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March 17, 2011

 

Contest gets kids thinking about peace

By KATIE HALL
Living and Leisure Editor

Twelve-year-old Asia Stauber likes soccer, basketball and drawing — so when she heard about a poster contest to promote peace by the McGraw Lions Club, she was in.
“I thought it would be fun to do and I thought of a lot of creative things I could do for the poster,” said the McGraw Middle School seventh-grader.
The purpose of the poster contest, sponsored annually for the last 23 years by Lions Clubs around the world, is to get young people thinking about peace, according to Ray Gallow, member of the McGraw Lions Club.
Asia has her own definition of peace.
“Everyone is together equally and peace is for everyone, and you can find it anywhere,” she said. “If there was no peace, everyone would be at war, everyone would basically hate each other.”
Participants could not use words in their projects — only the universal language of art, Gallow said.
“Anyone that sees a picture of this, no matter what country they are from, they can get the meaning for,” he said.
Asia’s poster, which features a mountain made of various countries’ flags with a dove overlaid and a peace sign in an eye at the peak, took first place out of 53 entries from the elementary and middle schools at McGraw. The contest was open to kids ages 11 to 13.
Peace poster contest awards will be presented and displayed on April 14 at the McGraw Lions Club/High School Student Council Talent Show. Asia and five other students will be honored for their participation at the show, which will take place at 7 p.m. at the McGraw High/Middle School.
Asia said she was amazed she won.
“There were a lot of other people that had the posters, too,” she said. “I thought my friend would get it.”
Asia tries to foster harmony at school.
“When people treat my friends badly or other people badly, I would tell the teacher so they don’t get away with it, and they would feel better about themselves,” she said.
McGraw Lions Club president Larry Passer said he was impressed by the expression and creativity of the students at the McGraw schools.
“It is obvious that these young people have strong ideas about what peace means to them,” he said. “I’m so proud that we were able to provide them with the opportunity to share their vision.”
Asia not only won the McGraw schools contest, but she placed in the top three in in the McGraw Lions Club district region known as “20Y1.” It is comprised of 50 clubs in the lower central portion of New York.
Lions Clubs, founded in 1917, are known for their work fighting blindness. There’s a network of 1.35 million members in 45,000 clubs around the world. Locally, the McGraw Lions Club is active recycling eye glasses for people in other countries, as well as providing new glasses for people that can’t afford them here.
The clubs do other community projects as well, working to fill needs they see, whether for the hungry or for those with disabilities.
To learn more about the organization and what it does, visit www.lionsclubs.org.

 

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