Senoia Optimist Club Announces Oratorical Contest Winners


The Senoia Optimist Club hosted its annual Oratorical Contest for local area students on March 2, 2023 at the I-58 Mission south of Senoia. Beginning in 1928, the Oratorical Contest has become the longest-running program of Optimist International.

 The contest is designed for young people to gain experience in public speaking and provide them with an opportunity to compete for multiple college scholarships with a preassigned topic. The topic for the 2022-2023 Optimist year was “Discovering the Optimism within Me”, and participants were required to prepare a four-to-five-minute oral presentation supporting the topic..

 Winners of local club contests such as the one in Senoia can ultimately work their way into the District contest where scholarship awards of $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place, and $1,000 for third place can be awarded. In addition, scholarships in the amounts of $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000 will be given to the first, second, and third place winners, respectively, at the World Championships level.

 Jean Cotton served as the Oratorical Chair for the Senoia Optimist Club, and she presented information to the local schools and orchestrated the event. Tony Bell is the Senoia club’s President, and he also served as the Master of Ceremonies for the contest.

 The top two speakers in the Senoia contest were Claire Lowe and Zechariah Hilliard, both students at Blake Bass Middle School. They will both move forward to the next area contest that will be held on March 18 in Zebulon, Georgia. The two runners-up were Brandon Moore and Avery East, both from East Coweta Middle School.

 Information for both the Optimist Essay Contest and Oratorical Contest each year can be found on Optimist International’s website at Parents and teachers can also follow the Senoia Optimist Club’s Facebook page for information on both local contests beginning in October 2023.

 If you would like to learn how you can help the Senoia Optimist Club with a fundraiser or a service project that serves the area youth or the community, please email the club at or visit its Facebook page (“Senoia Optimist Club”).