Tag Archives: Devon Michael O’Connor

Whitestone Bridge art contest draws more than 300 entries


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Drawings courtesy Welcome to Whitestone Civic

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More than 300 students entered the Welcome to Whitestone Civic Association’s Bronx-Whitestone Bridge drawing contest to honor the 75th anniversary of the bridge.

The art competition challenged Whitestone elementary schools students to draw — in any form — a version of the bridge on an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. They also had to include a reference to the 75th anniversary in their artwork.

Only five of the illustrations will be selected as winners, and the artists will each receive gift cards for an undetermined amount from the civic group.

“I wanted to do something [for the anniversary],” said Devon Michael O’Connor, founder of Welcome to Whitestone. “So I put together this drawing contest, which I thought would be nice, and get the kids involved.”

The winners will be judged by O’Connor, Raymond Webb of the MTA Bridges and Tunnels division and Councilman Paul Vallone.

All of the entries will be on display in the Queens Library’s Whitestone Branch for the public to view.

The civic group plans to announce the winners in Vallone’s office next week.

 

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Star of Queens: Devon Michael O’Connor, president and founder, Welcome To Whitestone


| editorial@queenscourier.com

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NIKKI DJOKOVICH

Community Service: In 2011, Devon Michael O’Connor formed the non-profit Welcome To Whitestone Commercial and Residential Civic Association (WTW).  This fourth generation Whitestone resident gave other area residents and local businesses a voice backed by an association that would address their issues and concerns. WTW has formed relationships with other local associations, political leaders and city organizations in order to ensure action on the public’s issues and concerns. The association also promotes and produces family-fun events that benefit the local community.

Background: “This is my home. I’ve played in all the parks, graduated from the local schools and I shop in the local businesses. Now, as a business owner myself, I continue to urge the residents of Whitestone to support their local businesses,” O’Connor said.  To quote a friend of O’Connor’s, “It’s important to keep the unity in community.”

Favorite Memory: O’Connor’s most inspirational and spiritual memory is when he began collecting needed supplies for all who were affected by Sandy. Backed by an immense amount of support from the community, his civic group managed, in under 48 hours, to collect, sort and deliver over 600 large bags of food, clothing and toiletries to several shelters in the Rockaways.

Biggest Challenge: “One of the biggest challenges I faced was overcoming the political opposition I received when forming my civic group,” O’Connor said. He is very grateful for the Whitestone community being so accepting of the various projects that WTW has implemented.

Inspiration: O’Connor is inspired by individuals that understand that the future is a direct result of what is done in the present. Also by the people who are able to find solutions to the problems that others may have given up on. “If your goals are for the purpose of benefiting others in a positive way, the word ‘can’t’ is not an option,” says O’Connor.

 

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