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A Winning Season

Family Times’ entries placed first (two awards), second (one) and third (one) in the most recent competition of the magazine’s national industry group, the Parenting Media Association.

Cary and Tonja Rector’s column, Family Matters, received a first-place award in the child development and parenting issues category. Cary and Tonja are married and offer counseling through their business, Rector Psychotherapy Services, in Fayetteville. They began writing Family Matters in 2007 and have covered numerous topics since then, from using “time outs” effectively for young children to helping middle-schoolers take charge of their homework.

Deborah Cavanagh’s column “A Whammy Strikes” earned first place in the personal essay category. Cavanagh is a married mother of two, Amanda, 15, who has Down syndrome, and Jason, age 11, who is typical. The winning essay describes a visit to the YMCA with her daughter. Judges said it “conveys in simple but eloquent fashion the daily challenges a mother faces in helping a child with Down syndrome become more independent. Poignant and inspiring prose help the reader truly see the struggle.” Cavanagh, who lives in Manlius, began writing for Family Times in 2011.

The June 2012 cover, illustrated by independent artist Dee D’Amico Densmore and designed by Family Times staffer Briana Viel, landed a second-place award. D’Amico Densmore previously received first-place awards for two other Family Times covers she illustrated. In a forthcoming film, Are We Officially Dating?, her illustrations are slated to stand in for the work of a fictional graphic artist played by actor Zac Efron of High School Musical fame.

Last but not least in the awards lineup, the February 2012 article “Three Outings with a Preschooler,” written by Editor in Chief Reid Sullivan, placed third for the service feature award. The judges wrote that “the tone is friendly and conversational and makes readers want to try the adventure, then sit down with the writer and compare experiences.”

PMA is a trade association representing more than 120 regional parenting magazines and newspapers across the United States and including Canada and Australia. The awards competition is coordinated by a professor at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism.

Family Times competed in the category for midsize publications (25,001 to 44,999) against publications from areas including Staten Island, Westchester County and Nashville.

Family Times: The Parenting Guide of Central New York began publishing in May 2002. Since joining the PMA (formerly PPA, or Parenting Publications of America), the magazine has won a total of 29 awards, including this year’s. Family Times and the Syracuse New Times are owned by publisher Bill Brod.

—Reid Sullivan

© Family Times: The Parenting Guide of Central New York