Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 19, 2012

It time to celebrate winners of the annual 'Sammy Awards'


A couple with joint (and dubious) custody.

There was this pizza party at a Chuck E. Cheese in Harford County, Md., back in March. Well, you know how it is. The parents are separated but try to be there for their 3-year-old little girl, so they both attend the gathering.

The trouble was, each apparently thought the other was taking the girl home, and both parents left the restaurant without her. It wasn’t until they heard the news of an abandoned child at Chuck E. Cheese on an 11 p.m. newscast that they realized what they had done.

Or, more accurately, hadn’t done. The little girl’s name is Harmony, probably the only time that word was used when the couple talked over how they abandoned their child.

The “Parents Of The Year (First Runners-Up)” Sammy goes to:

Two Indiana (Hoosier Daddy?) joy riders. (Now, this is a very important designation. If at any time our winners should not be able to perform the responsibilities of winning a Sammy, these parents will serve in their place.)

In May, according to The Smoking Gun website, Aaron Stefanski, 29, of Fort Wayne, ratcheted four children, aged 4, 5, 6 and 7, to the hood of his car with a tow strap, and then drove off.

Stefanski, the biological father of three of the children, was arrested for drunken driving — his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit — and child neglect. His in-car passenger, Jessica Clark, the mother of the other kid, was charged with child neglect.

Asked by the cop who pulled him over why he turned the children — who were unharmed — into hood ornaments, Stefanski said: “I thought they would like it.”

The “Parents Of The Year” Sammy goes to:

An Egyptian couple with a flighty idea.

Overwhelming the fierce competition in this category were an unidentified mom and dad who tried to smuggle their 5-month-old baby in their luggage at the Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates in July.

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