Rotary speech, music, visual arts competition winners announced: 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’s Four-Way Speech Contest. The winners of that contest as well as the music and visual arts competitions, were honored at a gala event at the Beck Center on April 11.

The contest annually showcases the talents of students attending one of five high schools in Lakewood and Rocky River: Lakewood, Lutheran West, Magnificat, Rocky River and St. Edward high schools.

Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood has been a partner of the Rotary club for this event, serving as the liaison to educators at the high schools and providing the venue and judges for various phases of the competitions.

Speech contest first place winner was Alex Hodson, who represented the club at the Rotary District 6630 competition on April 9.

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

The contest requires speeches to be of original content and 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 77th year for the club’s speech competition, and the 25th year that the Beck Center has collaborated with the Rotary club for this student competition.

Music contest winners were Adam Wilcsewski, piano, first place, St. Edward High School, performing “Sonata No 8, Op 13, Movement 1″ by Beethoven; 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.

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.

More than 140 art pieces of various styles and media were submitted. A jury of visual arts educators selected outstanding works that met the contest requirements. From this gallery, the judges chose the award winners. The art exhibition can be seen in the Jean Bulicek Galleria at Beck Center.

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

Volunteers for 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 provided by Keep Lakewood Beautiful

Spring spruce-up: Keep Lakewood Beautiful had its annual Earth Day Cleanup on April 30 in a new location: Lakewood City Hall.

More than 60 volunteers showed up on the sunny Saturday morning to help clean up the grounds at City Hall and in the surrounding neighborhood. They collected 19 bags of trash from the sidewalks, tree lawns, Adopt-A-Spots and other public areas.

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

Reminder: Don’t forget that the Fairview Park Women’s Club’s spring plant fundraiser is underway through June 15 at Dean’s Greenhouse, 3984 Porter Road, Westlake.

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

Planning ahead: It won’t be long until school is out and summer vacation arrives. North Olmsted will offer a summer day camp once again for students entering grades K-7. Campers will be grouped by grade and the activities will take place at North Olmsted Recreation Center and a school in the North Olmsted City School District. Activities include games, arts and crafts, informal education opportunities, swimming, off-site and on-site field trips, competitions, movies and more.

The 10-week camp runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 13 to Aug. 19. Arrangements can be made for early drop-off and late pick-ups. Fees for full camp – all 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 fee is due at registration and the balance on June 6.

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

Medical forms for campers must be returned by May 31.

Campers also can attend 10 on-site or off-site field trips. Off-site trips include the 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.

Front Porch Concerts

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

Music al fresco: One of the most popular Lakewood summer traditions returns this year – the Front Porch Concert Series. Nine free concerts take place on the “front porch” of Lakewood Public Library, 15425 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, in the city’s downtown area. Concert are at 7 p.m. Fridays June 3 through July 29.

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

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

For more information regarding 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 7-8 p.m. May 12. The library is at 21225 Lorain Road Fairview Park.

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

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, church events, etc. in Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted and West Park for the A Place in the Sun column, which I write on a freelance basis. Awards, honors, milestone birthdays or anniversaries and other items are welcome. Submit information at least 10 days before the requested publication date to [email protected].

Read more from the Sun Post Herald.

Maria Lewis

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