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Thursday, March 22, 2018

What happens after an Optimist Club level scholarship contest?

It is Scholarship Contest season for Optimist Clubs. Students begin their quest for all scholarships by participating in the Optimist International Essay Contest, Optimist International Oratorical Contest or Communications Contest for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH) at their local Optimist Club. From there, local winners move on to Zone, Regional, or District level competition. In 2018, the PNW District fee for each qualifying contestant is $50 per entry at the second level of competition paid by the sponsoring Optimist Club.
pnw optimist club scholarship programs

The Optimist Club Essay Contest winner moves directly into the District level competition when the club chairperson mails the winning essay, all required paperwork, and $50 to the District Essay Chairperson. This is for reference only as the entries were due on February 28, 2018. The winning contestant is announced at the PNW District third quarter meeting.

The Lieutenant Governor plans the second-level of the Optimist Club Oratorical Contest in each Zone. They set the date and location, typically in April, arrange for judges, and most important, communicate with the clubs to encourage their participation in the contest. The Optimist Club may send its first and second place contestants to the Zone level competition. To participate, each winning student must have the required paperwork and the $50 registration fee.

Two contestants, the first and second place speakers, in each Zone advance to the District level competition. There they will meet other contestants that have gone through similar procedures to reach this level of participation. In 2018, the PNW District competition is being held at the third quarter meeting May 11-12 at the Hampton Inn near Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, Washington.

Typically, the District covers all costs for lodging, meals, and activities for the students at the event as follows:
  • Students should arrive late-afternoon Friday. They will share a room with another contestant. 
  • District Committee Chair hosts dinner for the students and usually, there is an activity like bowling, swimming, or a movie. 
  • Rise and shine Saturday morning for breakfast. We hope the contest is in the morning - it typically is - so that participants can get past any nerves and enjoy getting to know one another. 
  • The District Committee Chair will host lunch and take students on an area activity in the afternoon. 
  • Return for the evening banquet with the Optimist Club members, other participants, and families, to learn who has won the PNW District scholarship prizes of $2,500, $1,500, and $1,000. 
  • Evening break with families and new friends. Students who are traveling with parents may leave at their pleasure. Others will remain for breakfast Sunday morning at the hotel. 
  • The first-place winner should meet with the District Chairperson to learn of the next level of competition as an entry in the Optimist International Global World Championships. This portion may be done online or in person. The Regional winner earns an additional $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to compete for $15,000 more. 
The CCDHH may follow a similar path as the Optimist International Oratorical Contest; however, since participation is much lower, it has, in the past, generally been run in cooperation with a school program for deaf students. We have been advised that the CCDHH will not be held at a district meeting in 2018.

This post is for informational purposes in order to satisfy a number of inquiries that we have received. Please contact the PNW District Chairpersons for further information: Essay | Oratorical | CCDHH.