The Cutest Little Long Islanders have been chosen. More than 400 kids ages 2 to 4 competed in Newsday’s inaugural Cutest Little Long Islander contest. Here are the winners in the boys and girls categories, determined by which entrants got the most votes during a weeklong online voting period:
BOY: KAIDEN VOZZI
Kaiden Vozzi, 2, of Wantagh loves trains — especially “Thomas & Friends” and “Chuggington” trains. He likes to wear hats — in his winning photo, he’s got a Mets cap on backward — and he also often wears a cowboy hat from “Toy Story.” His favorite food is a classic toddler go-to: chicken nuggets.
“He’s very active,” says mom Nicole, 32. “He acts like a clown; he just wants to make everyone smile and laugh at him. He’s very sweet.”
In Kaiden’s photo, he’s sitting at the Vozzis’ kitchen table in his pajamas, coloring. Vozzi snapped the shot on her smartphone. She is a stay-at-home mom to Kaiden and his two brothers, Tyler, 4, and Alex, 1. Kaiden’s dad, Frankie, is in the mortgage business.
Nicole Vozzi says she and her husband sent the contest link to “basically everyone we knew” asking them to vote. She credits her three cousins in high school with helping Kaiden win by asking their Instagram and other social media followers to help.
Vozzi says she’ll let Kaiden buy a couple new trains and put the rest of the $500 contest prize in the bank for him.
GIRL: DYLAN DIMINICO
Dylan DiMinico, 2, of Great River, is wearing a Gap dress and a hot-pink flower headband in her winning photo, but on most days it’s more likely she’d be wearing her favorite “Frozen” costume. “She wears an Elsa costume pretty much everywhere,” says mom Jamie.
Dylan likes to sing — with “Let It Go,” of course, being a favorite tune — and she loves puppies. She also loves the “Otis” picture books by Loren Long — she likes “Otis and the Puppy” the best. When DiMinico asks Dylan her favorite food, the toddler replies, “Pirate’s Booty,” a snack.
DiMinico, 37, shot the photo of Dylan just before they set out to get pictures taken with the Easter bunny. Dylan is the youngest of three kids — her older sister, Quinn, 5, wore a matching dress. Dylan also has an older brother, Eamon, 7. DiMinico is a lawyer who’s been doing per diem work since Dylan was born; Dylan’s dad, Mark, 37, works in sales.
DiMinico credits her extended family and her husband’s and her sister’s co-workers with helping Dylan win. “We have family all over the place,” she says. “My husband’s mom is one of nine.” And all of those nine siblings have children. “My sister works in the city; she was crazy into it, texting people with the link,” DiMinico says. And her husband’s “fairly large” company is based in Seattle; he was there last week and asked people to vote as well, she says.
What will DiMinico do with the $500 prize money? “I’m actually going to buy new car seats for the girls,” she says.