The election is over — no, we’re not talking about THAT one. We’re declaring the champions of Newsday’s second Long Island’s Cutest Baby Contest. Here are winners from the more than 500 entries in the boys and girls categories, determined by which entrants got the most votes during a weeklong voting period:
WINNER Taya Farkas, Lynbrook
Taya Farkas’ photo was taken when she was just about 6 weeks old, says her mom Eva Farkas, 31, a respiratory therapist. She’s in the family car, snug in her carseat. “We were just about to leave the house,” Farkas says, on the way from Lynbrook to Yia Yia’s (that’s Greek for grandma) house in Franklin Square. “I said, ‘Where are we going? Where are we going?’ ” Farkas says, and Taya responded with excitement.
Now, whenever Farkas repeats the “Where are we going?” question, Taya, now 4 months old, responds with a smile, Farkas says. Farkas and her husband, Michael, 27, said in their entry that it was their dream to show their little girl where they grew up — “from eating the best bagels and Ralph’s Italian Ices to visiting Montauk and the lighthouse, to our beach days and strolls on the boardwalk. Taya has already experienced this all — she just doesn’t know it yet!”
Farkas credits her extended family with helping Taya get the most votes.
WINNER Charlie Camilli, West Babylon
It’s going to be a great Christmas for Charlie Camilli, now 7 months old. His parents, Anthony, 36, and Annmarie, 33, plan to use the $500 gift card that Charlie won in the Long Island’s Cutest Baby Contest to get him toys and clothes. “That’s what we’re going to do with the prize. First Christmas,” Anthony says.
Anthony credits his co-workers at Barnes & Noble’s corporate office in Westbury and his wife’s hairdressing clients for helping Charlie take the top honor. “I told everyone at work,” he says. “Everyone that was in her chair, she was telling them all week long. We were really trying to spread the word.” The couple also employed Facebook and Instagram in their quest. “I think that’s where we got most of our help,” he says.
In the picture Anthony submitted, Charlie is 6 months old, and it’s the picture Anthony keeps as his smartphone wallpaper. Anthony says Charlie loves to eat — “what baby doesn’t love to eat?” he says. Charlie’s the Camillis’ first child — but he’s not their only loved one. They’ve also got a dog, Rufus, a Rhodesian ridgeback, who is already best buddies with Charlie. “Charlie likes to play with his ears,” Anthony says. In return, Rufus likes to lick Charlie’s face.