Optimists announce Oratorical Contest results

Courtesy Photo The 2017 Optimist Oratorical Contest winners include, top left, Lara King, first place; top right, Giselle King, second place; bottom left, Nicole Lucas, third place; and bottom right, Haley Sharon fourth place.

The Optimist Club of Alpena held its annual oratorical contest open to all area youth 18 years old and under. Each contestant had to write and deliver a speech on the topic, “What the World Gains from Optimism.”

Four girls competed for cash prizes and a chance to compete at the regional and state level by showcasing their speech writing and oratorical skills. The contest was held at Alpena County Library.

After all the contestants had delivered their speech and the judges deliberated, first place went to 17-year-old Lara King. She is the daughter of Dr. Douglas and Anne King of Alpena.

Second place went to 17-year-old Giselle King, who is another daughter of Dr. Douglas and Anne King.

Third place went to Nicole Lucas who is a seventh grader from Thunder Bay Junior High School. Fourth place went to Haley Sharon, also a seventh grader at TBJHS.

The first place winner received a $200 cash prize, second place received a $100 cash prize, third place received $50 cash and fourth place was $25. The first place finisher will go on to compete at the regional contest which will be held April 22 at the Kirtland Health Science Center in Grayling.

The winners at that level will then go on to compete for a $2,500 scholarship at the state competition being held in Lansing on May 20.

Sponsors of the local contest this year were The Alpena News, Thunder Bay Credit Union, Service Master, Northern Eye Optical, Besser Credit Union, HPC Credit Union, Alpena Agency, Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union, and the Alpena County Library.

The speakers, known to the judges only as a letter, each wrote and presented a 4-5 minute speech on the topic, “What the World Gains from Optimism.” The contestants were judged on speech content, poise, delivery, presentation, and overall effectiveness. In the event that the first place finisher cannot attend the regional event in Grayling, the second place finisher will be the alternate.

Judging the event were Rose Langlois, a retired teacher and avid supporter of the Optimist Oratorical Contest; Leslie Nye, pastor at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Herron; and Diane Speer, lifestyles editor for the Alpena News.

Optimist members Bud Pfeifer and Bob Ahlgren served at timekeepers and Richard George was master of ceremonies for the event.