb idea. He encourages each of us to contribute, often calling on us by name. We always find ourselves building on one another’s ideas; hence what someone may have thought to be a silly idea inspires a brilliant idea in a teammate. Mr. TenBrink is also “quick with a pen” which allows him to capture our ideas on paper as he encourages us to sketch our design ideas and post them on the walls.
Mr. TenBrink makes learning fun for us. He is very safety conscious and insures we know the proper use of each of the tools. He’ll relate humorous stories about folks who failed to use them properly, to insure he gets his point across.
From a technical perspective, there is no better teacher than Mr. TenBrink. He illustrates complex principles on paper with mathematical equations, and then sketches the design principle, utilizing gears, levers, etc. He then provides examples of the principle in real life applications that always help us better understand and remember. A perfect example of this involves the continuously variable transmission we designed and built over the summer. We weren’t sure we fully understood how it worked until he told us it was the type of system used in most snowmobiles. That, we were familiar with!
Another teaching method that Mr. TenBrink uses to insure we understand the engineering concept is to have each of us explain it to him. We did this frequently as we were learning the scientific principles of dynamometer operation. The dyno is another Mr. TenBrink conceived and designed learning project that has become very special to each of us. It is very important to him that we expand our knowledge as much as possible and hence develops learning opportunities for non-competition months. As we built the dyno, out of a previous year robot parts, he taught us all about how it worked and then had us explain it to him. If we got stuck along the way, he would help us out, never making us feel bad, even if it took us three or four times. As a result of his working with us, just about all the team members could easily explain the dyno purpose and operation to the 75+ teams that utilized it during 2003.
Teamwork, another important value of Mr. TenBrink, has allowed each of us the opportunity to get to know one another better and appreciate the diversity we each bring to the team. He is always prepared with project lists that he assigns us to work on as teams. He focuses on the end result and encourages us to figure out the solution, making himself available to answer questions, if necessary
One additional aspect Mr. TenBrink brings to the team is his enthusiasm. It’s very contagious and gets each one of us excited about what we are learning. We tend to learn more that way and it really makes us feel good about ourselves when we go to a competition and are personally able to help other teams solve their robot problems based on our own learnings.
He teaches us by example daily that in the words of Paul Bryant, “It’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.”
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Unread 10-14-2004, 03:32 PM
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all 26 essays?

Mr. TenBrink checking to see how powerful Woodie is on our Dyno.
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Unread 03-28-2005, 10:00 AM
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Re: Operation Inspiration: Who wants to read all of the WFA essays?

Let's start this thread back up for 2005. Link/add those 2005 winning WFA entries here so we can learn more about our heroes and be inspired!
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