I Love CHQ County! Photo Contest Winners Announced

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The three winning photographs from the I Love CHQ County Photo Contest were submitted by Sarah Minor, Steve Hayes and Dianne Woleen.
The three winning photographs from the I Love CHQ County Photo Contest were submitted by Sarah Minor, Steve Hayes and Dianne Woleen.

On Valentine’s Day, the Chautauqua Region and Northern Chautauqua Community Foundations announced the winners of the I Love CHQ County! Photo Contest.

The photo contest was hosted in celebration of the third year of Give Big CHQ, a 24-hour online fundraising day for local nonprofit organizations that takes place each year on the second Thursday in June.

More than 130 photographs were submitted by community members, representing landscapes, local events, nonprofits and people doing what they love. A panel of volunteer judges helped narrow the selection down to 12 finalists that were put to a public vote this past week on social media.

The top three photographs received a combined 875 likes. A first place prize was selected for the photo with the most likes to award a $500 prize to a local charity of their choice.

The photograph with the most likes was submitted by Sarah Minor and featured students and teachers at Zion Lutheran Preschool in Frewsburg.

“What better captures the spirit of Chautauqua County than the children of our community and their caregivers?” Minor wrote. “We are so fortunate to live in a place that comes together to help raise, love, and shape our kids. The teachers at Zion Lutheran Preschool are true representations of this.”

Steve Hayes’ photograph of the I-86 Bridge over Chautauqua Lake and Dianne Woleen’s photograph of young girls at BRAVE, a female empowerment event, placed second and third, respectively.

As part of the contest, the Foundations presented prize money to local charities, as selected by the winning photographers. Minor selected Zion Lutheran Preschool to receive $500, Hayes selected the Bemus Point Library to receive $250 and Woleen selected the Boys and Girls Club of Jamestown to receive $100.

To view all of the finalists in the I Love CHQ Photo Contest and to learn more about this year’s upcoming event on June 11, 2020, follow Give Big CHQ on Facebook.