Oratorical Contest

Oratorical ContestAs Optimist International’s oldest program, this contest allows young students to gain experience in public speaking and to compete for scholarship awards. Entrants must be under the age of 19 prior to December 31 of the club year, must not yet have gradutated from high school or the equivalent, and must be educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean.

Each applicant is required to give a 4- to 5-minute speech on the assigned topic. Club winners progress to the Zone level and then to the District level.

Topic for 2018–2019: Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?

Deadline for entry into the Timonium Club contest is Feb.15, 2019.
For more information, contact  Tom Snyder (443-473-9609).

Registration form for the 2017-2018 Oratorical contest
  • Club competition: Mon., Mar. 18, 2019  at the club dinner meeting
  • Zone 6 competition: Date and place TBD
  • District competition: Weekend in Ocean City at the Carousel Resort Hotel; date TBD


  • Club level: Medallion and advancement to the Zone competition for top boy and girl
  • Zone level: Plaque and advancement to the District competition (expenses paid to Ocean City) for the top boy and girl
  • District level: Plaque and a $2,500 scholarship for the top boy and top girl speakers
  • Regional level: Mixed gender competition for a $5000 scholarship
  • World level: Mixed gender competition for three scholarships -$15,000, $10,000, $5,000

Contest for 2017–2018

Topic:  “Where Are My Roots of Optimism?”

Winners from 2017-18: At the Timonium Optimist club competition in March 2018, five boys and seven girls competed in their gender groups. The three winners in each group were:

  •  1st: Jack Sullivan, St. Joseph School
  • 2nd: Xavier Goodall , St. Pius X School
  • 3rd: Gannon Durkin, St. Pius X School
  • 1st:  Hannah Winkler, St. Joseph School
  • 2nd: Alexandria Epstein, St. Pius X School
  • 3rd:  Peyton Byrd, St. Joseph School

Jack and Hannah represented our club at the Zone competition. Jack came in first for Zone boys and went on to the contest in Ocean City. Hannah came in second for Zone girls.

Aslo participating:  Boys:   Charlie Smith   (St. Joseph’s)      Girls:   Caroline Cole   (St. Joseph’s)
                                           Sto Sullivan   (St. Joseph’s)                    Anisa Barfield   (St. Pius) 
                                                                                                         Asia Minor   (St. Pius)
                                                                                                         Liliana Terranova   (St. Pius)

Teacher Advisor:   Libby Gambo   (St. Joseph’s)           
                              Meghan Fennessy   (St. Pius)

Judges:   Jim Book, Angie Hammond, Joe Janovski

Timekeeper:   Skip Sheeler