BAY RIDGE — Hundreds of children from 31 schools packed the Fort Hamilton High School auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 26 as students were given awards for the Halloween artwork that covered store windows throughout Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights last month. A total of 645 kids participated in the contest.
The paintings were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals by the Bay Ridge Community Council, the group that has sponsored this contest for the past 67 years.
For P.S. 102 fifth grader Timothy Clark, the contest was a great accomplishment. Clark won a silver medal for his haunted Halloween pumpkin patch painting despite the fact that the budding artist is color blind. Clark credited his art teacher Jennifer Motisi for her support and encouragement. “I kind of just mix colors,” Clark explained. “If I see a wrong, I just mix it up. I can tell when something looks wrong, so I’ll just fix it.”
Bay Ridge Community Council President Ralph Succar hosted the ceremony along with members Maria Makrinos, Joanna Succar, Robert Kassenbrock and Arlene Jablonski. Karina Succar also helped set up the auditorium.
“Tuesday evening’s assembly was the culmination of each student’s artistic ability fostered by their parents, teachers and school as well as the top 10 skills of creativity, confidence, problem-solving, perseverance, focus, non-verbal communication, receiving constructive feedback, collaboration, dedication and accountability,” said Makrinos.
“We’ve been doing this for 67 years,” said Succar. “Looking at the numbers, the first young artist who won a gold medal at 13 years old in 1952 would be 80 now. I wonder how many of them are still around, how many are still in Bay Ridge, but the important thing is that we are still continuing what our forefathers of the Bay Ridge Community Council started. And hopefully we will have new people who will continue the tradition after we’ve finished.”
Succar told this paper that he was looking forward to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the organization. “That would be ideal and if God is willing I will be around to see it, but if not, it will happen,” said Succar. “It’s truly an honor and a pleasure to continue a tradition that’s been in Bay Ridge for so many years,” he added.
Students from public schools 104, 229, 170, 30, 102, 185, 264, 112, 186, 227, 127 and 506 were in attendance to receive their awards. Also receiving awards were students from Visitation Academy, St. Anselm Catholic Academy, Lutheran Elementary School, Fort Hamilton High School, DGK Parochial School, High School of Telecommunications and the Guild for Exceptional Children.
There was also a raffle for 14 lucky prize winners who each received $67 for art supplies in honor of the 67th anniversary of the art contest.