2018-2019 Oratorical and Essay Contests

2018-2019 Oratorical Contest

The Buffalo Lafayette Optimist Club (BLOC) is encouraging area students to speak their minds on 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 Optimist Club will judge the local students’ speeches based on content and presentation to determine the top winners. Winners at the local level will receive a medallion and certificate and advance to the Zone level.

Winners at the Zone level will advance to the District level, where three winners will be awarded $2,500, $1,500, and $1,000, respectively. The District winner will be invited to participate in the International World Championship competition at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, July 18-20, 2019.

Winners taking first, second, and third place at the International World Championship will be granted $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000 scholarships, respectively.

The contest is open to all students in Erie County under the age of 19 as of October 1, 2018.

“As they prepare for their future, many of our local students need experience expressing their thoughts and opinions to an audience,” Club President Kathleen Kratochvil 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. We would love nothing more than to see a student from Buffalo take home the gold!”

The deadline to submit applications and draft speeches (4-5 minute duration) is Friday, February 1, 2019. Students wishing to participate in the oratorical contest can find out more about the contest by contacting the club at buffalolafayetteoptimists@gmail.com, or by calling Ruth Shatzel at (716) 348-4500. Applications can be found here.

The county contest is scheduled to take place Saturday, February 9, 2019, at 9 a.m. in the West Room of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Square.

2018-2019 Essay Contest

The Buffalo Lafayette Optimist Club (BLOC) is encouraging area students to contemplate the phrase, “When All the World’s Problems are Solved, is Optimism Still Necessary?,” as part of the Optimist International Essay Contest for the 2018-2019 school year.

The Optimist Club will judge the local students’ essays based on the theme of “When All the World’s Problems are Solved, is Optimism Still Necessary?” and determine the top winners. Winners at the local level will receive a medallion and advance to the District level for a chance to receive a $2,500 scholarship.

The contest is open to all students in Erie County under the age of 19 as of October 1, 2018.

“Young students today have so many fresh ideas about the world and their future,” Club President Kathleen Kratochvil said. “As Optimists, it is our goal to encourage them and do what we can to bring out the best in each of them. This gives them a wonderful opportunity to tap into their creativity and pursue possible scholarships at the same time.”

The deadline to submit applications and essays (700-800 words) is Friday, February 1, 2019. Students wishing to participate in the essay contest can find out more about the contest by contacting the club at buffalolafayetteoptimists@gmail.com, or by calling Ruth Shatzel at (716) 348-4500. Applications can be found here.

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