Student banks on peace

Posted: Monday, November 13, 2006


  Photo courtesy of the Kenai Lion

Photo courtesy of the Kenai Lion

Olivia Velazquez-Alarcon, a seventh-grade Kenai student and member of the Kenai Boys and Girls Club, won the local level of the Lions International Peace Poster Contest. Velazquez-Alarcon’s poster was among more than 350,000 entries submitted worldwide in the annual contest, that is held to emphasize the importance of world peace to young people everywhere.

“Everyone should be respected with peace,” the 13-year-old said. The poster was selected Oct. 26 at the Kenai Senior Citizens Center for its originality, artistic merit and portrayal of the contest theme, “Celebrate Peace,” by judges Melinda Herschberger, Kenai Peninsula College art instructor; Brian Erwin, owner of Frames and Things; and Kenai Lions Club member Grant Wisniewski.

Kenai Lions Club President Ryan Mills said he was impressed by the expression and creativity of the students in the Kenai area.

“It is obvious that these young people have strong ideas about what peace means to them. I’m so proud that we were able to provide them with the opportunity to share their visions,” he said.

Velazquez-Alarcon’s poster must advance through the district, multiple district and international levels of competition if she is 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 $2,500, plus a trip for the winner and two family members to New York City for the awards ceremony at Lions Day with the United Nations. The 23 merit award winners each receive a certificate and a cash award of $500.

For winning the local event Velazquez-Alarcon was awarded $100 by the Kenai Lions Club, pictured at left with Mills. Additional students were also honored for their participation by the Kenai Lions Club.

View past international grand prize winners at

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