Optimists Oratorical Contest Features Outstanding Young Speakers

Eight young orators, all from Sacred Heart Catholic School, spoke of Where Are My Roots of Optimism? during the 47th Annual Coronado Optimists Oratorical Contest on February 28th at the Coronado Library Winn Room. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medallion winners were: Alyssa Couts, Logan McKerring, and Ryan Kennedy – all 7th graders. The students prepared and delivered their 4 to 5 minutes speeches with much courage and skill, and without speaking notes! Each student demonstrated public speaking excellence as well as an understanding and empathy for others, and the importance of an optimistic attitude.

A few of the many memorable quotes from the speakers were:

  • “Optimism is a very interesting thing. It is a feeling that is contagious.”
  • “I realize now that my roots of optimism come from whom you surround yourself with.”
  • “When the hurricanes hit in Texas and Puerto Rico, I saw the optimism and helpfulness of people who just wanted to lend a helping hand.”
  • “Some people might call optimism false hope…but being realistic and optimistic is key to a bright and happy future.”
  • “I’m glad I’ve been blessed where my family has taught me ways to avoid being a pessimist but instead an optimist.”
  • “Humor is the source of optimism throughout my day.”
  • “I’m inspired by people like Anne Frank, people who are optimistic and positive even though they are going through very hard times.”

Coronado Optimist Club Past-President Diana Drummey and President-Elect Carla Fargo presented the awards and participation certificates, and thanked the parents and teachers for encouraging the students to enter the contest. All were very proud of their students, daughters and sons who are terrific young adults with bright futures!

Judges for the contest were Irish Flynn, Mike Lavin, and Paul Lull, with Linda Stanton serving as timekeeper; Bill Howland and Marta Radcliffe, greeters/curators; Pat Kelly, Sergeant-At-Arms; and Gene Rathswohl, contest coordinator – Optimist Club members all.

Left-to-right: Don Crawford, Coronado Optimist President; Alyssa Couts, Gold Medallion; Logan McKerring, Silver Medallion; Ryan Kennedy, Bronze Medallion; Marlene Twomey, Sacred Heart School 8th Grade Teacher; Gene Rathswohl, Oratorical Contest Coordinator


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Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.”Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: manager@coronadotimes.com