Winners of Rotary’s annual Speech, Music, and Visual Arts Contest were honored at an awards ceremony March 27 at the Beck Center for the Arts.

Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River, the competition showcases the incredible talents of students attending one of five high schools – Lakewood, Lutheran West, Magnificat, Rocky River, and St. Edward.


Speech contest first place winner is Elizabeth Pearlman from Lakewood High School, who will compete at the Rotary District 6630 Speech Contest on April 8 in Aurora.

Also honored were Brian Donahoe, second place, and Zachary Howe, third place, both from Lakewood High School.

Speech contest semi-finals were March 18 at the Beck Center and the finals were at the Rotary club’s March 20 meeting. Speeches must be of original content and be based on “The Four-Way Test of Rotary” which asks, “Is it the truth, Is it fair to all concerned, Will it build goodwill and better friendships, and Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”

This is the 72st year for the club’s speech competition.

Music contest first place winner is Margo Alibeckoff, alto saxophone, Rocky River, performing “Concertino da Camera – Movement I” by Ibert. Ian Scahel, Lutheran West, tuba, placed second, performing “Air and Bourree” by Bach. Zach Dudzik, Lakewood, string bass, placed third, performing “Bass Concerto Number I” by Bottesini. Vocalist Nadine El Dabh, Rocky River, performed Sure on This Shining Night” by Lauridsen.

The music competition follows the judging standards set by the Ohio Music Education Association.

Visual arts winners were Max Peralta, first place, St. Edward High School, for his self-portrait; Ryan Hrusch, second place, St. Edward, for his ceramic piece, “American Fuel;” and Greyley Cook, Lakewood, for his piece entitled, “Opaque.”

Honorable mentions went to Amayah Coburn, Lakewood; Calvin Dolatowski, Lakewood; and Emma Vogil, Magnificat.

Over 93 pieces, of numerous styles employing various media, were submitted by all five schools. A jury of artists selected outstanding works of art that met the contest requirements. From this gallery, judges chose the award winners.

Selected entries from the visual arts contest are on display in the Rotary Student Art Show in the Jean Bulicek Galleria at the Beck Center now through April. This exhibit is free and open to the public during regular gallery hours.

“This annual event is a wonderful way to acknowledge the talents of our youth,” stated Ed Gallagher, Beck Center director of education, “and the quality work of the participants truly shows that the arts and creativity are alive and well in our community.” This is the twentieth year that the Beck Center has collaborated with the Rotary club for this competition.

All winners received congratulations and prize money from Mark Bacon, Rotary club president. “Our club has a long history of recognizing, encouraging and supporting the youth of our community in many areas of endeavor,” he told the audience. “We celebrate each participant’s talent, hard work and persistence.”

Support for the event was provided by FFL Investments Services at First Federal of Lakewood.