Photo con­test cel­e­brates signs of ag­ing

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - Twit­ter: @in­dy_­com­mu­nity By SARA NEW­MAN snew­man@somd­news.com

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

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.

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