For Immediate Release


Sutherlin, November 8, 2023 -- Mya Mercado, a seventh grade student at Sutherlin Middle
School, has taken the first step to become an internationally recognized artist by winning a
local competition sponsored by the Sutherlin Lions Club.

Mercado’s poster was among more than 600,000 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.
“If you dare to dream, you can change the world,” the twelve-year-old from Sutherlin said.

The poster was selected by Sutherlin Lions Emily Blakely and Carol Swesso for its
originality, artistic merit and portrayal of the contest theme, “Dare to Dream.” The judging
was held on October 27, 2023 at Sutherlin Middle School.

Sutherlin Lions Club President Stewart Fowler said he was impressed by the expression
and creativity of the students at Sutherlin 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.”

“Mercado’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,” Fowler said.

One international grand prize winner and 23 merit award winners will be selected. The

grand prize includes a cash award of $5,000 (or the country’s cash equivalent) and will be
recognized at a special 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 (or the
country’s cash equivalent).

“Our club is cheering for Mya as her poster advances in the competition, and we hope that
her vision will ultimately be shared with others around the world,” Fowler said.
Locally, Mercado and two other students were honored for their participation by the
Sutherlin Lions Club on November 1, 2023 at Dakota Street Pizza in Sutherlin.
For additional information about Lions Clubs International Peace Poster Contest and
media resources, visit