Austin students advance to regional peace poster contest
Hands coming together and a student's father serving overseas in the military provided inspiration to two young artists who won a poster contest sponsored by the Lions.
The Lions Club holds an annual worldwide peace poster contest to give students ages 11-15 an opportunity to use their experiences to artistically express their vision of peace.
The organization believes the contest gives teachers, parents and group leaders an opportunity to discuss the importance of peace.
More than 50 students from Ellis Middle School and Pacelli Middle School entered the contest this year.
First-place winners were Maria Arredondo, a sixth-grader at Pacelli Middle School, and Bailee Brooks, a seventh-grader at Ellis Middle School. Arredondo and Brooks will go on to the district competition in Stewartville in January.
Arredondo received a $100 savings bond from Wells Fargo Bank, and Brooks received a $100 savings bond from Home Federal Savings Bank.
Arredondo’s poster shows a picture of clasped hands, representing people of many nationalities, reaching up together toward Earth. The artist said her poster represents togetherness and peace among all people.
Art Goembel, another member of the Noon Lions said, "Today’s children will be responsible for the future of our country, and it is good for them to start thinking about what we can do now to keep striving toward world peace."
Blended into Brooks' poster is a picture of a soldier — representing her father, Derrick Brooks, who served for six months in Iraq. The picture depicts the soldier extending a bouquet of flowers, representing peace, to the children in the picture.
"I wanted my picture to show that the soldiers who are serving our country are trying to bring peace to the world," said Brooks. "My poster represents a world where children can play and not have to worry about danger."
There were four winners who received honorable mention awards and each a received a $50 savings bond donated from local banks.
Samantha Grunewald, grade six at Ellis, received a $50 savings bond from Farmers and Merchants State Bank; Anna Schara, grade six at Ellis, received a $50 savings bond from US Bank; Brooke Weinmann, grade six at Pacelli, received a $50 savings bond from US Bank; and Katie McQueen, grade six at Pacelli, received a $50 savings bond from Sterling State Bank.
Awards were presented Saturday at Oak Park Mall.