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CMN Baby Photo Contest winner opts for second-place prize

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John A. and Isabella L. Gorman are only 2 years old but have already learned to share.

As the winners of the 21st annual CMN Baby Photo Contest, the pair, along with their parents, won a trip to Disney World, Orlando, Fla. But, since the Gorman twins also won the 20th annual contest, the family decided to trade the Disney trip with the second-place winner.

They switched prizes with the family of Reese Grobe, 2, who came in second place and won an overnight stay in the Royal Suite of Singer Castle. Jocelyn D. Mejias, director of Children’s Miracle Network of Northern New York at Samaritan Medical Center, said switching prizes has never happened before.

“I knew the second-place winner really campaigned for the first-place prize,” she said. “She won with her son seven years ago. It was just a very nice twist there. I had to contain my elation at that generous gesture.”

The Gorman twins received 3,708 votes while Reese received 2,486 votes. The third-place winner, Tyson Fleuridor, 1, received 1,137 votes and took home a $500 cash prize.

This year’s contest had more than 120 contestants and raised about $12,000. All proceeds go to the local CMN affiliate to help sick or injured children in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Mrs. Mejias had hoped to raise $20,000 and have roughly 300 children participate but this year’s contest had the lowest turnout. There was no contest in 2010, and then the contest switched from the fall to the spring last year.

Mrs. Mejias said numbers declined in 2011 and that trend continued this year.

“Next year, we’ll switch it back to the fall,” she said. “It was 80 degrees when we started the first photo shoot (this year) and the mall was desolate. We expect next year we will be a lot better.”

Mrs. Mejias said the contest would not be possible without its primary sponsors, which include Creative Imaging Fine Photography, Watertown Savings Bank, Kinney Drugs Foundation, RBC Wealth Management, LaClair Family Dental, Singer Castle and the Salmon Run Mall, which hosted the event earlier this month.

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