Winner Is...: 20-year old creative Cleveland writer takes the crown in LeBron contest

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(WOIO) - 19 Action News announced a winner Friday in the Letter to LeBron contest.

The winner, Ivona Ruffin, will receive Cavs tickets and dinner for two at Johnny's downtown.

This all came about after LeBron's full page ad to Akron fans.

The NBA superstar's ad had nothing but praise for the city of Akron and its people, but he made no mention of Cleveland or of the Cavaliers.

He also calls himself "lucky" to live in Akron and says the city will always be home, the place he comes back to.

The ad, which runs on the back of the paper's front section, also features photos of James from various Akron events. One of which is his annual Bike-a-Thon, which will take place this Saturday.

James is slated to give away 400 bikes and then join a mile-long ride on South Main Street. In the past, the mile bike ride was followed by an 8-mile trek, but that has been canceled.

Below is a transcript of the entire LeBron letter:

To My Family, Friends and Fans in Akron:

For all of my life, I have lived in Akron -- and for that, I am truly a lucky man. 

It was here where I first learned how to play basketball, and where I met the people who would become my lifelong friends and mentors. Their guidance, encouragement and support will always be with me.

Akron is my home, and the central focus of my life. It's where I started, and it's where I will always come back to. 

You can be sure that I will continue to do everything I can for this city, which is so important to my family and me. Thank you for your love and support. You mean everything to me.


Hundreds of fans and former fans sent in letters to let Lebron know how they feel.

3rd Place...

Twas the night before "The Decision"
(a shortened version)

was the night before "The Decision", and all through the house,
Not a remote control was clicking; not even the mouse.
Beer and pizza were ordered; the usual fare
Knowing Cleveland's King Lebron..... soon would be there.

The children were gathered well-mannered, well-fed;
While visions of championships danced in their heads.
And mama in her jammies and I in my shorts
Looked forward to hearing good things about Cleveland and sports.

When out of the King's mouth; we now knew he was fickle
Championships for the Cavs will be down to a trickle.
Away to the bathroom I flew at top speed...
Downing two aspirin, cursing his greed.

"Now D. Wade, now C. Bosh, now hot chicks and money.
Bye Cleveland, bye Akron, bye loyalty".... now that's funny.
To the top of the Nielsens; to the best of the best
The Cavaliers now have no chance...... just like the rest.

Then he sprang to his feet; to his peeps gave a whistle.
Driving away in Bentleys and Porsches as fast as a missile.
But I wondered aloud  as he drove out of sight:
"The King has no clothes.... now he's in for a fight"

(with deepest apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)
Dr. Jerry Kreegle aka Terry Rotter

2nd Place...

LeBron James Cleveland To Miami & Michael Jordan?

Wow! The fingers are pointing but who is really to blame?
And before starting your list better remove LeBron's name,
Michael had Scottie Pippen for three & with Horace Grant,
With the final tray "Bad Boy" Dennis Rodman was in camp.

Probably the biggest name not surprisingly is Mike Brown,
He is not the head strategist, who should be leaving town,
Subtract another big name, the Diesel also known as Shaq,
Nor is he the one who put the knife in, MVP James' back.

Okay, two names are deleted any longer should we tarry?
It is the guy who put the team together, Mr. Danny Ferry,
From last years defeat, needed changes were no mystery,
Why did he wait till mid-season to get a "D" in chemistry?

Don't harp on LeBron's elbow or Shaq's injured thumb,
Saying this caused downward spiral in Boston is dumb,
Not doubles in tennis there's 11 guys in this team sport,
Where oh where were the rest of the basketball cohorts?

A defeat determines your greatest infrastructure need,
As is the case for several years now we lack the speed,
Offense, defense, transition, side to side, coast to coast,
Saw the roster twice I failed to see #86 Casper the Ghost.

I'm not a basketball aficionado just a residential area fan,
By watching the Browns I know an already defeated plan,
No steel chain can ever be stronger than its weakest link,
Criticizing Mike for not using his bench, what do you think?

Now you see him, now you don't, will he go or will he stay?
Are they committed to getting players who can actually play?
No need to argue about who didn't step up to do this or that,
Simply go online or read the Plain Dealer and check the stats.

New York, Miami, Chicago, the sun, the moon or Timbuktu,
He has all summer for deciding the right thing for him to do,
And should LeBron remain in Cleveland, things must change,
Or he'll garner many accolades but never a championship ring.

Now there is also a vicious rumor about guard DeLonte West,
And yes it is certainly putting LeBron's reputation to the test,
I will not dignify the rumor by writing in this poem the claim,
But, it's obvious that this guy was sleeping during the game.

When cracks begin to appear in a solid structure due to neglect,
It's never the fault of the laborers only the designer & architect,
No matter how many practice sessions or how long you rehearse,
You will only get out what ever you put in, for better or for worse.

June 19,2010 there's a movement, a rally, to get LeBron to stay,
Ok let's see, what will happen if after seven years he goes away?
Will laid off firefighters come back or closed stations reviewed?
What about police officers, many lost their jobs, I'm so confused.

There are over 600 teachers losing employment, what about EMS?
16 schools are now closed, more city workers, what's your guess?
Thousands of students can't read, write, very few do simple math,
Yet none of that is important as LeBron staying, excuse my laugh.

Last but not least, there is a question nagging fans a tad-bit,
Was the, "King" having elbow problems or did he just quit?
6 of 1, half a dozen of the other, exactly what does it mean?
Nothing, since to win it still takes effort by the entire team.

07/08/2010, LeBron James in free agency picked Miami Heat,
Cleveland Cavalier fans are again tasting the agony of defeat,
Ah wait a minute for this city what has this guy actually done?
The drought's been since 1964 when any kind of title was won.

If the team had surrounded him with the right supporting cast,
An extension could of been signed, the love affair would last,
Now attention might be focused on the real problems at hand,
Cleveland has serious issues more important than one man.

But, what about the financial impact, here he no longer plays,
Well, although he's gone billion dollar Cleveland Clinic stays,
People are blaming a fiscal collapse by a huge loss of revenue,
As a hospital bigger than any pays nothing, so what else is new?

It's now time for Cleveland, Ohio to get their priorities straight,
One guy with a basketball should not, cannot seal the city's fate,
There's still car jacking, thefts, gang activity, a high murder rate,
Racism, foreclosures, less bus routes, hey there's more just wait.

University Hospital pays nothing to the city, what's the big deal?
Oh, are they exempt because their business is supposedly to heal?
Quit blaming our sports franchises or players with a famous name,
The same chaos now that he's gone was here long before he came.

Hey! , Do you realize this might close more than half of the bars?
The flip side, think about the less number of towed & stolen cars,
All sports are businesses, certainly his decision was based on that,
By no means did he or the city of Miami stab Cleveland in the back.

Joblessness & homelessness, half the residents without health care,
While those who do have it the rates are so sky high it's still a scare,
Look in the mirror Cleveland before pointing fingers shifting blame,
Resurrection of "the best location in the nation" is not LeBron James.

Basketball is not real life, it's a past time, just another seasonal game,
However, people are treating this crap like life and death, that's insane,
Life & death's played out for real on the battlefield of Afghanistan & Iraq,
BTW, ever hear of the 13th Amendment? He didn't have to come back.

From Cleveland's Cuyahoga County to Miami's County known as Dade,
With fellow superstars Chris Bosh and NBA-Ring holder Dwayne Wade,
In professional hoops it requires not a couple but 3 to get the job done,
Because no where in the history of the game was it accomplished by 1.

Hometown fans crying, jersey #23 burned in the streets, hey let it go,
Old saying albeit incorrect English, "one monkey don't stop no show, "
It's his life, he opted out to take a pay cut whatever it is or isn't worth,
Understand there is still only one King and His Throne is not on Earth.

7/20/10, several days removed Michael Jordan has something to say,
Claiming he would not have called up Bird or Magic as a trio to play,
Um, excuse me Your Airness but you have 1 NCAA & 6 NBA Rings,
So, if you had zero titles are sure you would not have done the same?

The Michael who wined and said you'd play for no coach except Phil,
Do you think James is any different, 7-years he's swallowed this pill,
No qualified coach without a Pippen, Rodman, Paxton, Kerr or Grant,
You'll always be my favorite player but to criticize LeBron, you can't.

Do you really think if you had no help & all you ever did was loose?
Air Jordan would not have packed his bags and been on the move?
Maybe not to Larry's Boston Celtics or to Johnson at LA in the west,
Ask yourself, without those titles would people still call you the best?

The majority of your fame and fortune was from products you endorse,
May you have been a sought after spokesperson as a 2nd place horse?
LeBron, Chris & Dwayne are no different than any other athletic stars,
Hey! Without titles, after their playing days, they will only travel so far.


A true fan is only a sincere fan in the worse & not just for the better, It's so obvious that Cleveland fans are only fair/fare by the weather, The only real concern seems to be the amount of revenue now lost, World record heat but the summer is cooled by the fans chilly frost.

by Luke Easter

And the Winner is....

Dear Lebron,

         Hey Lebron. It's me, Cleveland. I told myself that I was going to move on and forget that this whole thing ever happened; but there has been so much I've been wanting to say to you since we broke up.

        Let me start off by saying that I hope Miami is treating you okay. Though I'm not sure what you saw in her. Yeah, she has warm weather, beaches, the hottest nightclubs; big whoop. Sorry if I sound bitter, but I would have never guessed in a million years that the man that promised me for seven years to "put a ring on it" would just up and leave the way you did. Have you ever been dumped on national TV? Well, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemies. Not even Pittsburgh.

        I am, however, trying to pick up the pieces and move forward. I've gotten rid of all things you. Even that big, dumb poster that was hanging in front of The Q. I even went as far as asking Lady Gaga for a date at The Q, but that didn't work out. I mean it was fun but let's face it; she's a little weird.

        So what I've done now, is I remember the good times. I use to love the energy of the city around October, because everyone knew what time it was. For once, a city that has been mocked, disrespected, and trashed, was a force to be reckoned with. Everyone came together despite rising crime and a failing economy to support Cleveland. To support you. So am I bitter? No. But I just wish that you would acknowledge that you did break my heart.

The City of Cleveland

P. S.
Ivona Ruffin

Again, the "best" letter wins a pair of tickets to the Cavs home opener, as well as dinner for two at Johnny's Downtown.

19 Action News would like to thank everyone for participating!

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