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South Waco Elementary artists win Lions Club Peace Poster contest

One student advances to District level of competition, takes fifth-place

Elizabeth Acevedo and B’Necia Kirven, both fifth-grade students at South Waco Elementary School, were recognized as winners in the Waco Women’s Lions Club poster art competition. The students’ winning posters were among more than 450,000 entries submitted worldwide in the annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest. The purpose of the international program is to emphasize the importance of world peace to young people everywhere.

Acevedo, whose poster won first-place in the competition, said her illustration is about the kindness that someone could bring to the world.

“I drew a young girl holding an umbrella for a baby bird to keep it from getting wet,” she said. “I believe if we are kind to animals and people the world would be a better place.”

Acevedo said she believes it is important to show kindness to others.

“Being kind to others you will someday receive the kindness in return. Being kind is how we all should be.”

Kirven’s colorful illustration of a heart with butterfly wings won third-place.

“I drew a butterfly-heart flying towards the moon with the hands of a child reaching up to catch the butterfly-heart,” she said.

“To me this means when you give kindness to others they pass it on to someone else.”

Both of the winning posters were selected by a panel of judges based on their originality, artistic merit and portrayal of the contest theme, “kindness matters.”

Waco Women’s Lions Club President Janna Marusak said she was impressed by the expression and creativity of the students at South Waco Elementary.

“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.”

For over 30 years Lions clubs around the world have sponsored the Lions International Peace Poster Contest in local schools and youth groups. In recent years, students from more than 75 countries have participated in the competition. In Waco ISD, all students who were 11, 12 or 13 years old as of November 15, 2018, were eligible to participate.

Posters that win at the local level have the opportunity to advance through the district level, to multiple district and international levels of competition until an international grand-prize winner is declared.

Although Acevedo’s poster advanced and won fifth-place at the district level it will not continue in the international competition. However, both students received prizes and gift certificates from the Waco Women’s Lions Club for their accomplishments. First-place winner Acevedo won a $75 prize and Kirven won a $25 prize for third-place.

The students’ art teacher at South Waco Elementary is Ms. Sigrid Whitford.

“’Kindness matters’ is an expression that encompasses the way Lions view and serve the world. It is a powerful sentiment that everyone knows, yet is too often lost. Who better than our youth to remind the world of this powerful and important message,” said B.C. Seely, Waco Women’s Lions Club Secretary and Peace Poster Chairperson.

Lions Club International has more than 1.3 million members in 210 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917 Lions Clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.

The Waco area has several Lions Clubs: Waco Women’s Lion Club, Waco Founders, Robinson, Beverly Hills, China Spring, and Hewitt. The Waco Women’s Lions Club was chartered in December of 2013 with only a handful of women. The club has grown in the past few years and now includes men. Some of their signature service activities include: the annual Peace Poster Contest for local students, Dinner in the Dark for Leader Dog for the Blind, Special Olympics, an annual garage sale for Camo Santa, Fill a Fiat for Pack of Hope and vision screening. This is Waco Women’s Lions Club third year to sponsor the Peace Poster Contest.



Two South Waco Elementary students win poster contest Waco Women’s Lions Club President Janna Marusak (left) and Waco Women’s Lions Club Secretary and Kim Giles (right) visited South Waco Elementary School to present fifth-grade artists Elizabeth Acevedo (right) and B’Necia Kirven (left) certificates and prizes for winning the local competition of the annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest. South Waco Elementary Art teacher is Sigrid Whitford (back, middle).