Lily Byrne, an 8th grade student at Farquhar Middle School, has taken the first step to becoming an internationally recognized artist by winning a local competition sponsored by the Sandy Spring Lions Club.
Byrne’s poster was among more than 375,000 entries submitted worldwide in the 26th annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest. Lions Clubs International is sponsoring the contest to emphasize the importance of world peace to young people everywhere.
“To know peace, you first have to know acceptance”, the 13 year old from Silver Spring, Maryland, said. Her poster was selected at the annual joint meeting of the Sandy Spring and Olney Lions Clubs for its originality, artistic merit and portrayal of the contest theme, “Our World, Our Future.” The judging was held on October 28, 2013.
Sandy Spring Lions Club President, Julie Thomas, said she “was impressed by the expression and creativity of the students at Farquhar Middle School. 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.”
“Byrne’s poster will advance to face stiff competition through the Lions 22C district representing Washington, DC, Montgomery Prince George’s, and southern Maryland counties), multiple 22 district (all of Maryland, Washington, DC and Delaware) and international rounds of competition if she is to be declared the international grand prize winner,” Thomas said.
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 the awards ceremony at Lions Day with the United Nations. The 23 merit award winners will each receive a certificate and a cash award of $500.
“Our club is cheering for Lily as her poster advances in the competition and we hope that her vision will ultimately be shared with others around the world”, Thomas said. Locally, a certificate and monetary prize from the Sandy Spring Club were awarded to Lily Byrne for first place and to runner-up Madison Walerrta at the Sandy Spring Lions meeting on November 25, 2013. Certificates from the Lions Club for the other 75 students from Farquhar Middle School who participated will be distributed by art and photography teacher at Farquhar, Lisa Fernandez.