Richard B. Dunne Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund

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Richard B. Dunne Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Eighth Annual Photography Contest Winners


The Richard B. Dunne Jr. Memorial Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the winners of its Eighth Annual Photography Contest

The contest, which raises funds for scholarships given annually to North Kingstown High School graduating seniors, received more than 100 entries in student and adult age groups plus a themed category. This year’s theme for that category was “Bugs & Birds.”

Longtime competitor Dorothy Leland, of Point Richmond, Calif., took top honors in the Adult category with “Dawn in the Valley,” a vivid landscape taken in Yosemite National Park. Vicki Blaser of Portsmouth was awarded second place for “Sunset Swirl,” taken as the setting sun lit up the horizon at Easton’s Beach in Newport. Third place went to Michelle Bucci of Johnston for her photo entitled “December Full Moon.”

Seventeen-year-old Benjamin Davis of North Kingstown wowed the judges with his photo, “Blue Eyes,” which took top honors in the Student division. Second place was awarded to longtime competitor and frequent winner Alex DiCenso, 16, of North Kingstown, for his photo “Pop!” of an outstretched finger on the cusp of bursting a large bubble. Emma Cotsonas, 15, of Jamestown, placed third with “The Wave.”

Husband and wife duo Elliot and Susan Waterman of West Warwick have entered all eight of the fund’s photo contests. This year Elliot Waterman won the top prize in the “Bugs & Birds” special category with his stunning shot of a trio of osprey, one of whom was caught upside-down in flight protecting its nest. The photo, “Playing Defense,” was taken in North Kingstown.

Susan Waterman took second place in the category with her striking shot, “Great Blue Heron,” taken at Blackstone River Park in Lincoln. Haley Ahlborg, of North Kingstown, won third place with “Grasshopper,” which featured the insect perched atop someone’s hand. Ahlborg won the high school division in last year’s contest.



Judging for the contest is done “blindly,” with judges seeing only the photographs but neither their titles nor the names of the photographers. Proceeds from the contest benefit the Richard B. Dunne Jr. Memorial Scholarship. The fund, named in honor of a longtime North Kingstown High School teacher who was a lifelong photographer, has awarded 80 scholarships worth $78,750 to NKHS graduates since its founding in 2001.  The photo contest is the primary fundraising event for the scholarships and entry fees go directly toward these scholarships. Private contributions and auto donations are also gratefully accepted. For more information, please contact us.

Details about the ninth annual contest will be announced later this year.

Adult Division

1st Place – “Dawn in the Valley”  Dorothy Leland, Richmond, CA

2nd Plane – “Sunset Swirl”  Vicki Blaser, Portsmouth

3rd Place – “December Full Moon”  Michelle Bucci, Johnston

Student Division

1st Place – “Blue​ ​Eyes"  ​Benjamin​ ​Davis, 17, Grade 11, North Kingstown

2nd Place – "Pop!" Alex DiCenso, 16, Grade 10, North Kingstown

3rd Place – “The Wave”  Emma Cotsonas, 14, Grade 8, Jamestown

"Bugs & Birds" Themed Category

1st Place – “Playing​ ​Defense"  ​Elliot​ ​Waterman, West Warwick

2nd Place – “Great​ ​Blue​ ​Heron"​  ​Susan​ ​Waterman, West Warwick

3rd Place – “Grasshopper" ​Haley​ ​Ahlborg, North Kingstown

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