Bay Ridge Community Council Hosts 66th Annual Halloween Window-Painting Contest

Scary ghosts, goblins, monsters and witches permeated the neighborhood as students from over 25 schools were invited to decorate the windows of businesses along Third, Fourth and Fifth avenues in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst.

The result was a wide array of creatively conceived paintings that will scare, amaze and impress viewers with their originality.

It all starts with a painting that children conceive at school and submit in hopes of having it selected for display on a storefront window. This year’s event took place on Thursday, Oct. 25, sponsored by the Bay Ridge

Community Council (BRCC), its president Ralph Succar and members Maria Makrinos and Joanna Succar.

Some of the businesses that generously donated their window space for the students to paint include Connors and Sullivan Attorneys at Law, Northfield Bank on Third Avenue, Foodtown on Third Avenue, Bay Ridge Family Eyecare Optical on Bay Ridge Avenue, Empire State Bank of Third Avenue, Ridgewood Bank, Empire State Development, the Kettle Black, Tuscany Grill, Cathy’s Place, Strazzullo Law Firm, Jabour Realty, NIA Community Services, Investors Bank, Capital One Bank and this newspaper, among other longtime supporters.

On the day of the event, Makrinos and the Succars hosted a breakfast at the Bridgeview Diner for the judges to go over the plans for the day. Makrinos called it a community event built around lasting memories that the children will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

“Can you believe we’ve been doing this in the community for 66 years?” said Ralph Succar, about the organization that was founded in 1951. Also attending the breakfast were BRCC members Barbara Vellucci, Robert Kassenbrock, Janet Gounis, and Peter and Patricia Killen.

“What do so many residents of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights have in common when they gather at this community event?” asked Makrinos. “The answer is the memories they have of themselves, their children and their classmates painting fall hues and happenings. How many other neighborhoods can claim to hold the longest annual consecutive art contest?

“This year’s event included over 25 schools from District 20,” said Makrinos. All students were awarded a gold, silver or bronze medal for their artistic efforts.

“This is our third time participating in this event,” said Veronica Giurdanella, the art teacher at the High School of Telecommunications, Arts and Technology, 6834 Third Avenue.

“There are some kids who’ve been here all three years,” she added. “We did it with the art club this year and they all did it on their own. The theme was fall and I had them do a little bit of Halloween, too. They’ve been looking forward to this for four weeks. This will be good for their art portfolios for college.”

Dina Pizzarello, art teacher at I.S. 201 in Dyker Heights, was pleased to have her students represented. “Dyker is very proud and honored to be included again in this contest,” she told this paper. “The students are loving it and we hope our projects are enjoyed by all.”

Fontbonne art teacher Corene Suhr was also delighted to have her students participate. “We have a wonderful group of hard working seniors this year and I’m so excited to share their talent with the Bay Ridge community,” she said.

Rowan Ives, Amalia Sandin and Nicholas Fort of Bay Ridge Prep were painting their creation on the window of Empire State Development, LLC at 9714 Third Avenue.

“It’s great to do art that can be viewed by a lot of people walking down the street,” Ives told this paper. Sandin agreed, adding, “It’s nice that the artwork we’re doing can be seen and enjoyed by members of the community.”

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