Zionsville Optimist Club conducting annual oratorical contest

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Jacob Schrader, a 2014 graduate of Zionsville Community High School, was a gold winner at the Zionsville Optimist Club’s 2014 oratorical contest and went on to place first at the Indiana North District and Regional competitions. (submitted photo)

Jacob Schrader, a 2014 graduate of Zionsville Community High School, was a gold winner at the Zionsville Optimist Club’s 2014 oratorical contest and went on to place first at the Indiana North District and Regional competitions. (submitted photo)

By Joseph Knoop

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but speaking aloud with a bit of inspirational flair can propel any young thinker onto a successful global trajectory. That’s just what the Zionsville Optimist Club hopes to achieve with the local leg of its oratorical contest, sponsored in coordination with the worldwide Optimist International organization.

Optimist International is made up of 2,500 local clubs like Zionsville’s who work toward providing community youth with hope and a positive vision, as well as an active interest in government and civic affairs.

The oratorical contest challenges students to deliver a four to five-minute speech on the topic of “How My Best Brings Out the Best in Others.” Participants must make their speech without any assistance from the use of props, computer presentations, costumes or special clothing.

“Public speaking is such an important skill, and the club ultimately hopes events like these have a positive impact on our community’s youth and how they engage,” Optimist Club volunteer member Tim Ottinger said.

The winner of the Zionsville oratorical contest will receive special recognition and the chance to move up to the district level competitions, where a $2,500 scholarship prize awaits. Speakers who find themselves performing at the international level of the competition will get the chance to win $15,000.

The oratorical contest is open to any students that reside in Zionsville and are younger than 18 years old as of October 1, 2015. Applications are to be submitted no later than March 11. The contest is scheduled for March 15 at 6 p.m. at Zionsville High School at 1000 Mulberry Street.

For more info, contact Zionsville Optimist Club Oratorical Contest Chair Edward Bonnell at ebonnell@ra.rockwell.com.


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