Oratorical workshop set March 2; contest registration due Feb. 28

February 5, 2019

As part of the Optimist International Oratorical Contest, the Optimist Club of Sussex County is encouraging Sussex County students to speak their minds about the topic “Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?”

The contest is open to students under the age of 19 as of Oct. 1, 2018. Contest registration is slated for 5 p.m., Monday, March 18, at the Georgetown library, with competition and award presentation to follow.

Interested youth will prepare a 4- to 5-minute speech on the assigned topic. Student speeches will be judged on content and presentation, using guidelines found on the application, to determine the top winners.

For more information, application and guidelines, students may visit their school guidance counselors or go to

The registration deadline for all applications is Thursday, Feb. 28. Applications may be given to the school representatives or emailed to

The club will also sponsor a public speaking workshop presented by Richard Kaplan at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 2, at the Georgetown library. Kaplan is a former chemist who opened his business Kap Communications to share skills in public speaking. To register for this workshop, students should email

Contest winners at the club level will receive medallions and monetary awards, and the winning speech will be sent to the Zone level from which winners can possibly advance to the District and Regional levels for the opportunity to win college scholarships. 

“As they prepare for their future, many of our local students need experience expressing their thoughts and opinions to an audience,” said Kathleen Mitchell, club president. “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 Optimist Club of Sussex County members are very excited to participate in the Optimist Oratorical Contest for the first time in 2019. The club has been active in the community since 2017.

For more information, go to