Tag Archives: Contest

Fresh Pond Road street festival to hold student poetry and art contest

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Angelica Harris

Organizers of the Fresh Pond Road street festival in Ridgewood will present something new at this September’s fair: a poetry and art contest open to local schoolchildren.

The participants for this poetry and art contest, hosted by the Federazione Italo-Americana di Brooklyn and Queens, must be enrolled in a New York City public or private grammar, intermediate or high school. They are to present one original poem and one original artwork.

“This contest is going to add a new dimension to the festival and the people who visit Ridgewood,” said Michael Conigliaro, managing director-adviser of the festival for the Federazione Italo-Americana di Brooklyn and Queens.

The topic for the contest is “Growing up ______American in Queens,” (i.e. Growing up Italian-American in Queens), with an alternate topic of “What community means to you.”

Students from any country or ethnic background can submit a poem and piece of art about their experiences and their families’ experiences living in Queens.

“As a professional writer, poet and advocate for children, to be able to read and share the poems of these youngsters from Queens, will be a treasure to our great borough, and to bring together everyone, no matter what their background,” said Angelica Harris, president of the Excalibur Reading Program located in Glendale, and poetry contest leader.

Each participant is allowed to submit one poem and one piece of art. The contest will be divided into three categories, one for grammar school, one for intermediate school and one for high school. Poems are to be in English, five verses, up to five stanzas long, but no more than 50 verses on one sheet.

The art pieces must be a drawing or painting in oil, watercolor or any other creative medium and must not be larger than 2 feet by 2 feet.

The works of the participants will be on display during the four-day festival in a special community stand.

“We want to offer a free space to nonprofits in order to be able to allow them a chance to show what their organization offers, and to help our neighbors find resources that they may need for their families,” said Lucy Dolce, office director of the Federazione Italo-Americana di Brooklyn and Queens, and festival coordinator.

The contest will be judged by professional teachers, poets and artists. Three prizes will be given out, one for each category. Prizes will be handed out during a special ceremony to be held on Sept. 6, the final day of the four-day festival. Prizes adding up to $1,200 will be divided between the winners.

If students or parent have any questions or want submit their poetry and piece of art, they can send it to Harris’ email at info@excaliburreadingprogram.org. The deadline for all submissions is Aug. 15.


Queens students know the meaning of sportsmanship

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Aaron Finkel

Three students from Queens were among the winners of New York Sports Connection’s first annual New York City student sportsmanship essay contest, “What Sportsmanship Means to Me.”

The students were tasked with writing original 400- to 500-word essays on the topic of what sportsmanship means to them. The submissions were anonymously judged on originality, emotional appeal, use of the theme, grammar, spelling and writing skills. Entries were received from all five boroughs, and the finalists were selected from 10 different NYC public and private schools.

“We were overwhelmed by the response and impressed by the wonderful quality of the many essays we received,” said Aaron Finkel, New York Sports Connection founder.

Sifan Lu, 17, a Forest Hills resident and student at Stuyvesant High School, won the 11th- and 12th-grade category. Xavier High School student, Connor Mulvena, 16, a resident of Glendale, was named a finalist in that category.

Forest Hills resident Jennifer Yu, 15, was a finalist among the ninth- and 10th-graders. She is a ninth-grader at Stuyvesant Tech in Manhattan.

As a category winner, Lu will receive a $500 prize. Mulvena and Yu will each receive $100 for being finalists in their categories.

The essays were judged by a celebrity panel of judges, including WFAN radio sports talk personality Craig Carton; former New York Mets relief pitcher and team captain John Franco; Mike Puma, a sportswriter with the New York Post; and Luis Fernando Llosa, former Sports Illustrated associate editor.

“It was an honor to help judge New York Sports Connection’s First Annual Youth Essay Contest,” Franco said. “The essays submitted by the finalists showed a level of maturity way beyond their years, and were a testament to the amazing work done by parents, coaches and volunteers to ensure that our kids’ youth sports experience teaches real life lessons.”


Glendale school reaches recycling milestone

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Redeemer Lutheran School

The students of Redeemer Lutheran School in Glendale have been recycling drink cartons to earn their school money and prizes.

As part of TerraCycle and Capri Sun’s Drink Pouch Brigade, the students have been collecting their empty drink pouches in the lunchroom at school and at home. Since they began, the students have reached the first level of the milestone contest by collecting and recycling more than 10,000 drink pouches, earning Redeemer Lutheran School over $700.

In addition to the money earned for each piece of waste collected, participants can win prizes made from recycled drink pouches, such as storage bins, a playground and other rewards for their schools.

“The milestone program is meant to inspire individuals and organizations to collect more waste while receiving prizes for their achievements,” said Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle. “It is rewarding to see the students and administration get so involved in making this work. It’s an incredible achievement to have kept so many pouches out of the waste stream.”

The students at Redeemer Lutheran School look to continue their recycling ways and reach higher milestones in the Drink Pouch Brigade contest.

“Our students have done a tremendous job,” said Michael Williams, principal of Redeemer Lutheran School. “They are really helping with recycling and fundraising for the school.”

Thousands of other schools and organizations across the U.S. participate in the Drink Pouch Brigade. The free program is open to any interested organization or individual, and all shipping costs are paid. Since 2007, Drink Pouch Brigade participants have kept almost 235 million drink pouches out of landfills and have raised more than $4.5 million for charity.


Howard Beach woman wins New York Rangers fan contest

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy Alyson Carney

Alyson Carney proved that she bleeds Rangers blue when she won the 2015 My Rangerstown Story Contest on Saturday. To enter, Carney wrote and submitted a story on how she became a New York Rangers fan.

“It wasn’t about becoming a Rangers fan for me, it was more about being a Rangers fan,” Carney said. “I didn’t become a Rangers fan, I was born one.”

Carney explained that all of her family members are big Rangers fans, so she really didn’t have a choice growing up. From a young age she was surrounded by hockey. Her two brothers play ice hockey, “so I was what you would call a rink rat,” she said. Her father even taught her and her siblings to give a thumbs up when he said, “Let’s go Rangers.”

“I saw the ad for the contest online on the Rangers website,” Carney said. “I didn’t fully understand it so I just typed up my story and submitted it. I didn’t think anything of it.”

Two weeks later she received an email from the Rangers office saying they would like to talk more about her entry. It was then that she learned the Rangers staff would be coming to her house in Howard Beach to film her and her family.

“My family didn’t know I even entered the contest,” Carney said. “They were all shocked when I told them. They thought it was a joke at first.”


Carney with her brother (left) and former New York Rangers defenseman Jeff Beukeboom (right).

As the cameras rolled, the whole Carney family got to show off their Rangers pride. They were all decked out in their Rangers clothes and the film crew was there to capture them watching a Rangers game.

During the game, the Rangers had a special surprise for Carney. As she and her family watched the game, former Rangers defenseman Jeff Beukeboom, Carney’s favorite player, entered her house to greet her and her family.

“I’ve met Rangers before,” Carney said. “It has always been exciting, but seeing my favorite player was always something I wanted.”

“When he walked in I had no clue,” she continued. ‘”When I saw who it was I just froze, then the tears started. It was pretty exciting. I was speechless.”

Then Carney was told that she was one of three finalists in the contest and would be brought to Madison Square Garden where they would announce the winner on the ice during intermission of the Rangers game on Saturday.

“Whether I won or not, it was an amazing night,” Carney said. “I was in a suite with other finalists and we were all just happy to be together.”

“Because the night was so exciting it took a while to realize that I won,” she added. “It was amazing just to be there and on the ice. I had no clue if I would win; it could’ve gone either way.”

As the winner of the contest Carney was given a key to Rangerstown for having the best Rangers fan story.

“I told my family that I am going to change all the locks on the house to match the key so I can use it all the time,” Carney joked. “It was such an amazing night. I’m still on cloud nine.”


Little Neck fifth grader becomes councilmember for a day

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos by William Alatriste/Courtesy of Karyl Jones

Her love for Queens landed her a seat in City Hall — and she’s only 11.

Katiya Jones of Little Neck became councilmember for a day after beating about 500 youngsters in an annual essay contest hosted by Councilmember Mark Weprin.

“Before I went, I thought it would be boring,” she said, “but I was proved wrong. It was a lot of fun.”

The fifth grader at P.S. 26 blew judges away with her “articulate and upbeat” essay, Weprin’s office said.

She listed her favorite locations in the borough, including the Marie Rose International Doll Museum in St. Albans and the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, peppering the essay with historical facts.

The paper also gave judges a sneak peek into Katiya’s artistic life of dance, performance and altruism. She said she helps feed the homeless at the Afrikan Poetry Theater in Jamaica during the holidays.

“Queens has many activities that I participate in,” Katiya wrote. “In the summer, I play tennis with the New York Junior Tennis League, as well as attend the YMCA day camp where I swim and take martial arts. I ride my bike in Cunningham Park and visited Rufus King Park.”

Katiya took a private tour of City Hall, attended a press conference and mock voted on real legislation in council chambers on May 22.

“It’s very busy,” she said. “You’re going all over the place. You have a lot of meetings and places you have to be.”

Still, she said the legislator’s life is not for her.

“I want to be a pediatrician, an actress, a dancer, a singer and a billionaire,” Katiya said.

She might not be so far from realizing her lofty dreams.

Katiya appeared in a “Saturday Night Live” skit in November 2010 and has landed television and radio commercials since she was six.

“She doesn’t have a shy bone in her body,” said her mother, Karyl Jones.

Once Katiya entered council chambers, she immediately took on the role of lawmaker, Karyl said.

“She was sitting there like she knew what she was doing, looking at the agenda and looking all serious,” she added. “We got a lot of out of it.”



Enter The Courier’s Giveaway of the Day Contest

| brennison@queenscourier.com

The holidays are in full swing and in keeping with the spirit of the season of giving The Queens Courier is handing out free prizes daily.

Today, four tickets to the North Shore Towers Cinema will be raffled off.  All you need to enter is an email address and your zip code.

Click here to enter the contest.

Check back daily as new prizes will be offered each day.  Yesterday, Robert Vasquez took home two tickets to the St. John’s Red Storm.

Good luck.

Best of the Boro: Health & Beauty nominations now open

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Best of the Boro

The Queens Courier is excited to announce nominations for Health and Beauty, the second category in the Best of the Boro Competition, is now open.

The competition places the power of choice with the people. Queens residents will get the chance to choose the nominees and decide who is best. You vote, they win.

The competition allows the borough’s over 2 million residents to nominate the best in scores of health and beauty categories with the winners crowned Best of the Boro.

Health is your greatest asset, but sorting through the myriad of doctors is often a fool’s errand. Now, residents who think their doctor or salon is the best can make the opinions heard by nominating them through November 17. Click here to nominate.

The first phase of the Best of the Boro Competition was a hit, collecting over 58,000 votes. The winners will be announced in the November 3 edition of The Queens Courier.

Vote for your favorite Queens bars, restaurants & catering halls

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Best Of The Boro

Over 8,000 votes have already been cast by residents in The Queens Courier’s Best of the Boro Competition.

There is only one way to make sure your favorite bar, restaurant or catering hall wins – vote. You vote, they win.

The cultural diversity in Queens is matched by the array of cuisine served up by the borough’s restaurants. Looking for a good Thai, Greek, Italian, American, Indian, Japanese, Mexican or Latin American restaurant visit the Best of the Boro voting page and see who Queens residents consider the best. Then try a couple in the category and decide who deserves your vote as the very best.

There are 44 categories of food and drink for residents to vote in: ranging from best happy hour and beer selection to best cup of coffee and dessert; from best calamari and bakery to best sports bar and catering hall. Each category will have a winner crowned Best of the Boro.

Keep your eye out for each of 150 eateries with a Best of the Boro poster in the window indicating they’ve been nominated. Restaurants will also have postcards urging customers to vote for them.

Click here to vote for your favorite restaurant or watering hole is easy. There you can vote for your favorite in each of category.

All you need to vote is a valid email and live in the continental United States. One vote per email address per day is allowed. The results are tabulated by a third party company.

To stay up-to-the-minute on the competition like the Best of the Boro page on Facebook and follow @BestOfTheBoro on Twitter.