Optimist Club Hosts Oratorical Contest for Students

The Optimist Club of Van Wert held its annual oratorical contest on March 14 online via Zoom. The topic that local students were challenged to address was “Healing the World with Optimism.”

Austin Yinger, a fifth grade student at Crestview Elementary, earned first place in the contest. Derek Yinger, an eighth grader at Crestview Middle School, garnered second place, and Myles Moody, an eighth grade student at Lincolnview Middle School was third. All three were awarded medallions and prize money of $300 for first place, $200 for second, and $100 for third. Abbie Mengerink from Van Wert High School and Garrett Mosier from Lincolnview Middle School also competed in the competition.

Austin Yinger advances to the regional contest on Apr. 17. The winner at the regional contest moves on to the district (state) level, and possibly national and international levels, for the opportunity to win college scholarships. Students were judged on poise, content of speech, presentation, and overall effectiveness according to Optimist International criteria.

“The Optimist Oratorical Contest is a great opportunity for local students to express their thoughts and opinions to an audience and win prize money,” said Greg Yinger of the Optimist Club. “Our club strives to bring out the best in each student and we hope this project will be a step to help them achieve their goals for the future.”

The Optimist Club of Van Wert is active in the community with programs and service projects that include oratorical and essay contests, after-prom events, scholarships, bicycle safety rodeo, and Avenue of Flags. New members are always welcome! To learn more about the Optimist Club of Van Wert, visit Facebook.com/OptimistVW.