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This Months Feature Story

Teaching kids about spending, saving and more

By Charles McChesney

To discover the value of a dollar—or several—young people need opportunities to learn about saving, spending, borrowing, and how to balance their needs and wants.


Enchanted Beaver Lake

Credit: Michael Davis Photo (2007)

Enchanted Beaver Lake features more than 500 jack-o-lanterns and luminaria that light the way along two magical trails at the Beaver Lake Nature Center, Route 370, Baldwinsville. There’s also face painting, fortune telling and treats. The annual event runs from Thursday, Oct. 26, through Sunday, Oct. 29, 6 to 8:30 p.m. each night. Advance reservations, including parking, are required. Admission is $3 per person; it’s free for kids under 3. Parking costs $5. Call (315) 638-2519 for reservations and information.

For more events in October, take a look at the calendar.






© Family Times: The Parenting Guide of Central New York

The Faces of Fall

Every fall brings a new crop of photogenic faces to the Family Times offices as we review entrants in the annual Cover Kid Contest.

Picking just four winners—one in each age category--and eight finalists is never simple. Each photo—usually snapped by a parent—depicts a beaming face. Or, less often, the picture shows a child not grinning broadly but scowling evocatively, which has its own charm.

The task of deciding the winners this year fell to three judges drafted from our company’s team of visual artists: Michael Davis, photographer for both Family Times and sister publication the Syracuse New Times; Briana Viel, graphic artist for both publications; and James Rutkey, manager of the Creative Services Department.

In our guidelines for judges, we say, “This is not a photography contest or a beauty contest. We are simply looking for kids who are relaxed in front of a camera and like having their pictures taken.” But picking the winners who best reflect those qualities is easier said than done.

The winners in each age category were:
Tai Nguyen of Manlius (ages 2 to 4); Breanna Murphy of Phoenix (ages 5 to 7); Alexandra Jacob of North Syracuse (ages 8 to 11); and Amanda Baker of Fayetteville (ages 12 to 16). Each of the winners will appear on a forthcoming cover of Family Times.

The finalists were: Shaylin Florczykowksi of Cicero and Olivia Ogata of Jamesville (ages 2 to 4); Drew Baker of Cicero and Meghan Moyer of Liverpool (ages 5 to 7); Sara Bourdon of Minoa and Faith Scheemaker of Baldwinsville (ages 8 to 11); and Allison Bollinger of Baldwinsville and Amanda St. Onge of Hannibal (ages 12 to 16).

Entry fees will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York. Last year, some 400 families found respite at CNY Ronald McDonald House, the home away from home for relatives staying near a seriously ill child who is receiving treatment locally. For more information, visit

We want to thank all the parents whose entry fees pay for a donation to this local charity. And thank you, also, to the children who showed us their photogenic faces.

—Reid Sullivan