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(Courtesy Photo)

Pictured from left are Poster Contest Chairman Diana Garrett, Zia art teacher Juli Newton, first-place winner Alisin Chavez, second-place winner Deandra Madrid, third-place winner Emily Torres, and Lions Club President Connie Conner. (Courtesy Photo)

Alisin Chavez, an 11-year-old student at Zia Intermediate School, has taken the first step to becoming an internationally recognized artist by winning the local Peace Poster competition sponsored by the Downtown Lions Club.

Chavez’s poster was among more than 450,000 entries submitted worldwide in the annual Lions International Peace Poster contest. Lions Clubs International is sponsoring the program to emphasize the importance of world peace to young people everywhere.

The hand-drawn poster was selected by Lions Club Poster Chairman Diana Garrett for its originality, artistic merit, and portrayal of the contest theme, “A Celebration of Peace.” Artesia Downtown Lions Club President Connie Conner said she was impressed by the expression and creativity of the students at Zia.

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

“Chavez’s poster will advance through the district, multiple district and international levels of competition if she is to be declared the international grand prize winner.”

“Our club is cheering for Alisin as her poster advances in the competition, and we hope that her vision will ultimately be shared with others around the world,” Garrett said.

Locally, Chavez and two other students were honored for their participation by the Downtown Lions Club last week at their weekly meeting.

View past international grand prize winners at www.lionsclubs.org. 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 serving youth throughout the world.