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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Optimist International Oratorical World Championships are underway for 2017

As February opens, Optimist Clubs begin preparing for the longest running and perhaps the most well-known international program: the Optimist International Oratorical World Championships. Previously known as the Optimist Oratorical Contest, in 2016, the program was revamped and with the help of St. Louis University, it now attracts participants from around the world to compete for a additional $5,000 and $15,000 scholarships over and above their $2,500 award at the District level.

The topic for 2016-2017 is "What the World Gains from Optimism." Students under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2016 are eligible to enter through their local Optimist Club. For an application with contest rules, please click here: Optimist International Oratorical World Championships entry form

At the District level, students have the opportunity to win scholarships in the amount of $2,500 - first place, $1,500 - second place and $1,000 - third place. 

In the Pacific Northwest District, Ray Hilts is chairing the event and will help students locate a club near them that is hosting an event if necessary.  Ray and Optimist International suggest that club-level contests be held by the end of March. A club planning guide may be found here

Lieutenant Governors will be coordinating Super Zone contests in British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. They have been asked to complete those contests by April 22, 2017 in preparation for the District finals to be held in Burnaby, BC during the PNW District 3rd Quarter meeting, May 6, 2017.  Dates and details will be provided when known. 

If you need help, advice or encouragement in preparation for the event, please contact Chairman Ray Hilts at 541.928.0951 or by email

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