The Zone 2 Optimist Oratorical Contest was held recently, with participants from Sussex County in Delaware, and Easton/Talbot County, Ocean City and Salisbury in Maryland. Sanchez Raymond from Sussex County was declared the winner and moved on to the Maryland/South Delaware District Competition in Ocean City April 27. Abigail Melito was the runner-up.
Both students continued to win at the next level of competition when their entries competed against entries from the Maryland and Delaware Optimist Clubs.
Raymond again won at the District Level and will now compete at the Optimist Region Level, where she will use her oratorical skills against Optimist clubs in the Mid-Atlantic Region. This next level of competition will take place in July at St. Louis University in Missouri, with the winning entries moving on to the Optimist Oratorical World Championships, also held in July.
Madeline Betts, whose essay "When All the World’s Problems are Solved, is Optimism Still Necessary?" was entered in the Maryland/Southern Delaware Essay contest, where she earned third place.
The Essay Contest is sponsored by Optimist International to give young people the opportunity to write about their own opinions regarding the world in which they live. The Optimist Oratorical Contest gives youngsters the chance to speak to the world. More than $150,000 in college scholarships funded by the Optimist International Foundations is awarded annually from this program.