Newtown Women’s Cookie Lighthouse Takes Top Prize In 10th Annual ‘Festival Of Lighthouses’ Contest

Newtown Women’s Cookie Lighthouse Takes Top Prize In 10th Annual ‘Festival Of Lighthouses’ Contest

NORWALK — A precise model of the Sheffield Island Lighthouse, made out of sugar cookies by two Newtown women, has been named the $1,500 first-place winner in the tenth annual Festival of Lighthouses contest at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

“Sugar Cookie Sheffield Island” by Donna Ball and Laura McNamara received the most votes from aquarium visitors during the holiday display, which ran from November 19 through January 16, and featured 24 large model lighthouses built by local artists, students, and hobbyists.

Mrs Ball’s and Mrs McNamara’s lighthouse is a large replica of Norwalk’s historic Sheffield Island Lighthouse made entirely of homemade cookies, with white frosting, chocolates, and other edible touches. Their total ingredients included 35 pounds of flour, 25 pounds of sugar, 15 pounds of confectionary sugar, four dozen eggs, and 13 pounds of butter.

Prizes were also awarded to five runners-up:

*second place ($750): “Maritime Carousel 2011” by Paul Coughlan of Norwalk and Nicol Rupolo of Stamford;

*third place ($375): “Hogwarts Lighthouse” by Nick Parker of Ridgefield;

*fourth place ($300): “The Rickety Steadfast” by Raymond Swindon of Trumbull;

*fifth place ($225): “Northern Light House” by Ron and Cecile Lobo of Bridgeport; and

*sixth place ($150): “Maritime Light” by the Huizinga family of Danbury.

The rules for the aquarium’s “Festival of Lighthouses” are fairly simple: generally, entries must be three to six feet tall and have a working light. Beyond that, it is up to the creators’ imaginations. The winners are chosen by aquarium visitors, who enjoy the lighthouses in the aquarium galleries and then vote for their favorite from a collection of 24 on display. More than 13,400 votes were tallied from this most recent display, which — as always — attracted a collection of widely creative works.

“Each year, we are amazed by the incredible amount of thought and effort that folks put into their lighthouses, and for that we are very honored and grateful,” said Chris Loynd, the aquarium’s marketing director. “We thank all of this year’s entrants, whose creativity added a colorful and festive element to the aquarium this holiday season.”

The lighthouses remained on display for voting until January 16. The winners were announced on January 19, and a reception was held that evening at the aquarium for the builders, family and friends to celebrate the conclusion of the festival.

Photos of all the winners can be seen on the aquarium’s website, www.MaritimeAquarium.org.

To read the story about the two lighthouses that were built in Newtown for this year’s competition, “Sugar Cookie Sheffield Island Lighthouse” by Mrs Ball and Mrs McNamara, as well as “Black Rock Lighthouse” by the LaBlanca family, visit NewtownBee.com and search the archives for Maritime Aquarium Festival of Lighthouses.