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International Lions Peace Poster Contest

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The Nature Coast Lions Club recently challenged Hernando County students to dream of a more peaceful world and to vividly bring their dreams to life across a canvas, delivering their message of peace in grand artistic form. The Lions International Peace Poster Contest will be celebrated locally via an exhibit of Hernando County middle school students’ artwork presented by the Spring Hill Nature Coast Lions Club. This art exhibit is set to take place at the Spring Hill Branch Library, 9220 SpringHill Dr. on Tuesday, May 16, 2 – 6 pm and Wednesday, May 17, 2- 6 pm. The Lions Club also will be hosting a free vision screening for the community at the event as well!

Hernando County middle school students, aged 11 – 13 years old, were asked to express their creative interpretations of the theme “Dare to Dream.” Zuzana Talbot with the Spring Hill Nature Coast Lions Club explained, “Lions International has been organizing this contest for more than 30 years, and this is the second year of our club sponsoring it in Hernando County. This year’s Peace Poster contest’s theme is ‘Dare to Dream.’ As the participants must be 11 to 13 years old, we sent invitations to participate in the contest to art teachers and principals of Hernando County middle and k-8 schools and asked for their support of the contest.”

Talbot continued, “We received a total of 30 posters from 3 Hernando County Schools: D.S. Parrott Middle School, Powell Middle School and Challenger k-8.”

The entries, stated Talbot, will be judged based on originality, artistic merit, and expression on the theme “Dare to Dream.” According to the international Lions Clubs website, this theme challenges kids to illustrate through art as to how they intend to bring peace to the world.

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“We have a panel of judges, including one Hernando County Fine Arts Council Member, Isaiah Haddon, who will be selecting a winner whose poster will be sent to the District/State level of judging,” she explained.

All contest entries will be displayed at the May 16 -17 exhibit, with some amazing prizes up for offer to winning artists. “The Grand Prize Winner of the International contest will receive $5,000 and a trip to an award ceremony, and 23 Merit Award Winners will receive $500 each,” said Talbot. “Our Spring Hill Nature Coast Lions Club will reward the top three artists of Hernando County schools with gift cards and small prizes.”

And, true to the Lions mission, this artsy happening will feature a free vision screening.
“Yes, we will be doing vision screening during this period of time; it will be completely open to the public, free and without any need for pre-registration, just walk-in. Although our main focus is on screening children, anybody is welcome to get their vision checked,” said Talbot. “We are doing the vision screening with contactless Welch Allyn SPOT Vision Screener VS100 which is intended for use on subjects six months of age through adults.”

Lions International is the world’s largest service organization (1.4 million volunteers in over 200 countries) that serves communities, helps to meet humanitarian needs and encourages peace. Spring Hill Nature Coast Lions Club’s service activities include kids’ vision screenings and childhood blindness prevention programs, used eyeglasses collections, diabetes screenings and diabetes awareness projects, Special Olympics athlete support, Lions Quest programs for youth mental wellness and bullying prevention, and many other things.

You can obtain more information about Lions club and Peace Poster contest at https://www.lionsclubs.org/en/start-our-approach/youth/peace-poster

The ultimate prize of the Lions International Peace Poster Contest, in Talbot’s view, lies in the golden opportunity that the competition offers young artists to express themselves–and about some very important world issues. “The purpose of the contest is to help the children of our community show their talent and express their goals and ambitions,” she said. “I personally believe that allowing young people to express their feelings and visions of a peaceful world will contribute to stronger communities and a more peaceful future.”

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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