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Kevin Cook wins Optimist Club oratorical contest

Courtesy Photo Three students were honored on March 13 for placing in the Optimist Club of Alpena oratorical contest. Pictured from left to right are third-place winner Gabrielle Bourgeois, second-place winner Alysa Funk, and first-place winner Kevin Cook.

ALPENA — Kevin Cook, a senior at Alpena High School, recently won the Optimist Club of Alpena Oratorical Contest, based on a theme of “Just iMagine a World without Boundaries.”

At an awards dinner on March 13, Cook was awarded a certificate, medallion, and $300 for the first-place honor. Alysa Funk earned second place, receiving a certificate, medallion and $200. Gabrielle Bourgeois earned third place, receiving a certificate, medallion and $100.

In addition, Cook will be sent to the zone level where he will compete against winners from other Optimist Clubs in the area. The winner of the zone level competition will be sent to the district level with the chance to win a $2,500 scholarship. If he continues winning, he could move on to the Optimist International Regional/World Championship for a chance to win an additional $5,000 or up to another $15,000 scholarship.

“Kevin did a wonderful job presenting his speech about the questions posed to him,” Club President Beckie Thomson said. “The members of our Optimist Club have no doubt that Kevin has a bright future ahead of him.”

She added that all three of the student winners deserve accolades.

“All three of them did a fantastic job,” Thomson said. “They will all go far in life, I’m sure.”

The Optimist Club of Alpena has been participating in the Oratorical Contest for many years, and has been active in the community since 1959. Other programs and service projects that the Club is involved in include Childhood Cancer Program, Essay Scholarship Program, College Scholarship Program, Spring Break Free Family Fun Day, Brown Trout Fishing, Kids’ Fishing Day, Bump-N-Runs at Optimist Acres, Youth Park at the Alpena County Fairgrounds, Toys for Kids, and the Salvation Army.

The Optimist Club of Alpena appreciates the sponsors of the contest: Alpena Agency, Inc., Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union, HPC Credit Union, Northern Eye Optical, Service Master Home and Office, The Alpena News, and Wolverine State Credit Union. The Club is also grateful to the contest judges: Rose Langlois, retired APS English teacher, Leslie Nye, pastor at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, and Jackie Krawczak.

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