Congrats all around
First, I want to congratulate the winners of our Celebration of the Arts amateur art competition. You may have seen the special insert we ran in our September issue, describing the contest and giving brief bios of our first, second and third place winners in each of the four categories.
It was only days ago, however, that we held the Awards Ceremony for all the winners, including honorable mentions, and I had the opportunity to meet many of the artists. What a wonderful, diverse group of multi-talented individuals!
While our main exhibition of all winning works will take place later this year in Washington, D.C., we are pleased to have a mini-exhibition of Baltimore area winners at the Myerberg Center from Oct. 24 to Nov. 14.
A closing reception is being hosted by the Myerberg from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14. Space is limited, so if you would like to come, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Wed., Nov. 7.
A pat on the back
I also want to congratulate our own writing staff and our wonderful freelancers for their award-winning work.
Each year, we enter a selection of our writers’ original stories in two national journalism competitions. We do so both to be sure we are keeping up the quality of our writing compared with other publications throughout the country, and to give our writers the opportunity to earn recognition they will treasure from well-respected, objective judges.
I’m happy and proud to report that every one of our regular writers and freelancers came away with one or more honors in this year’s competitions.
The declared goal of the National Mature Media Awards is “to recognize the nation’s ‘best and brightest’ materials and programs produced every year for older adults.” The prestigious competition attracts entries from national organizations and publications, including AARP, the Mayo Clinic and the Arthritis Foundation.
We are especially proud that all 12 of our entries won honors in this year’s competition.
Our long-time Baltimore Contributing Editor, Carol Sorgen, won two Silver Awards this year, for her February and April cover stories, “Many upsides to downsizing,” and “Getting up to speed on tech.”
Carol has been writing for us since we began the Baltimore Beacon more than a dozen years ago, and wins accolades every year for her excellent work. We are proud to have her on our staff.
A cover story on “Opposing views on immigration” from the Howard County Beacon won a Silver Award for Robert Friedman, a regular contributor to that publication.
Our relatively new Richmond area publication, Fifty Plus, earned both a Silver and a Bronze award for two of our writers from that area.
And our flagship Greater Washington Beacon was honored with six awards: a Gold for “It’s never too late to get healthy,” our March cover by our Managing Editor, Barbara Ruben; a Silver for “Helping immigrants feel at home,” also by Barbara; a Silver for “Still smokin’ after all these years,” a profile of Smokey Robinson by our Assistant Editor, Rebekah Alcalde, a Bronze for “Startups focus on better aging,” also by Rebekah, and a Bronze for yours truly for “‘Camp’ pumps up music lovers.” My monthly “From the Publisher” column won a Merit award.
Also, our October 2017 Greater Washington edition won a Merit award for overall excellence.
Another annual journalism competition is held by the North American Mature Publishers Association (NAMPA), the association for newspapers and magazines specifically for the 50+ market.
NAMPA’s annual journalism competition attracts hundreds of submissions every year and is judged by internationally respected faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. This year, we received 17 NAMPA awards.
Carol Sorgen’s November 2017 cover about older adults driving for Uber and Lyft, “A way to pick up a few bucks,” won first place in the how-to category.
Robert Friedman won three awards for his work in our Howard County edition: a first place in feature writing, a second place in topical issue, and a third place in the how-to category.
Richmond’s Fifty Plus won a first and third place in the profile category, and second place for best cover photo.
And our Greater Washington edition took eight first place awards, a second place, plus overall Best of Show. Those awards went to Barbara Ruben, Rebekah Alcalde, our travel writer Victor Block, our book reviewer Dinah Rokach, our columnist Bob Levey, our student columnist Alexis Bentz and myself.
In addition, www.thebeaconnewspapers.com, which we completely overhauled last year, won first place for best website.
Of course, whatever awards we do or do not win, what matters most to us is that you, our readers, are pleased with the practical information, news and entertainment you find each month in the Beacon.
Please let us know what you think — even (actually, especially) if you think we are missing the boat in any particular area.
Also feel free to share ideas for future stories and to recommend your fellow citizens for profiles. Your opinions, suggestions and letters to the editor are always welcome, whether you contact us by mail, phone, fax, email or online.
I want to conclude by expressing my thanks to, and admiration for, all our writers (and editors) mentioned above as well as the other members of our staff, who work so diligently to produce multiple editions of the Beacon every month.
I’d like to thank them by name for their efforts and devoted contributions:
Vice President of Operations Gordon Hasenei; Vice President of Sales & Marketing Alan Spiegel; Art Director Kyle Gregory; Assistant Operations Manager (and webmaster) Roger King; Advertising Representatives Doug Hallock, Dan Kelly, Barbara Koscielski, Steve Levin and Hubie Stockhausen; Social Media Assistant Steve Andrzejczyk, and last but certainly not least, my wife and Associate Publisher, Judy Rosenthal.
The Beacon would not exist without all of their efforts, nor without you who read our publications each month. I offer my sincere appreciation to each of you.