Area Optimist Clubs to hold oratorical contests

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The Cross Plains and Middleton Optimists Clubs will once again host oratorical contests and District students are encouraged to participate.

The Middleton Optimist Club will hold its contest on Wednesday, March 16 at 4:30 p.m. at the Middleton Public Library in the Archer Room. Entry forms must be received by March 11. The Cross Plains Optimist Club will hold its seventh annual contest on Saturday, March 19 at 9:30 a.m. at the Rosmary Garfoot Public Library. 

This year's oratorical topic is, "How My Best Brings Out the Best in Others." All area students under the age of 18 as of Oct. 1, 2015, are eligible to enter although students can only compete in one club contest. The speech must be at least 4 minutes and no more than 5 minutes.

The top two finishers will advance to either the zone level, which includes district participants from a few clubs, or the Southern Wisconsin District Contest for students from participating clubs in the lower two-thirds of the state. The District competition will be held on April 30 in Wisconsin Dells where students will have the opportunity to win one of three college scholarships worth up to $2,500.

New this year is first-place winners at Districts will be invited to participate in one of eight regional contests. The contest for Wisconsin winners is June 23 in Saint Louis. Scholarships up to $5,000 will be distributed. There is also an international contest for regional winners with the top prize being $15,000.

The winner of the Middleton contest will receive a medallion and a $50 gift certificate that can be missed at Middleton-area businesses. Since 2009, eight students from the Cross Plains contest have advance to the District level and three have won scholarships. Students as young as 10 have advanced.

Please have your students fill out the Middleton or Cross Plains registration form. There is additional information about the contest on the one-page form.