NORTH FORK – Top prize in the first round of the 78th annual Lions Club Student Speakers Contest was claimed by Minarets High School senior Grant Hall.
The Club Level competition was held on Wednesday, Feb. 11, in North Fork, with five students addressing the subject “Water Conservation — How can we reduce, recycle and reclaim?”
Each student is allotted 10 minutes for their presentation, and are judged on the their content, delivery and the overall effectiveness of their speech.
Other speakers in this year’s competition were:
Joshua Lynch, a sophomore at Chawanakee Academy who participated in the Madera County Academic Decathlon last week, earning five medals. Joshua plans to study civil engineering in college.
Michael Warnert, a junior at Minarets is secretary of the Key Club, treasurer of FFA, plays baseball and plans to study nursing after graduation.
Abby LeForge, a senior at Minarets, is president of the student body and the art club, and plans to attend Humbolt State next year.
Remi Lee, also a student at Minarets, plans to major in communication and business.
Winner Grant Hall is a senior at Minarets, is involved in numerous activities including FFA and Key Club, and will be studying chemistry or bio-chemistry when he moves on to college.
Hall was awarded $100 for his win in this first round, and the other competitors received $25 each. The winner goes on to compete at the Zone contest on Saturday, Mar. 14, at noon in the Oakhurst Branch Library Community Room.
Students in the North Fork Lions Club area have achieved great success in the past couple years. The 2013 winner Breanna Cairns, then a senior at Minarets, went on from her North Fork win to take top prize in four more competitions – Zone, Region, District and Area – advancing to the finals in Torrance, CA. Breanna became the first student from North Fork to advance past the third level in the annual contest, winning over $11,000 in scholarships from the Lions Club. Breanna is now in her sophomore year at Cal Poly.
In 2014, Minarets senior Mikayla Kopp repeated this accomplishment, making it all the way to the finals. Mikayla is now a freshman in college, studying Agricultural Education at Fresno State.
Local Chairman for the Speech Contest for over 30 years, Jon Norby, says he is incredibly proud of these students.
“All these kids are involved in so many other projects, and we are so pleased to see them excel,” says Norby.
Coaching the students in preparation for the contest were Amanda Ferguson, instructor at Minarets, and Becky Cairns from Chawanakee Academy.
Judges for this year’s competition were Joanne Brown, Mary Proper, Tom Wheeler, Gina Clugston and Cheryl McQuone.
The Lions 4th District Student Speakers Foundation will award $103,500 awarded during this competition, funding college funds for these dedicated students.