Story and Photos by Tim Sproles
The American Legion Department of Indiana held the 82nd Annual Department Oratorical Contest at the National Headquarters in Indianapolis on March 3, in National Executive Committee room.
The Oratorical program is designed to teach important leadership qualities while promoting effective communication skills.
This year’s competition saw four competitors from across the Hoosier State. First up was Tim Carnahan, from West Lafayette. Tim is a Junior at West Lafayette High School and was sponsored by George W. Dinwiddie Post 38 in the 2nd District.
The second contestant was Isaac Bock from Indianapolis. Isaac is a Senior at Eagle Creek Academy and was sponsored by Broad Ripple Post 3 in the 11th District.
The third contestant was Erin Kramer from Jeffersonville. She is a Sophomore at Jefferson High School and was sponsored by Lawrence Capehart Post 35 in the 8th District.
The final contestant was Zachary King from Churubusco. He is a Senior at Churubusco High School and was sponsored by Columbia City Post 98.
In the first round of competition, each competitor is required to delivery an 8-10-minute prepared oration on some phase of the United States Constitution.
The second round featured a topic drawn from a member of the audience.
Mark Gullion, Department of Indiana Children and Youth Commission Chairman explained that this is more than just an Oratorical Competition.
Mark Said, “Each of our state finalists have already received an $800 scholarship. The runner-up will receive an additional $1,000 scholarship and the winner will receive $4,200 in scholarships with a chance to compete at the National competition where they could earn up to $21,000 in scholarships. This contest can become a life-changing experience for some of these students.”
Once the judges scores were tallied, Department Oratorical Chairman, James Grauvogal announced Isaac Bock as the 2019 Department High School Oratorical Contest Champion.
Isaac will go on to represent the Department of Indiana at the 2019 National Finals, April 5-7 in Indianapolis at the Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel in Indianapolis. Quarterfinal and semifinal contests are scheduled for Saturday, April 6, with the finals scheduled for Sunday, April 7.
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