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Meeker, Mills, Hutchison headed to Optimist regionals

By Courier-Times Staff Report

New Castle High School hosted the local level of the Optimist International Oratorical Scholarship Competition on Wednesday, March 20, 2109. This year’s topic was “Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?”

Three winners, each representing a local club, will advance to the next level of competition, a regional district competition April 11 at Jay County Christian Academy.

The regional winner to the District level April 27 at the Honeywell Center in Wabash, Indiana where he or she will have the chance to win a $2,500 scholarship and then possibly on to the Optimist International Regional/World Championship in St. Louis this summer for a chance to win an additional $5,000 or up to another $15,000 scholarship.

Olivia Meeker, daughter of Christine and Mike Marsee, will be representing the New Castle Breakfast Optimists at the regional competition. She is a senior at Tri Junior-Senior High School.

Jake Mills, son of Allen and Julie Mills, is a seventh grader at New Castle Middle School and will be representing the New Castle Noon Optimists at regionals.

Finally, Macey Hutchison, daughter of Spencer and Diane Hutchison, will be representing the New Castle Evening Optimists. She is an eighth grader at New Castle Middle School.

“All three of these students did a wonderful job presenting their speeches about the question posed by the topic,” Oratorical Chair Susan Delay said.

Judges for the contest were New Castle High School teachers Linda Shore and Nic Simmons as well as New Castle Community School Board Member Nan Polk. New Castle teacher Evan McGrew served as the timekeeper for the competition.

The New Castle Optimist Clubs has been participating in the Optimist Oratorical Contest for decades and have been active in the community since for more than 60 years. Other programs and service projects that the Club is involved in include the Youth Appreciation Banquet, the Essay Scholarship Competition, Special Day for Special People, and various sports programs.

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 motto “Bringing Out the Best in Youth, in our Communities, and in 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.

Local Optimist leaders are Breakfast president Evan McGrew, Noon president Susan Rodriguez, and Evening president Cathy Crabtree.