Connor Roberts, an 8th grade student at St. Jerome Regional School, has taken the first step in becoming an internationally recognized artist by winning a local competition sponsored by the Tamaqua Lions Club.

Roberts's poster was among more than 375,000 entries submitted worldwide in the 23rd annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest. Lions Clubs International is sponsoring the contest to emphasize the importance of world peace to young people everywhere.

"Vision of Peace is interpreted in my poster as worldwide racial harmony," the 13-year-old from Hazleton said.

The poster was selected by Lion Tim Stahl, Lion Fran Stahl, Lion Andy Leibenguth, Leo Club President Erin Zeigler, and Cindy Miller (Tamaqua Elementary School Art Instructor) for its originality, artistic merit, and portrayal of the contest theme, "Vision of Peace." The judging was held on Sunday, October 31 at the Tamaqua Area Chamber of Commerce office.

Tamaqua Lions Club President Steve Bayer said he was impressed by the expression and creativity of the students at St. Jerome Regional School and Tamaqua 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."

Connor Roberts's poster will advance to face stiff competition through the district, multiple district and international rounds of competition if he is to be declared the international grand prize winner," Bayer 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 Connor as his poster advances in the competition, and we hope that his vision will ultimately be shared with others around the world," Bayer said.

Locally, Roberts will be honored for his participation by the Tamaqua Lions Club at an upcoming dinner meeting.

View international grand prize and merit award winners at www.lionsclubs.org [2].

Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.3 million members in 45,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographic areas. In addition to its efforts toward conquering blindness, the organization has made a strong commitment to community service and helping youth throughout the world.