For Immediate Release
MALAYSIAN BOY, 13, SPREADS PEACE AROUND THE WORLD
THROUGH LIONS INTERNATIONAL PEACE POSTER CONTEST
OAK BROOK, IL USA, February 6, 2008 – Ming Yang
Soong, a 13-year-old boy from Bidor, Malaysia, created the grand prize
winning poster in the 20th annual Lions International Peace Poster
Contest after competing against more than 350,000 children ages 11, 12
and 13, in 70 countries around the world. His grand prize poster was
chosen for its originality, artistic merit and portrayal of this year’s
contest theme, "Peace Around the World."
“I felt very sad to see so much fighting and so many people dying in the world,” Soong said. “I hope my drawing will help to promote peace.”
Soong will be recognized for his accomplishment at Lions Day with the United Nations in New York City on March 14, where he will be presented with an award and US$2,500. Soong’s parents, his two younger sisters and the president of the Bidor Lions Club, which sponsored the contest at Soong’s school, will accompany him to the award ceremony.
"All nations must work together to keep this world peaceful,” Soong said. “If there is peace in the world, we can progress and live in harmony.”
Thirunavukkarasu Murugiah, president of the Bidor Lions Club, said his Lions club enjoys sponsoring the Peace Poster Contest in their neighborhood. “The program provides young people with a creative and fun opportunity to visually express their feelings about peace. We couldn’t be happier that Ming Yang’s poster will be viewed by people from all around the world."
Soong, who has enjoyed art since he was five years old, enjoys drawing portraits and scenery. In 2006 he won second place in both a state art competition and the Toyota Road Safety Program, and he has participated in many other competitions organized by Malaysian Lions clubs.
Describing himself as humble, confident and hardworking, Soong is a member of his school’s art, badminton and Leo clubs. He also enjoys reading and traveling.
“I hope all countries on this planet will support peace,” said Soong, “and that all people will live in harmony.”
Lions Clubs International President Mahendra Amarasuriya said, “Lions in many nations have embraced the Peace Poster Contest as a hands-on way to promote peace and to support the young people in their communities. It is another way Lions have accepted the challenge to change the world.”
Lions created the Peace Poster Contest to foster a spirit of peace and international understanding in young people worldwide. In addition to the grand prize winner, 23 merit award winners have been announced. They are from American Samoa, Bahamas, Canada, China (Hong Kong and Shenzhen), Ecuador, England, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Lebanon, Madagascar, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Turkey and the United States (Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa and Maine).
After being exhibited at the 91st annual Lions Clubs International Convention in Bangkok, Thailand this June, the 24 winning Peace Posters will be shown throughout the year at children’s museums and various locations throughout the United States. The posters will also be featured on the Lions Clubs International Web site, www.lionsclubs.org, where you can learn more about the contest and send Peace Poster e-cards.
Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with 1.35 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in 206 countries and geographic areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit www.lionsclubs.org.