Canalfest honors contest, event winners

With more than 665 manpower hours invested, the 10th annual Rome Rotary Canalfest was celebrated under sunny skies, allowing dozens of winners to walk away with awards in various competitions.

The photography contest, in its second year, awarded Best of Show to Kathy LeMandia. Cash winners in amateur color were Virginia Batchelder, first; Jack Zwijacz, second; David DeProspero, third. In amateur black and white, Anthony Lomazzo, first,; Sonia Hernandez, second; Andy House, third. In student color, Emily Closinski, first; Chloe Call, second; Emily Closinski, third; and in student black and white, Megan Lyman, first; Frederick Lyman, second; and Nicole Aiello, third. Ribbon winners in Sponsor’s Choice were Melissa Graves, first; Sandy Foley, second; Robin Rockhold, third. People’s Choice winners were Andy House, first; Justin Watson, second; and Kelly M. Edwards, third. Rotary’s Choice winners were Warren Dries, first; Sonia Hernandez, second; and Robin Rockhold, third.

This year professionals from the food industry judged the cookie contest. They included Don Saunders, executive chef for the Michelina Room, Michelle Moran and Donna Hoffman from Teddy’s, Diane DeLude, co-owner of Candies N’ Cupcakes, Margy Daly, owner of the former Margy’s Bakery and Anthony Darcangelo, caterer. They selected as top finisher Laurie Currier, with Tia Shulkin taking second, Richelle Reynolds finishing third and honorable mentions going to Bobby Bauer and Tia Shulkin.

In the kayak race and 5K run the individual winner was Mike Montemayor; team winners were Joanne and Josh Olney, and the youth category was won by David and Andy Jeselson.

The annual regatta had winners in two heats as well as overall winners. In the first heat, D & B came in first, Boyz from Italy second and VIPS third. In heat two Vignetto came in first, EJA Services second and GreyStone Animal Hospital third. The top finishers were D & B taking the Regatta Cup with EJA Services claiming second place and Vignetto third. The Best in Theme award went to Urban Renewal, the Team Spirit award to the Grimms and the Titanic award to Finishline Auto.

In the Who Let the Dogs Out competition, Barbara Smolinski and KathyLynn Foley took first and second respectively in the smallest dog category with their Chihuahuas, Toya and Kani Foley, while Bubba, a black lab, owned by Debbie Brasie, and Friehofer, a German shorthaired pointer, owned by Joanne Daley, took first and second in the biggest dog category. In best trick, Sylvia Diamond and her dachshund Souzie won first place, and Brasie and Bubba came in second. First place in best costume went to Smolinski and Toya, and second went to Dr. Charlene E. Emeterio and her Yorkiepoo Reiki. Vanessa Stacks and her chihuahua-Pekingese mix Daisey won first in the category "Do You Look Like Your Dog" with Margery Scheideman and Sparky 4, a chihuahua, taking second place. In a new category, favorite celebrity couple, KathyLynn Foley and Kani Foley, her chihuahua, won with their Lucy/Desi costumes. K-9 Karaoke winners were Vanessa Stacks and Daisey, first, and KathyLynn Foley and Kani Foley, second. And the People’s Choice winner this year was Deborah R. Wiater’s English bulldog, Casper.

Sixty-five adults and 35 children turned out for the annual fishing derby this year. In the adult game fish category, Dean Sirianni took first with a largemouth bass weighing 1 1/2 pounds and Andy Sandi took second with a 1 1/8-pound smallmouth bass. In the adult non-game fish category, Gabriel Ballard won with a 2 1/4-pound. sucker, while second place went to Barb Miller for her 1 3/4-pound sheepshead. The winner for first and second place in the children’s gamefish division was Michael Mullin for two largemouth bass, and double awards also went to one person in the children non-gamefish division with first and second place going to Rebecca Przylucki for her perch and crappie. The "Lucky Fish" drawing winners, selected from any child who caught and registered a fish, were Jaymes Garrison and Sierra Underwood. The fishing derby was made possible by the support of the Rome Specialty Company, Michael A. Bleem, the Bobby Page Memorial Foundation, Wal-Mart, Herb Philipson’s, the Toccolana Club, Cooper Kia, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Morgan’s Bait Distribution Services.

In the annual flower show, with this year’s theme, "The Way We the 1970s," Vicki Wright of Hillsboro Garden Club received top awards in annuals, perennials and trees. Darlene Dixon, also of Hillsboro, won the overall Award of Horticultural Excellence and an Award of Merit for her gladiolus "Princess," and Polly Angerosa of Clinton Garden Club won the Combination Planting top award for her terrarium design. Betty Kobernuss won for her container-grown Croton "Zanzibar," a miniature rose "Patio Hit" and an educational exhibit promoting crushed eggshells to keep slugs out of the garden. Top awards in the Design Division went to Ellen Webster, Designer’s Choice Award, for her underwater design, "I Can See Clearly, Now," and Vicki Wright, Petite Award, for her entry in the miniature class, "Take It to the Limit."

The winner of this year’s hot dog eating contest was 17-year-old Anthony McConnell.