From left Lucas St. Clair (honorable mention), Kaeli Berry (winner), and Raegan Sparks (honorable mention) display their posters from Central Academy Middle School with art teacher Courtney May.
Second from left Carson Edwards (honorable mention), Hannah Mizuba (winner), and Morgan Huffman (honorable mention) display their entries in the Troutville Lions Peace Poster Contest recently held at Read Mountain Middle School. Their art teacher is Susanne Sellars.

Hannah Mizuba and Kaeli Berry, students at Read Mountain and Central Academy Middle Schools, have taken the first step to becoming internationally recognized artists by winning local competitions at their schools sponsored by the Troutville Lions Club.  The posters drawn by Mizuba and Berry were among more than 600,000 entries submitted worldwide in the 31st annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest.  Lions Clubs International is sponsoring the contest to emphasize the importance of world peace to young people everywhere. The contest is open to students ages 11-13.

The winning posters were selected by a panel of judges from their schools for originality, artistic merit and portrayal of the contest theme, “Kindness Matters.” The judging at the schools was held in October under the supervision of Susanne Sellars and Courtney May, art teachers at Read Mountain and Central Academy.

Two students at each school were cited for honorable mention. They are Carson Edwards and Morgan Huffman at Read Mountain and Lucas St. Clair and Raegan Sparks at Central Academy.

The posters drawn by Mizuba and Berry will advance to face stiff competition through the district, multiple district and international rounds of competition if they are to be declared the international grand prize winner. One grand prize winner and 23 merit award winners will be selected.  The grand prize includes a cash award of $5,000 plus a trip for the winner and two family members to an awards ceremony. The 23 merit award winners will each receive a certificate and a cash award of $500.

Locally, winners Mizuba and Berry and honorable mention winners Edwards, Huffman, St. Clair, and Sparks will be honored at a general assembly at their schools in December.  The winners will each receive a $50 check and a framed certificate. A $25 check and framed certificate will be awarded to the four honorable mention students. Award money is donated by Bank of Botetourt and The Bank of Fincastle. The winning posters will be framed by Dominion Accounting and Tax Service. Past international grand prize and merit award winners and posters can be viewed at www.lionsclubs.org.

Troutville Lions Club President Helen Tippie said the annual Peace Poster contest involves local schools and students who are an important part of Lions Club community activities. “The contest offers approximately 100 students in our two middle schools an opportunity to participate in a program that allows them to openly express how they visualize peace and the future. It is an excellent way for them to demonstrate their vision and imagination.”

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with 1.4 million members in more than 47,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographic areas. In addition to its efforts toward conquering blindness, the organization has made a strong commitment to community service and helping youth throughout the world. The Troutville Lions Club meets the second and fourth Monday at the Troutville Town Hall. For more information contact Helen Tippy, (540) 330-3863.

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