Photo from WMHO

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization is currently accepting submissions for its annual Scarecrow Competition. This will be the 30th year the spooky and silly six-foot creations will adorn the pathways of picturesque Stony Brook Village Center for visitors to enjoy and vote for their favorite.  

Registration for this event is required. You can pick up a registration form at any of the shops in Stony Brook Village, or you can download it digitally from the events section of the Stony Brook Village Center website. To enter this competition, please return the completed registration form to The Ward Melville Heritage Organization, P.O. Box 572, Stony Brook, NY 11790, with the entry fee of $25 by Sept. 25. There is an early bird entry rate of $20 for all entries sent in before Aug. 31.

Ballots will be available in shops and restaurants at the Stony Brook Village Center from Oct. 1 and 26. Categories are divided into Previous 1st place winner/Professional, Adult/Family and Children’s. The winners will be announced virtually on Oct. 30.

For full information on this and other Stony Brook Village events, call 631-751-2244 or visit

Supervisor Ed Romaine (right) and Councilwoman Jane Bonner (left) met with Colleen Kelly on July 21 at Brookhaven Town Hall in Farmingville to congratulate her for winning First Prize in the Connecticut Fund for the Environment’s Save the Sound photo contest.

The winning photo (on right) was taken at the Town of Brookhaven’s Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai. A resident of Middle Island, Ms. Kelly is pictured with her son, Caedyn, who is her “photo assistant” and a frequent subject of his mother’s photographs. 

“Cedar Beach is a great location to shoot pictures and Colleen proved that with her stunning, prize winning photograph. It illustrates the need to do whatever we can to preserve and protect the Long Island Sound and our beautiful shoreline for everyone to enjoy,” said Councilwoman Bonner .

“I congratulate Colleen for her outstanding photograph and thank her for showing everyone just how beautiful our north shore landscape is. It also reinforces why we must take good care of the environment and encourage children like Caedyn to preserve our precious natural resources,” added Supervisor Romaine.

The mission of “Save the Sound” is to protect and improve the land, air and water of Connecticut and Long Island Sound. Visit for more info

Brianna Kim

We are proud to present our first Times Beacon Record News Media Artist Coloring Book Contest winners. Our intentions for the coloring book and contest was to offer our local art community grand exposure by fostering appreciation for the arts, as well as providing an enriching cultural experience for our audience.

We are grateful to Bank of America as our Coloring Book partner, to all the artists that contributed a beautiful gallery of sketches and to our coloring contest participants who submitted beautifully colored drawings as well as our voters.  Look for the winner’s colored masterpieces in select Bank of America branches. To see the rest of the contestant’s entries, visit our TBR Facebook page: and check out the photo galleries.

Congratulations to all our winners!

Category 1: Ages 5-12


Brianna Kim

Brianna Kim, 9, Stony Brook
‘Feathered Friend’
by Cayla Rosenhagen

When asked what she thought of our coloring book, Brianna said, “I think it was cool and I liked the pictures. I picked the bird drawing because I love birds and animals.” This is the first coloring contest Brianna has entered, and she submitted this picture because she likes to draw and color. Besides drawing and coloring, she said she also likes to read, and that her favorite book is “Warriors: The Broken Code #3: Veil of Shadows by Erin Hunter.”


Cayla Rosenhagen, Selden

‘A Feathered Friend’

Cayla Rosenhagen

Cayla, whose drawing was used for the winning submission by 9-year-old Brianna Kim, said, “I’m honored that Brianna selected my drawing to color, and I look forward to seeing her achievement.” What was her inspiration for the drawing? “I’ve had a love of nature for as long as I can remember, my family and I are avid birders,” Cayla said. “With so many people staying close to home these days, many have also taken up the hobby of birding in their own backyards. I was inspired to draw this picture of the familiar American Crow to continue encouraging a love of birds and nature.”

Cayla thought the coloring book was such an amazing way to showcase the work of local artists. “I enjoyed the variety of artwork and getting to read about the creators. During these trying times, it was a great opportunity for artists to participate in such a heartwarming community project.”

In addition to birding and art, Cayla’s hobbies include martial arts, history, reading, hiking, and environmental concerns. She also serves on the Four Harbors Audubon Society board of directors and runs a community outreach program called Beach Bucket Brigade.

Runner Up:


Bobbi, 7, Suffolk County

‘Squidtar’ by Jim Swierupski

(Information not available at press time)


Jim Swierupski, Port Jefferson Station


“That’s great!” Jim said, when hearing he had been recognized. “I have always enjoyed drawing squids, and my son was playing guitar while I was drawing so I put that in.” He added that he would “love to be part of the coloring book again.”

Category 2: Adult 20+


Maria Montenegro, 84, Stony Brook

‘A Song of Spring’ by Kimberly Sanchez

Maria said she colored all the drawings in the coloring book, but “A Song of Spring” was her favorite to submit for the contest. “This is the first coloring contest I have entered, and I did it because my daughter convinced me.” Besides coloring, Maria also likes to read and enjoys word search books.


Kimberly Sanchez, Melville

‘A Song of Spring’

Kimberly said she thought the winning colorist, Maria Montenegro, “did a great job. I liked the use of all the yellow in the bird and flowers. It has a very warm feeling that I love.”  She said her inspiration and passion is taking photographs of wildlife on Long Island. “The drawing was of one of my favorite little birds, a yellow-throated warbler that I had taken pictures of this past spring. It has such a pretty little song hence the title, ‘A Song of Spring.’”

Kimberly was so happy to be a part of the coloring book and thought it was a fun creative way to share local Long Island talent with the community. Her hobbies besides photography and drawing are gardening, crafting, and painting rocks.

“Maybe you will find one of my rocks if you are out and about in nature — they are all signed KS,” she said.

Runner Up:


Janis Night, Stony Brook

‘Wild and Crazy Sunflowers’ by Marlene Weinstein

“I was so happy to be a part of this contest. As soon as I saw the drawing, I immediately knew the colors I wanted to use and what I wanted it to look like.”


Marlene Weinstein, Old Field

‘Wild and Crazy Sunflowers’

“I love sunflowers,” said Marlene. “They’re bright, bold and joyful! For this image I chose a vase and background with equally bold patterns and circular designs that reflected the shape of the sunflowers and added movement. I thought it would be a lot of fun to color.”

And there’s more!  Four Long Island nonprofits, chosen by the winners & artists, will share $10,000 in community funding from Bank of America.

Dear Readers, 

We recently held our fifth annual adult coloring contest and once again the response was overwhelming! We received many colorful entries from readers all along the North Shore who used many different types of medium including colored pencils, gel pens, glitter, stick-on gems and markers to create their masterpieces. 

By Annina Luck, Huntington

This year’s entries reflected the difficult times we are facing. Carl Hall of Setauket added a note that said, “Stay healthy and be safe!” Millie Gerber of Rocky Point wrote, “Your timing is perfect with your coloring page. A welcome change of pace from watching the news. Thanks!” Kristen Lubliner of Mount Sinai went a step further and added the powerful message “Stay Strong” in gold marker directly on her work of art. Corrine Salbu of Rocky Point colored her entry blue “to honor all the many businesses and people who are helping us survive during this pandemic.”

Although it was extremely difficult to choose a winner as every entry was unique in its own way, this year’s judge Kathleen Gobos, our new advertising director, ultimately chose the coloring page by Annina Luck of Huntington who edged out the competition with her unique piece. Our judge was struck by Annina’s choice of “unexpected colors, shading, watercolor painting and textured background.” Annina receives a three-year subscription to any one of our six papers, courtesy of Times Beacon Record News Media.

And surprise, all other entries will receive a one-year subscription as a thank you for entering our contest. Congratulations to all! Be safe and be well.

Dr. Michael H. Brisman, right, receives an award from Kevin Sanders, Center for Science, Teaching, & Learning, acknowledging NSPC’s sponsorship of the nation’s first competition for high school students to focus on STEM/health science.

Sponsors of the second Neurological Surgery, P.C. Health Science Competition, a program of the Center for Science Teaching & Learning, have extended the “virtual” event’s registration deadline to noon on Thursday, May 14, to allow as many Long Island high school students to register as possible. 

“The effect of the spread of COVID-19 on everyone who lives on Long Island can’t be understated,” said Michael H. Brisman, M.D., an attending neurosurgeon and chief executive officer of Neurological Surgery, P.C. 

“It has no precedent. However, my partners and I decided that at this difficult time a declaration of hope was needed to inspire the young people in our community to continue to look to the future and take an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs. That’s why the second NSPC Health Science Competition will be held as planned, but conducted online to assure  the safety of participants, judges, and educators.”

Moreover, “To allow as many students to participate as possible we’ve changed the event’s registration deadline to Thursday, May 14, from April 30,” said Brisman. Nearly 300 high schools teams have already applied to compete.

A $25 non-refundable registration fee per team applies to all entries. The NSPC HSC is available exclusively to Nassau and Suffolk high school teams. Last year, the competition drew teams from 38 Long Island schools and 50 prize winners shared $80,000 in score-based awards. The 2019 program’s finals were held on the campus of LIU/Post in Greenvale. 

To compete, teams will create a Google site and upload: 1) Images of their poster board/digital poster board or a <20 slide PowerPoint presentation; 2) A 10 minute video in which team members can be seen explaining their project, and 3) All executed competition documents. 

Further information about how to construct a Google site and other application requirements are available online at Entries must be received by 4 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, May 27. Results to be announced and live streamed on Monday, June 15.

Student teams will be judged in one of five categories: Behavioral Sciences; Biology-Medicine/Health; Biology-Microbiology/Genetics; Health Related Biochemistry/Biophysics, and Bioengineering and Computational Biology. The five first place winners in last year’s competition were Feyi Rufai of Roslyn High School, Alessi Demir of Manhasset High School, Michael Lawes of Elmont Memorial High School, Jason Sitt of Lynbrook Senior High School, and Christopher Lu of John L. Miller Great Neck North High School. Each first place winner received a $5,500 prize. The exact breakdown of prizes can be found at

“The young people who were part of the first competition were brilliant and inspiring. Their understanding of medicine and health-related subjects was impressive. These students are exactly the people we need to address the high demand for STEM, health science, and healthcare-related jobs here on Long Island and across the nation. The first NSPC Health Science Competition (HSC) exceeded our goals in terms of the number of schools and students who competed,” said Brisman. 

“I believe the 2020 ‘virtual’ competition will further motivate both those who participate and others, who observed these innovative young people, to pursue their interest and careers in healthcare and related sciences,” he added.

For more information about the NSPC Health Science Competition, complete competition rules, and deadlines, please visit or call 516-764-0045.

'The Great Migration' 2019 Best-in-Show winner by Bryan Ray Image from Gurwin Jewish

Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Commack invites all amateur photographers, including students, to submit entries for its 27th Annual Photo Contest. Winners of the unique contest have the distinct honor of not only receiving recognition and prizes for their work, but also the privilege of helping to enhance the lives of those who live and work at Gurwin as winning photographs are permanently displayed throughout the facility.

Those selected will be invited to a reception at the Gurwin Center (TBA) where they will receive their cash prize, award certificate and/or crystal trophy. Photographers may submit up to seven printed color or black-and-white 8×10 or 8×12 photographs for a fee of $5 per entry.  Entry forms are available for download online at or by calling 631-715-2568.  The deadline for submissions is April 15.

From left, WMHS Visual Arts Coordinator Jennifer Trettner, DGSIR CEO Deirdre O’Connell, aritst Corinne Angeand DGSIR Regional Manager Anthony DeGrotta. Photo by Lianna Kosch
Corrine Ange with her winning artwork.
Photo by Lianna Kosch

Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty of Stony Brook celebrated all of the final contestants featured in the Fall 2019 Ward Melville High School Student Art Contest on Dec. 1. 

The public voted on their favorite piece of art during the month of November. 

The winning artist was Ward Melville High School senior Corrine Ange. Her watercolor piece impressed many with its vibrant colors and lifelike quality. The prize for Ange was a $500 scholarship presented by Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty’s CEO Deirdre O’Connell, who applauded all of the artists for contributing their talents and thanked all attendees for their support for making community events like this possible. 

Kat Graham and Honoree Brittany Sciavone attends the 14th Annual L'Oreal Paris Women Of Worth Awards at The Pierre on December 04, 2019 in New York City.

By Melissa Arnold

It’s been a whirlwind December for Huntington’s Brittany Schiavone.

Earlier this year, 30-year-old Brittany was chosen as one of 10 finalists in the 14th annual L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth national competition, an event celebrating the achievements of amazing women from all walks of life.

Brittany, who has Down syndrome, is the founder of Brittany’s Baskets of Hope (BBOH), a nonprofit organization that delivers care packages to new parents of children with Down syndrome.

Since its inception five years ago, BBOH has mailed or hand delivered more than 850 baskets to families in 49 states and Puerto Rico. The baskets contain educational materials, pampering products for families, a blanket and clever, Down-themed clothing for their little one.

Brittany won $10,000 for being a finalist in the competition. Her story and those of the other finalists were chronicled on L’Oreal’s website, and for one month, anyone could vote for the woman who most inspired them. 

On Dec. 2, Brittany and her longtime friend, Ashley Asti, headed to New York City to prepare for the Women of Worth gala later that week, where the top finalist would be named the National Honoree.

“On Monday, a car service was sent for us and we headed into the city. That night, there was a dinner for all the finalists to meet and talk about their initiatives,” said Asti, who has known Brittany for several years. “Brittany walked to the head of the table and spoke to the group with so much confidence. She is so intuitive and took all of it in stride.”

The second day was quieter, with a full day of workshops to help the women learn more about the intricacies of running a nonprofit organization. 

Finally, Wednesday arrived. Joined by her mother, Sue Schiavone, the ladies headed to the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan, where they had makeovers from L’Oreal staff. “There were two people doing my hair and makeup. They gave me smoky eyes and curls. It was amazing,” the finalist said.

The star-studded gala paired each finalist with a celebrity who accompanied them throughout the night. Among the attendees were Dame Helen Mirren, Gayle King, Viola Davis, Camila Cabello, Amber Heard and Debby Ryan.

Brittany’s celebrity navigator, actress Aja Naomi King of ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder,” spent the night sharing stories and laughs and introduced her onstage. And at the end of the night, both women cried tears of joy when Brittany was named the 2019 Women of Worth National Honoree. She had earned thousands of online votes and will receive an additional $25,000 to benefit BBOH.

“I’m so excited that I won, because now I can help even more families like mine know that they’re not alone,” the honoree said, adding that she hopes she can soon send a basket to Alaska, the only state they’ve yet to hear from.

Sue Schiavone finds herself thinking about families all over the world. “It’s nice to know that we’re not going to have to worry about where the money is coming from anymore,” she said. “Shipping costs are so expensive, and we’ve received so many messages from people in other countries asking for us to send baskets. We can start to think about that now. It opens up so many doors for Brittany, and for us.”

To learn more about Brittany’s Baskets of Hope, donate to the cause or to request a care package, visit

Photos courtesy of L’Oreal Paris


Thanks to all the children who entered Times Beacon Record News Media’s first Thanksgiving Coloring Contest and for helping to make it so successful! This year we had 27 entries making it very difficult to choose a winner. Congratulations to Jameson Flaiz of Miller Place, sisters Deryn and Shaelea McNamara of East Setauket and Andrew Cleary of Rocky Point for being this year’s winners and receiving a family four-pack of tickets to see “Barnaby Saves Christmas” at Theatre Three in Port Jefferson. Special thanks to Theatre Three for sponsoring our contest! 

See all of the wonderful entries on this slide show. Happy Thanksgiving!