Young artists keep beloved tradition alive

Instead of painting on cotton canvas or poster card stock, students from public, parochial and private schools had the opportunity to apply their talent and works of art outdoors on storefront windows courtesy of participating local merchants and businesses.

This was the 71st annual edition of the Bay Ridge Community Council’s Fall (Halloween) Art  Window Painting Contest, which was established under the council’s first president Vincent Kassenbrock, who was a former U.S. Navy Officer and then a teacher at Fort Hamilton H.S.

BRCC President Ralph Succar and Citizens Bank Vice President Brian Chin with P.S. 102 students.

This year’s event was organized by BRCC President Ralph Succar and former Vice President and current Executive Secretary Maria Makrinos.

Makrinos is the “Godmother” of this highly regarded community event which she has been doing for 30 years. It’s through her sustained efforts guiding, promoting and reaching out to all the schools to encourage their participation that thousands of youngsters have won medals, certificates and wonderful childhood memories.

A young artist adds her last brush stroke.

Not missing a beat, she reminded me to mention that Empire State Bank donated the special paint that can be easily removed once the windows are cleaned.

Well-known civic leader Succar, a former president of the Salaam Club of New York, received a donation of $1,500, which was presented by current Salaam Club President Tommy Fallah and John Abi-Habib, to help offset program expenses.

Kids have been painting Bay Ridge store windows for Halloween since the 1950s.

Among the businesses and others that offered their windows were Citizens Bank, Sunset Bagels, Connors and Sullivan, Empire State Bank, Foodtown Supermarket, Mike’s Diner, Devito and Alvarado, Main Attraction, The Brothers Bagels, Northfield Bank, Ridgewood Bank, Community Board 10, Bagel Boy, U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, Councilman Justin Brannan, Vavas Real Estate, Empire State Development Corp. and the Coffee Club Restaurant.

Fontbonne Academy artists pose outside Foodtown.

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