Announcing the winners of Rotary’s Speech, Music and Visual Arts Contest: A Place in the Sun


LAKEWOOD, Ohio – Last week we shared news of the preliminary winners of the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River four-way speech contest. Winners of this competition as well as music and visual arts competitions were honored at a gala at the Beck Center on April 11.

The competition annually showcases the talents of students who attend one of five secondary schools in Lakewood and Rocky River: Lakewood, Lutheran West, Magnificat, Rocky River and St. Edward Secondary Schools.

The Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood partnered with the Rotary club for this event, serving as a liaison with high school educators and providing the venue and judges for the various phases of the competitions.

The first-place winner of the speech contest was Alex Hodson, who represented the club in the Rotary District 6630 contest on April 9.

Grace Lamparyk, second place, was also honored; Helen Rocheshe, third place; and Lydia Kress, honorable mention. All students come from Lakewood High School. Their teacher is Amy Garritano.

The competition requires speeches to have original content and be based on “The Rotary Four-Prong Test” which asks: “Is this the truth, Is this fair to all concerned, Will it build goodwill and better friendships and Will it benefit all concerned?”

This is the 77th year of the club’s speech contest and the 25th year that the Beck Center has partnered with the Rotary club for this student contest.

The winners of the music competition were Adam Wilcsewski, piano, first place, St. Edward High School, performing Beethoven’s “Sonata No 8, Op 13, Movement 1”; Sophia Craciun, oboe, second place, Lakewood High School, “Oboe Concerto, Movement 3” by Martino; Max Morscher, trombone, third place, St. Edward High School, “Hasse Suite” by Johann Adolf Hasse; and Morgan Way, piano, honorable mention, Rocky River High School, “Impromptu in A flat Major, Op 90, No 4” by Schubert.

The visual arts winners were Lila Wright, “Moose and Duck,” pencil drawing, Lakewood High School, first place; Grace Hoppel, “Going Up,” photography, Lakewood, second place; and Audrey Slankard, “Still Life,” colored pencil, Rocky River, third place.

Honorable mentions went to Alexa Colburn, Lakewood; Billy Hamilton, Lakewood; and Lexi Miles, Lutheran West.

Over 140 artworks of various styles and media were submitted. A jury of visual arts educators selected outstanding works that met the competition requirements. From this gallery, the judges chose the winners. The art exhibit can be viewed in the Jean Bulicek Gallery at the Beck Center.

In recognition of their achievements, all winners received a Rotary cash prize, made possible by the Rotary Lakewood-Rocky River Foundation.

Volunteers from the 2020 Keep Lakewood Beautiful Earth Day Cleanup take a break to pose in front of City Hall, the location of this year’s event. Photo courtesy of Keep Lakewood Beautiful

Spring makeover: Keep Lakewood Beautiful hosted its annual Earth Day Cleanup on April 30 at a new location: Lakewood Town Hall.

More than 60 volunteers showed up on a sunny Saturday morning to help clean up the grounds of City Hall and the surrounding neighborhood. They picked up 19 bags of litter from sidewalks, tree-lined lawns, Adopt-A-Spots and other public spaces.

KLB also distributed dozens of saplings for planting by area residents.

Reminder: Don’t forget that the Fairview Park Women’s Club Spring Fundraiser is ongoing until June 15 at Dean’s Greenhouse, 3984 Porter Road, Westlake.

Purchases support the club’s philanthropic efforts in the community. For more information, visit

Plan ahead: It won’t be long before school is out and summer vacation is coming. North Olmsted will once again offer a summer day camp for students entering Kindergarten through Grade 7. Campers will be grouped by level and activities will take place at the North Olmsted Recreation Center and at a school in the North Olmsted City School District. Activities include games, arts and crafts, informal education opportunities, swimming, on and off site trips, competitions, movies and more.

The 10-week camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from June 13 to August 19. Arrangements can be made for early drop off and late pick up. Fee for full camp – every 10 weeks – $1,000 for residents and $1,250 for non-residents and half camp (first five weeks or last five weeks), $600 for residents and $750 for non-residents. Half of the subscription is due at registration and the balance on June 6th.

Campers will receive lunch and an afternoon snack through a grant from the schools. Menus will be provided in advance.

Medical forms for campers must be returned by May 31.

Campers can also participate in 10 on-site or off-site excursions. Offsite excursions include Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Stearns Homestead in Parma, and bowling.

For more information contact Tim Campbell, [email protected] or call 440-716-4214 or Ashley Gribble, [email protected] or 440-716-42414.

Concerts in front of the porch

The Lakewood Public Library will once again host the popular Front Porch Concert Series this summer. (Carol Kovach/special at

Outdoor music: One of Lakewood’s most popular summer traditions returns this year – the Front Porch Concert Series. Nine free concerts are held on the “front porch” of the Lakewood Public Library, 15425 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, downtown. Concerts are at 7 p.m. on Fridays from June 3 to July 29.

LakewoodAlive presents the concerts, which are sponsored by Raymond James’ Bentley Wealth Management. This year’s entertainment offers something for a variety of musical tastes ranging from reggae and rock to soul and pop. The concerts are family-friendly and offer a taste of various musical genres.

This year’s concert schedule is as follows: June 3, Smith Taylor; June 10, Raven Rae; June 17, Messengers of Jah; June 24, Pete Lazard; July 1, The George Martins; July 8, Cats on vacation; July 15, The Michael Weber Show; July 22, Apostle Jones; July 29, Ray Flanagan.

For more information on the 2022 Front Porch Concert Series, visit

At the library: The Fairview Park Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library will host Luca Mundaca live at the library from 7-8 p.m. on May 12. The library is located at 21225 Lorain Road Fairview Park.

Mundaca is a singer-songwriter whose music is a blend of her native Brazil and New York.

The concert is free, but registration is required. For more information or to register, visit

Information, please: Readers are invited to share information about themselves, their families and friends, organizations, religious events, etc. at Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted and West Park for the A Place in the Sun column, which I write as a freelancer. Awards, honors, milestone anniversaries or birthdays and other items are welcome. Submit information at least 10 days before the requested publication date to [email protected]

Learn more about the messenger of the sun.


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