Three local students were among those honored today by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) for addressing the dangers of underage drinking through the board's 21st annual Alcohol Education Poster Contest.

Ashley Hoffman and Philomena Maleski, both seniors at Weatherly High School, and Jamie Dorshimer, a senior at Pleasant Valley High School, were among more than 40 studetns recognized during a ceremony in the Capital Rotunda in Harrisburg on Wednesday.

"Alcohol is the most widely used drug among teenagers, so it is critically important to talk to children early in life about the dangers associated with drinking alcohol before the age of 21," said Joseph E. Brion, PLCB chairman. "The poster contest is intended to give parents and teachers the opportunity to start that important discussion to provide children the information they need to make a better choice when determining how they spend their free time."More than 600 students from 30 counties across the commonwealth participated in this year's contest. Those students represent nearly 40 different school districts, both public and private.

Their entries were judged on presentation and message. In the winning poster designs, students used wordplay such as "Be A-maze-ing, Underage Drinking is Always a Dead End" with a picture of a maze; "Being Alcohol Free... It's Your Call" with a picture of cell phones; and depicted healthier activities, such as playing music or sports.

"We are always encouraged by the response we get from these young artists and the creativity they display in their work," added Board Member Robert S. Marcus. "By participating in this program, the students are making a clear statement regarding the ramifications of underage drinking and promoting healthier choices in a way that their peers can understand, making their art an effective prevention tool."The PLCB will use the student designs to create posters, bookmarks and coloring sheets to share with students throughout Pennsylvania.

The grade winners will also have their artwork reproduced in a calendar that will be distributed. For their efforts, students who created the winning entries will receive cash prizes.The winning posters will be displayed in the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg through April 19. For more information about the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and the annual Alcohol Education Poster Contest, visit www.lcb.state.pa.us.