Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership holds annual poster contest on theme of healthy eating

Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto with the poster contest winners on Friday, April 24.
Photo courtesy of Senator Klein’s office

A group of 20 children were honored for their artistic ability in a healthy eating-themed poster contest.

Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto honored the young artists whose posters on the theme “eat well, play well,” were chosen from hundreds of submissions as part of the Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership’s 15th Annual Poster Contest.

An awards ceremony took place at Fort Schuyler House in Throggs Neck on Friday, April 24.

“Staying active and eating well are critically important for our youngsters,” said Klein. “It’s never too early to promote a healthy lifestyle and this year’s poster contest does just that – increasing awareness of fun fitness activities, encouraging smart food choices and boosting student engagement.”

Benedetto told the children of his own experiences, saying that as a child he certainly played well, but he did not always eat well. He stressed the importance of the topic.

After Benedetto and Klein finished speaking, both men called the winning children up one-by-one. Klein gave them certificates and Benedetto handed out gift cards.

The winning youngsters were Kayla Barreto, Danielle Bernfeld, Krystal Conde, Kaitlyn Dallaris, Kristian Engeldrum, Fatima Esquivel, Zofia Gomez, Maritza Irizarry, Lucas Jimenez, Ariel Lara, Sheridyn Melendez, Mackenzie Merenda, Nelson Nunez, Chantel O’Brien, Zoe Oxley, Justin Pereira, Lia Saez, Moshea Smart, Lesile Vasquez and Leonardo Vega.

Participating schools and agencies were Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, Mott Hall Community School, Phipps Beacon @ I.S. 192, P.S. 14 YMCA After School Program, P.S. 304, P.S. 72, Preston Center of Compassion After School Program, St. Benedict School and St. Frances de Chantal School.

Also honored at the event was coalition member Patrick Caruso, who attends TNCAP’s monthly roundtable meetings on behalf of Community Board 10 as its constituant and business liaison.

Caruso said that he was pleased to accept the award because it is a validation of CB 10’s work.

Congratulating him was CB 10 chairman Martin Prince and district manager Ken Kearns.

TNCAP chairwoman Frances Maturo said that the event is an important one for the organization, which started out trying to prevent teen drinking in Throggs Neck and has since branched out. She said that the poster contest draws a big response every year.

“The great part is we provide (the school or agency’s) with lesson plan for the teachers to use with the students, who then go home and work on the project,” she said, adding “Whether it is underage drinking or eating healthy, the whole point of it is to be about both school and home.”

The theme of the contest was also an opportunity to speak to the children about sports and exercise, said Maturo.

About 700 students from the third through eight grades submitted posters.

At the event, Chrys Napolitano was at a table that had offerings about a Community Supported Agriculture Project that can provide families with freshly grown local produce.

Leah Gambolati of Shape Up NYC provided the children and their parents with a fitness demonstration.

TNCAP stated that the poster campaign was made possible by contributions from Senator Klein, the 45th Precinct Community Council, Target at the Throggs Neck Shopping Center, Fort Schuyler House, and Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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