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Close to My Heart Winners Announced

Main Street Connect ’s Close to My Heart promotion wrapped Monday with the announcement that Kurt Ringquist’s story of finding love on won the $10,000 grand prize. He wasn’t the only winner, though. Ten other submissions will receive $500 each.

Originally only 10 winners, one grand prize and nine runners-up were going to be selected. Main Street Connect’s judges decided at the last minute to give an additional reward.

The eleven winners each represented a different local nonprofit with which they elected to share their winnings. A few have elected not to split their winnings and instead donated the entire amount to their nonprofit. That group includes Ringquist, who opted to give the entire $10,000 to CLASP Homes instead of keeping his $5,000.

Ringquist won the $10,000 grand prize. The $500 winners are Mary Ellen Busillo, Cynthia Geremia, Christine Rysz, Jennifer Covello, Ruth Goulart, Katy Ghadiyali, Ian Golden, Tom Kretsch, Irene Pozoukidis and Erica Stephens.

CLASP Homes will receive all of Ringquist’s winnings. The following organizations will receive at least half of their sponsor’s $500 prize: Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, Inc. , PAWS , Tiny Miracles Foundation , Connecticut Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities , Marching Bears, Inc ., Kids in Crisis , Norwalk Mentor Program , Norwalk Education Foundation , Slant of Light Theater Co . and the Josh and Tyler Stephens Memorial Fund .

Judging was conducted on Feb. 14 by a panel of three Main Street Connect Judges.  Editorial Director Jane Bryant Quinn, Features Editor Julie Curtis and Copy Editor Karen Tensa combed through all of the entries to select the winners, with some encouragement from reader votes.

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