Peace poster contest takes Heck from crayons to prize


February 17, 2000|By Jean Marie Beall | Jean Marie Beall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHEN NORTHWEST Middle School pupil Kelly Heck was a toddler, she got the artist bug and turned her mother's wall into a mural.

"I remember when she grabbed a crayon and drew a picture all over my wall," recalled Kelly's mom, Susie Heck. "And the truth was, it was so nice I didn't want to wash it off. I don't ever remember her not drawing."

Today, Kelly, an eighth-grader, is drawing award-winning pictures. She is the first-place winner of the local 1999-2000 Lions Club International Peace Poster Contest.

The clubs include the New Windsor, Taneytown, Union Bridge and Sulphur Springs Lions. But her victory didn't end there. She won the Lions district level consisting of Allegany, Garrett, Washington, Frederick and Carroll counties.

She went on to win first place for Multiple District 22, which covers Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. She is entered in the national contest, which will be judged in Chicago, home of Lions Club International Headquarters.

"I was really surprised," said Kelly, who was sponsored by Taneytown Lions Club. "I didn't know I had won until I got to the ceremony. Now it goes on to national level judging. The first-place prize is a trip to Hawaii for three people. And the 23 winners after that will receive a $500 cash award. If I win one of the cash prizes, I want to buy a good camera and put the rest of the money in the bank."

The theme of this year's peace poster contest was "A New Beginning for Peace." Kelly said her poster consisted of the peace sign and a baby, which represented a new beginning. Then she put flags from around the world as a border.

"I kind of just sat down and let my hands do the drawing," Kelly said. "I would get one idea and that would lead to another idea."

Kelly said she spent about 15 hours on the poster.

This marks her third year winning an award in the annual contest, but her first time to win first place. Kelly said she has always wanted to be an artist and plans to take two art classes next year in high school.

Second place was won by Matthew Myers, an eighth-grader at Northwest Middle School. He was sponsored by Union Bridge Lions Club.

"I thought it was really neat," Matthew said of his second-place win. "I was really surprised. There was lots of competition. I had taken third place two years ago when I was in sixth grade."

Matthew said each student in his art class did a peace poster as a school art project.

"I like art a lot," he said. "I plan to take art next year in high school."

Third place was won by Taryn Helmstetter, 12, and a student at New Windsor Middle School. She was sponsored by Sulphur Springs Lions Club.

"This [contest] means a lot to me," Taryn said. "I was so happy when I found out I had won third place. I won third place last year, too."

Taryn said she thought of several ideas before putting something on paper.

"I was thinking of different ways that we as kids could bring people together," she said. "I worked on it one night from about 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. I drew a couple of times and finally came up with something I liked."

Like Matthew, Taryn said the competition was intense.

"There were a lot of good posters. It was worth entering. I'd do it again."

This year's Lions Club peace poster contest was open to pupils ages 11, 12 or 13 (with a birth date before Jan. 10).

"The three local winners' posters were selected from a total of 35 posters submitted from New Windsor Middle School and Northwest Middle School," said Claude Elmore Jr., a member of Taneytown Lions Club. "In addition to the winners, honorable mention certificates and $10 cash awards were presented to Melissa Kaplan, Andrew Carl, Amy Ridinger, Kristin Waskiewics, Amber Pickett, Kathy Crawford, Nicole Mills, Grant Tolley and Gloria Saldana."

Basket bingo

The Ladies Auxiliary of Union Bridge Fire Company is holding a basket bingo night at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at Union Bridge Fire Hall.

Cost is $10 for a sheet of three cards for all 22 games. Those interested must secure reservations by Wednesday.

Information: 410-635-6532.

Chicken dinner

The Ladies Auxiliary of Union Bridge Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold a chicken dinner from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at Union Bridge VFW Post 8806. Tickets are $4.50 for adults, $2.50 for children ages 6 to 12 and younger than age 6 eat for free.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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