Photo contest celebrates signs of aging
Danielle Kocinski wanted to remember her father positively during his last days at Sagepoint Senior Living Services in La Plata. As the winner of the Sagepoint Images of Aging contest, the Leonardtown resident said she can now have a happy occasion to remember his days there.
“The main reason I entered was so that I could have a positive memor y of him being there, other than just him being sick,” Kocinski said of her father. “It feels like he kind of lives on through his photo. Now I have something positive to think about.”
John Cowles was 78 years old when he died at the rehabilitation center where he was admitted to recover from a heart attack. The photo Kocinski submitted of his was with his wife, Violet Cowles, during one of his last enjoyable social outings.
“The day the picture was taken was the day my Mom had a [1940s/1950s] musical group come and play for him and the residents and it was probably the last good day he had,” Kocinski said.
Images were collected for the contest through Feb. 28 and votes were tallied afterwards. Winners were announced March 9. This is the second year Sagepoint has held the contest, according to Marketing Coordinator Kelsey Pearson.
“The goal… is to engage members of the Southern Maryland community as they document what aging means to them while encouraging an appreciation for aging,” Pearson said.
Pearson said 18 entries were received encompassing many themes to include family, beauty, love, humor and Alzheimer’s Disease. The overall contest winner was determined by the highest number of Facebook and Instagram likes and received a $200 gift card. Kocinski’s photo of her parents won with 48 votes at the time voting ended.
“There was a lot of people thinking the picture was cute and liking the story. A lot of it was either on my [Facebook] page or on my sister’s Facebook page,” Kocinski said. “I think we won because I had help from my family. My sister has a lot of Facebook friends and we were persistent in asking for votes. My two daughters were responsible for the Instagram.”
The contest also recognized two other submissions as the “Staff Choice” winner and “Resident Choice” winner who each received $50 gift cards. Rebecca Giannini won the Staff Choice category with a photo of Michael and Lor- raine Fanase. Kristal Tucker won the Resident Choice category with a photo of three generations of women.
“I think a lot of people have an image of Sagepoint or any facility like it as being a place where everyone is sad or sick but [the contest] shows they can be happy and have stories to show through their photos and can connect emotionally with other people,” Kocinski said of the contest.
Kocinski said she invit- ed family to a dinner at Carabba’s where they used the winning gift card to celebrate with a dinner in memory of her father.
“I think [people] can see sincere joy in my Mom’s face and the bonding of my mom and dad holding hands and that she was still happy in spite of him being sick. He was too even though he’s not smiling. He wasn’t much of a smiler,” Kocinski laughed.
Danielle Kocinski’s photo of her parents, John and Violet Cowles, won the Sagepoint Images of Aging contest, as determined by Facebook and Instagram popularity. John Cowles was a former rehab patient at Sagepoint.
Rebecca Giannini’s photo of Michael and Lorraine Fanase received the Staff Choice award in the Sagepoint Images of Aging contest. The contest was designed to document what aging means to the community and encourage an appreciation for growing older.
Kristal Tucker’s photo submission of three generations received the Residents’ Choice award in the Sagepoint Images of Aging contest. The contest was designed to document what aging means to the community and encourage an appreciation for growing older.