Dawn Coletta's family is famous in some gardening circles: Her uncle Harold Politano not only won the Great Long Island Tomato Challenge in 2009, but his was the heaviest Long Island-grown tomato on record. Unfortunately -- and tragically -- Harold passed away in December, just four months after winning the crown. To honor her uncle, Dawn is joining her cousin, Harold's daughter Kim Politano, in growing tomatoes this year and entering the 2010 challenge.

She writes:

advertisement | advertise on newsday

I am not in the same league as my Uncle Harold, but I enjoy my garden and wanted to represent him in my own way. I have cherry, roma, better boy, celebrity and pink brandywine.

I will do my best!! Last a year a lot of people had blight, but we had beautiful tomatoes -- and a lot of them..

Thanks again for your kindness and all your garden help and tips. Hope to see you at the challenge.

I'll be here, Dawn. And for those who aren't aware, the Great Long island Tomato Challenge 2010 will be held here at Newsday (235 Pinelawn road, Melville) at 7 pm. on August 27. Just bring your biggest tomato and join the fun.