Optimist scholarship contest announced

CONTRIBUTEDFrom left, William Briggs, winner of the 2018 NY NE Optimist District Oratorical Contest scholarship, receives congratulations from District Chair Michael Damiano. Briggs, who earned a $2,500 scholarship, was sponsored by the Barge Canal Optimist Club.


The Barge Canal Optimist Club is 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 2018-2019 year.

The club will judge students’ speeches based on content and presentation to determine the top winners. Winners will receive medallions and the winning speeches will be sent to the Zone level, and possibly the District level for the opportunity to win college scholarships. Winners of the District level will be eligible to compete in a regional competition in St. Louis, Mo., at Saint Louis University. 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 18 as of Oct. 1, 2018.

“As they prepare for their future, many of our local students need experience expressing their thoughts and opinions to an audience,” Barge Canal Optimist Club Chairman Peggy Allen said. “The Oratorical Contest challenges them to do just that and also offers an opportunity for scholarships. In this way, our club hopes to bring out the best in each of them and help them achieve their goals for the future.”

The deadline to hand in applications and speeches is Feb. 1. For more information, contact Peggy Allen at 434-9708 or pallen08@roadrunner.com.