In cooperation with the Astella Development Corporation, the Parks Department and AriZona beverages, Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) hosted this year’s competition to raise much-needed funding for ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. Alliance for Coney Island and Luna Park Coney Island also supported the competition.
To date, BCS and Astella have together provided more than $300,000 in food, furniture, household goods, clothing and help with repairs.
Winners were chosen from seven categories, with prizes reaching as high as $500. In the individual adult, youth and child categories, Abraham Cruz’s “Freedom Tower,” Bradley Pion’s “Giant Turtle” and Arri Blumenfeld’s “Imagination Animal” took home their respective prizes.
In the group adult, youth and child competitions, Team Frank Russo’s “Castle to the Sky,” Laura Gallagher’s “Cat Named Bob” and the Gelina & Sanchez Family’s “Primordial Lizard” were the winners.
In the mixed group category, the winning piece was Gilbert Ortega’s “Freedom Tower.”
Gallagher, whose sculpture won her and best friend Ana Jimenez $500, was surprised by the win.
“We weren’t even going to do a cat’s head. We were just going to do something, so we said let’s go to Coney Island and we started out with a castle but it sucked,” Gallagher said. “We had these two pillars and we turned them into ears and said, what do we do with this?”
Former borough president Marty Markowitz was on hand to help announce the winners, and was happy to see such strong support for a good cause in his favorite borough.
“Coney Island is its residents, they are the most important ones,” he said. “The better they do, the better New York City does.”