Winners of Rotary’s annual Speech, Music, and Visual Arts Contest were honored at an awards ceremony March 30 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 Kyle Stephens from Lutheran West High School, who will compete at the Rotary District 6630 Speech Contest on April 11 in Aurora.

Also honored were Kerrigan Hall, second place, Lutheran West; and Sarah Mathieson, third place, Lakewood.

Speech contest semi-finals were March 16 at the Beck Center and the finals were at the Rotary club’s March 23 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 70th year for the club’s speech competition.

Music contest first place winner is Siwei Wang, piano, Rocky River, performing “Intermezzo in A Major” by Brahms. Stephen Moncol, Lakewood, French horn, placed second, performing “Horn Concerto No. 1” by Strauss. Tenor Andy Henthorn, St. Edward, placed third, singing “Let the Heavens Rejoice” by La Forge. Receiving honorable mention was Kathryn Urban, Lakewood, violin, performing “Meditation from Thais” by Massenet.

The music competition, which follows the judging standards set by the Ohio Music Education Association, was held on March 21.

Visual arts winners were Kevin Albers, “Re-Generation,” clay, St. Edward, first place; Samantha Moran, “Looking through the Shadows,” pencil, Rocky River, second place; Jacob Corder, “Icons,” mixed media with photography and oils, Lakewood, third place.

Honorable mentions went to Maximillian Peralta, St. Edward; Cooper Robar, Lakewood; and Isabel Romeo, Lakewood.

Over 50 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 19. 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 twelfth year that the Beck Center has collaborated with the Rotary club for this competition.

All winners received congratulations and prize money from Todd Lessig, 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.