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Newsday photographer Alejandra Villa Loarca wins Front Page Award

Aaron K. Marsh leads a gospel group at

Aaron K. Marsh leads a gospel group at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Copiague on Jan. 15, in this award-winning Newsday photograph. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

Newsday photographer Alejandra Villa Loarca has won a Front Page Award for her moving portrait of a church service in Copiague, The Newswomen’s Club of New York announced Monday.

Villa won in the feature category for her image “Songs of Praise.” The Jan. 15 photo captures Aaron K. Marsh, executive director at the Venettes Cultural Workshop, leading a choir in song during a church service honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

“It’s an honor and a humbling experience to be recognized by this organization,” Villa said. “In a male-dominated field, I feel like this is a place where women are recognized for the important contributions we bring to journalism.”

Villa also won last year in the breaking-news category for her compelling photo of parents mourning at their son’s funeral.

“This is well-deserved recognition for Alejandra,” said John Keating, Newsday assistant managing editor/photography. “Once again she has used her unique photographic vision to capture a compelling image of an important event in our community.”

The Front Page Awards honor journalistic excellence by newswomen working in print, broadcasting, wire services, photography and online.

The 81st annual awards will be presented Nov. 8 at a black-tie gala at the Down Town Association in Manhattan.

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