The Senoia Optimist Club on March 2 hosted 12 contestants in Optimist International’s annual Oratorical Contest. This year’s speech topic was “What the World Gains from Optimism.” The contest was coordinated by club member Jean Cotton, and Optimist Tony Bell served as Master of Ceremonies.
“Students from schools in the eastern half of Coweta County were invited to participate in the contest held at the East Coweta Senior Center this year,” said Optimist representative Hal Sewell. ”Speakers must prepare a four-to-five minute speech on the stated topic and then present their speech for the audience and three judges.”
First place winner for the young ladies was Hope Hazleton, a ninth grader at East Coweta High. Second prize went to Taylor Davis from Lee Middle School and third place was claimed by Emma Watson, a fifth grader at Thomas Crossroads Elementary, Sewell said.
Jacob Richardson from Trinity Christian High School placed first for the young men. Second place winner was Ethan Garrett, and third prize went to Jonathan Mears, both from Thomas Crossroads Elementary.
Sewell said both of the first place winners were scheduled to go to the next round of competition in Columbus.
Other contestants this year included Ashley Dombrowski from Northgate High School; Holly Nelligan and Jana Rios from East Coweta Middle School; and Claire Gresham, Elyse Wisely, Audie Deyo and Jacob Fore – all from Thomas Crossroads Elementary.
“The Optimist Oratorical Contest gives youngsters the chance to speak to the world,” Sewell said. “More than $150,000 in college scholarships funded by the Optimist International Foundation is awarded annually from this program.”
First conducted in 1928, this is one of the most popular Optimist International Programs. Nearly 2,000 clubs participate in this program each year. The winners at the Club level receive medallions, and Zone winners receive a plaque. Districts have the opportunity to provide two $2,500 scholarships or a first place scholarship of $2,500, a second place scholarship of $1,500, and a third place scholarship of $1,000.
For more information about the Senoia Optimist Club, visit its Facebook page (“Senoia Optimist Club”). You can also email the club at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Club President Phil Downey at 770-833-9242.