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Rotary Speech Contest Winners

April 8, 2013

BENNINGTON - Autumn Hausthor, of North Bennington, recently won the top prize in the Rotary's annual Four-Way Test Speech Contest in Bennington. A junior at Mount Anthony Union High School who excels in math and science and enjoys children, horses and making art, Hausthor spoke about the importance of persevering to overcome a disability.

As the contest winner, Hausthor will receive $300 and a trip to the regional contest in Henniker, N.H. In her presentation to the audience of Rotarians and community members she spoke comfortably and scored well with the three judges in content, organization, and delivery. Hausthor, whose father Ron is a Rotarian, is a member of her school's Interact Club, which focuses on community service and is sponsored by the Rotary.

AhYeong Bae, a Korean exchange student at Grace Christian School, was awarded second prize of $200 for a very well organized and well presented speech exhorting people not to accept abortion.

Curtis Petitt, of North Bennington, was awarded third prize of $100 for a speech about his recent trip to Somotillo, Nicaragua, Bennington's Sister City. He spoke about community service projects undertaken on the trip and the cultural and economic differences between Sister Cities. He is also a member of the MAU Interact Club.

The contest is sponsored by the Bennington and Catamount Rotary Clubs to help students build skills and experience in public speaking and to highlight the importance of civil discourse. Speakers must address the Four-Way Test, a set of values that Rotarians use to translate high ethical standards into actions.

The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions: "Of the things we think, say or do: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?"

The contest is open to high school students in grades 9 through 12, living in Arlington, Bennington, North Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, and Woodford. Students choose their own topics, and deliver a short 5 to 7 minute speech. Speeches cannot be memorized nor read. Only note cards are allowed so that students must have thought through their topics.

The contest was held in the Rotary Room of the Bennington Free Library.

Bennington Banner Staff
Compliments of: The Bennington Banner

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