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Gurwin Photo Contest 2020

The Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Commack recently announced the winners of their 27th annual Gurwin Photo Contest. Thirty winning photos were chosen from among more than 450 entries for permanent display in the 460-bed nursing and rehabilitation facility. 

Taking top prize of Best in Show this year was Jan Golden for her photo “Happy Family.” Best in Show runner up was Barbara McCahill for “Three Amigos.” Both photographers are from Stony Brook. 

In light of the times and in the interest of safety, the awards ceremony was held virtually via Zoom, and included video commentary by winning contestants. Zoom participants enjoyed a slideshow presentation of the year’s winning selections, as well as winners from past contests. 

The virtual format made it possible to have winners send in prerecorded videos of themselves, offering an inside look at the story behind their photos, their love for photography and their thoughts on what it means for their photos to be selected as winners in the Gurwin Photo Contest.

Gurwin’s renowned photo contest is much anticipated each year. The striking photos hung in the Center’s Tiffen Gallery — named for perennial contest sponsor The Tiffen Company after founder Nat Tiffen — are a signature element of the warm and welcoming environment at Gurwin. Each year, winning portraits are added to the gallery, with older photos moved to resident units for year-round enjoyment. 

More than 1000 photos now adorn the walls of the nursing and rehabilitation center and are admired daily by residents, staff and visitors alike.

Tony Lopez (Tony Lopez Photography) and Chris Appoldt (Chris Appoldt Photography) served as judges for the contest. Residents and staff members also participated in the selection process, choosing winners in the “Resident/Staff Selections” category. 

Photos not selected for display are utilized by Gurwin’s Therapeutic Recreation team as inspiration for art therapy projects, as well as for reminiscence programs for those with memory impairment, deeming every submission a “winner.”

“The community support we have received since the Contest’s inception nearly three decades ago is remarkable and serves to enhance the beauty of our Center,” said Stuart B. Almer, President and CEO of the Gurwin Healthcare System, of which the Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is a part.

“The installation of the new artwork throughout our Center is something we all look forward to, and we are particularly touched by the continued support of the community during such a challenging year,” he added.

The Gurwin Photo Contest opens each year for submissions on February 15. Information on the contest can be found at www.gurwin.org/about/photo-contest/.

Best in Show

‘Happy Family’ by Jan Golden/Stony Brook

Best in Show Runner-up

‘Three Amigos’ by Barbara McCahill/Stony Brook

Action/Sports Category

Grand Prize

‘Barrel Racer’ by Frank DiBenedetto/Coram

Honorable Mention 

‘Fighter Planes Chasing Eagles’ by Jane Solomon/Old Bethpage

Altered/Enhanced Category

Grand Prize 

‘American Eagle’ by Mike DiRenzo/East Yaphank

Honorable Mention 

‘Boat Ride Around’ by Ellen Gallagher/Melville

Children’s Category

Grand Prize 

‘Sibling Love’ by Debbie Monastero/Bohemia

Honorable Mention 

‘Here I Come’ by Sarah Holmstrom/Smithtown

Landscapes Category

Grand Prize

‘Richardson Highway’ by Carol Goldstein/Setauket

Honorable Mention 

‘Napali Coastline’ by Deidre Elzer-Lento/Northport

Long Island/ NY Category

Grand Prize 

‘The Hot Dog Stand’ by Robert Guido/Huntington

Honorable Mention 

‘East End Americana’ by Dianne Booth/Bohemia

Nature Category

Grand Prize 

‘Blue and His Fish’ by Carol Goldstein/Setauket

Honorable Mention 

‘Solo Bloom’ by Jan Golden/Stony Brook

People Category

Grand Prize 

‘Torah Scribe’ by Herb Knopp/East Northport

Honorable Mention 

‘Calling It a Day’ by Tom Caruso/Smithtown

Pets Category

Grand Prize 

‘Best Friends’ by Sarah Holmstrom/Smithtown

Honorable Mention  

‘I Got Caught!’ by Deidre Elzer-Lento/Northport

Still Life Category

Grand Prize 

‘Workbench’ by Robert Oliva/Smithtown

Honorable Mention 

‘Just Hanging’ by Deborah Jahier/Huntington Station

Travel Category

Grand Prize 

‘Queenstown’ by Meghan Scherer/East Northport

Honorable Mention 

‘Three Brothers’ by Carol Milazzo-DiRenzo/East Yaphank

Wildlife Category

Grand Prize 

‘Dinner Time’ by Debbie Monastero/Bohemia

Honorable Mention 

‘Puffin Interaction’ by Bobbie Turner/Bohemia

Student Category

Grand Prize 

‘Alone in the Unknown’ by Anne Koszalka/East Williston

Honorable Mention 

‘Aspen After Dark’ by Joshua Sukoff/Huntington

Resident/Staff Selections

‘Can I Help You’ by Alan Sloyer, M.D.

‘New Mother’ by Bobbie Turner

‘Baby Kit Fox Leaving Its Den’ by Chuck Goodman

‘Facetime Surprise’ by Michael Oross