Lions clubBELVIDERE – Amanda Pozniak, a 7th grade student at Belvidere South Middle School and Celeste Guzman, a 6th grade student at Belvidere Central Middle School, have taken the first step to becoming an internationally recognized artist by winning a local competition sponsored by the Belvidere Lions Club.

Pozniak and Guzman’s posters were among more than 400,000 entries submitted worldwide in the 28th annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest. Lions Clubs International is sponsoring the contest to emphasize the importance of world peace to young people everywhere.

“The meaning behind my poster is, offering respect and kindness is the perfect mixture for peace,” Pozniak, from Belvidere said.

“The meaning of my poster is, the peace of the world is in our hands,” Guzman, also from Belvidere said.

Their posters were selected by members of the Boone County Arts Council for their originality, artistic merit and portrayal of the contest theme, “Share Peace.” The judging was held on Nov. 2, at Belvidere Central Middle School.

Belvidere Lions Club President Valli Jo Rubeck said she was impressed by the expression and creativity of the students at Belvidere Central and South Middle Schools.

“It is obvious that these young people have strong ideas about what peace means to them. I’m so proud that we Lions club 2were able to provide them with the opportunity to share their visions.”

Pozniak and Guzman’s posters will advance to face stiff competition through the district, multiple district and international rounds of competition if one of them should be declared the international grand prize winner,” Rubeck 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 an award ceremony. The 23 merit award winners will each receive a certificate and a cash award of $500.

“Our club is cheering for Amanda and Celeste as their posters advance in the competition, and we hope that their vision will ultimately be shared with others around the world,” Club President Rubeck said.

Locally, Pozniak and Guzman, along with 251 other students participated in the Peace Poster Contest.

View past international grand prize winners at

About Lions Club International

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.35 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 servicing youth throughout the world.

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