February 16, 2013

Optimist Oratorical Contest season in full swing

It's that time of year that every Optimist Club looks forward to: Optimist Oratorical Contest season. For the next few months, clubs will work with and hear from students on the topic, "Why My Voice is Important."

All contests start at the club level. Every Optimist Club determines what the club level prize will be for their contestants. Some opt for medallions or trophies while others provide scholarships of varying amounts. However, all students are competing for a district scholarship award of $2,500. 

Districts also have the opportunity to determine how prizes are awarded. Some have boy and girl categories where the first place boy speaker and girl speaker each receive $2,500. Other districts combine the genders and award three prizes of $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000.

One thing is universal. The talent of the students and their courage for participating is inspirational. I look forward to it every year. 

The Optimist Club of Belleville, Illinois held its club level contest on February 12, 2013. Shown here are Armoni Perryman, Nycholas Cole, Damon Sanders, Katie Cottle, and Mahlik Good. Damon and Katie finished in first place and earned a $100 cash prize. They will advance to the Illinois District regional contest in Springfield, Illinois on March 23. 

If you or someone you know would like to participate in the Optimist International Oratorical Contest, please download the application here and then locate an Optimist Club near you to get involved. 
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