Grant Patterson | Clubs Editor
It is a Tuesday snowy morning. It is early, cold, and dreary, but that has not stopped four students from making the drive to Dye’s Walk Country Club where a warm breakfast and a room full of judges await them. Each of these students have something to say, something to leave on the minds of Rotary Club members before making the drive back to school on the snow-covered Stones Crossing Road.
The four students: Cameron Brooks, Meredith Braman, Sam Endris, and Kaylee Mason, each gave a four- to six-minute speech about the values that the Rotary Club promotes: Leadership, Service and what they call “the Four-Way Test,” which asks members to challenge the things they think, say or do with the questions: “Is it True? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? and Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”
These speeches were part of a speech competition for cash prizes. Within the room of Rotary Club members there were six judges who determine awards. The first place was awarded $200, second place was awarded $100, and third place was awarded $50.
The cash prize was just a bonus for the students competing.
“I entered it because I like speaking to people and doing presentations, and this was a great opportunity to express myself and put myself out there and get some practice,” Sam Endris said. “It would be great to win $200, but I just did it for the practice.”
Cameron Brooks said, “Obviously the prize money was a nice touch, but really the best part was speaking and making a speech about something I am passionate about.” He said that “the biggest motivator was talking in front of the rotary club because they are a group of people who value service, which is something I am very passionate about.”
Serving the community is a value Kaylee Mason said she appreciates.
“I entered because I saw the values [of the rotary club] and I agreed with all of them.” She mentioned this in her speech when she talked about truthfulness:, “[My father] always told me that I had two rules: don’t disrespect my mother, and never tell a lie.”
Each student gave their speech, some grazing the roof of six minutes long, others barely hitting the four minute mark. Each had their own unique flair and flavor.
Brooks said he “felt like it went very well. It was very fluid. I connected my topics very well and I executed everything that I had practiced.”
Meredith Braman knew competition was strong.
“I had some really good competitors. One didn’t even need note cards, and a lot of them had really good topics,” she said. “Overall I think I did pretty well, but I’m not sure that I could compete with the others.”
First place went to Sam Endris who will represent the club on March 3rd at the District competition in Bedford.