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Peace Poster Children to Fly to Moscow

June 26, 1987

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ The girl whose peace song captured the attention of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev leaves for Moscow on Sunday with five young winners of a poster contest.

Five Soviet poster winners are scheduled to make an exchange visit in September.

Sherry Lynn Biedrzycki, 12, of St. Francis, sent a copy of her song, ″We Can Walk in Peace″ to Gorbachev in 1985, and he responded by sending her records of Soviet music.

That started a chain of events that included a visit to Milwaukee last November by Mikhail Taratouta, deputy head of Radio Moscow. Sherry Lynn and Taratouta appeared on a radio program during which they talked by telephone with Taratouta’s daughter in Moscow.

The event also inspired a peace poster contest among Wisconsin and Soviet school children.

The Milwaukee Art Museum, with Sherry Lynn as honorary sponsor, helped conduct the competition and choose five winners.

Judy Biedrzycki, Sherry’s mother, said Friday about 20 people will be in the group heading for Moscow. They include Sherry Lynn and her parents; the five winners and some of their parents; local media representatives ; an interpreter; Michael Lord, executive director of the project who heads an art gallery; and Mary Spano, a project organizer.

As for a meeting with Gorbachev, Mrs. Biedrzycki said Friday that nothing had been set up so far, ″but they’re working on it.″

The winners of the poster designs, which were based on Sherry Lynn’s song and chosen from 800 entrants, were Sarah Barthel of Oshkosh, Justin Chase of West Bend, Gregg Klobuchar of Kenosha, Rebecca Christensen of Oak Creek and Trang Trung of Waukesha.

Typical of the entries is the one by Barthel, showing a boy and a girl walking hand-in-hand toward a sunset, one holding an American flag, the other a Soviet flag.

Posters of the 50 finalists will be displayed in Moscow beginning July 1 and then in the Soviet republic of Georgia, Mrs. Biedrzycki said.

She said Sherry Lynn will sing her song in Gorky Park with her Soviet pen- pal, Katya Smirnova, 14.

The two-week trip also will include a visit to Leningrad and the Black Sea.

Mrs. Biedrzycki said the cost of the flight, which she believes is about $1,100 per person, is being paid by the sponsor of the Goodwill Games, scheduled to be held in Seattle in 1990. The Soviet government, she said, will bear the costs while the group is in the Soviet Union.

The American and Soviet posters will be displayed at the Goodwill Games, she said.

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