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Local Optimist clubs to sponsor student oratorical contest

The Optimist Clubs of New Castle are encouraging area students to speak their minds about the topic “Is There a Fine Line between Optimism and Reality?” as part of the Optimist International Oratorical Contest for the 2018-19 school year.

The Optimist Club will judge the local students’ speeches based on content and presentation to determine the top winners. Winners will receive cash awards and the three winning speeches (one representing each club) will be sent to the Indian North regional level and possibly the District level for the opportunity to win $2500 in college scholarships.

Winners of the District level will be eligible to compete in a regional competition in St. Louis, Missouri, at Saint Louis University this summer. Winners of the regional contests will compete in the World Championship also held at Saint Louis University. Students could possibly win up to $22,500 in scholarships!

The contest is open to students under the age of 19 as of October 1, 2018.

“As they prepare for their future, our local students need experience expressing their thoughts and opinions to an audience,” said oratorical chairperson Susan Delay. “The Oratorical Contest challenges students to do just that and also offers an opportunity for scholarships. In this way, our three local clubs hope to bring out the best in each of the speakers and help each achieve his or her goals for the future.”

The contest is at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20 at New Castle High School. The deadline to turn in an application and commit to compete is 4 p.m. Monday, March 18. Competitors are required to turn in a typed copy of the speech at the contest. Students may use speeches/notes during the local contest. Students wishing to participate in the oratorical contest can find out more about the contest by contacting Susan Delay at sdelay@ncweb.me.

The Optimist Clubs of New Castle have been participating in the Optimist Oratorical Contest for decades and have been active in the community since the mid-20th century. Other programs and service projects that the clubs are involved in include the essay scholarship contest, Special Day for Special People, Youth Sports, Mayor for a Day, the Flag program, and various scholarships for high school seniors.

The Breakfast Optimists are led by President Evan McGrew. The Noon club is headed by Susan Rodriguez. The Evening Club is under the leadership of Cathy Crabtree.

Optimist International is one of the world’s largest service club organizations with over 80,000 adult and youth members in almost 3,000 clubs in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico and throughout the world. The Optimist Oratorical Contest is one of the organization’s most popular programs, with more than 2,000 clubs participating annually. Carrying the Mission Statement, “By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in youth, our communities, and ourselves.” Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than six million young people each year.

To learn more about Optimist International, please call (314) 371-6000 or visit the organization’s website at www.optimist.org.

– Information provided