Local Students Participate in Optimist Oratorical Contest

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Eight junior high and high school students recently competed in the Pacific Palisades Optimist Club’s Optimist Oratorical Contest for a chance to win scholarship prizes.

The contest was chaired by Palisadian Susie DeWeese, retired owner of Speakers Corner, a speaker and entertainment bureau.

“All of the speeches were beautifully written and delivered,” DeWeese shared after the event.

This year’s topic was “Is There A Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?”

First place was awarded to Tobias Scott, who took home a $200 scholarship. Second place and $100 went to Julia Abbott. Michael Brent and Katherine Steffes tied for third place, each taking home a $50 scholarship.

Winners were presented their awards by Club President Rich Wilkin, Sumako Cohrs, who works with the Optimist Home in Eagle Rock where more than 70 teenagers from the court system are housed, and past club President Chuck McGlothlin.

The contest was judged by Optimist Club member Naidu Permaul, CEO of Saint John’s Health Center Foundation Bob Klein and Chris Lee, president, CEO and founder of CAL Entertainment.

Other participants were Ava Baak, Anirudh Chatterjee, Troy Haddadi and Annabelle Parsky.