2017-03-18 / Community Life

Rotary speech contest winner moves on


Emporium Rotary held its fourth annual Four-Way Speech Contest for area high school students, under the direction of Linda Lundberg. Contestants (from left) were: front -- Emily Richnafsky, Mason Shaffer and Marissa Doud; middle -- Lily Martin and John Legersky; back --Luiz Patricio. Emporium Rotary held its fourth annual Four-Way Speech Contest for area high school students, under the direction of Linda Lundberg. Contestants (from left) were: front -- Emily Richnafsky, Mason Shaffer and Marissa Doud; middle -- Lily Martin and John Legersky; back --Luiz Patricio. Emporium Rotary Club hosted its annual “Four- Way Test” Speech Contest at the Methodist Church. Last year’s champion, Mason Shaffer, a senior, once again took top honors. She now advances to regional competition.

Six Cameron County High School students entered the contest, presenting original speeches no longer than seven minutes applying Rotary International’s Four-Way Test to an ethical issue.

The test was developed in 1932 by Herbert J. Taylor, who would later serve as president of Rotary International. It asks: 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?

Mason Shaffer’s speech focused on gender equality. She explained that the U.S. ranks below 22 other nations in equality issues. Women make an average of 78 cents to every dollar that men earn performing identical work.

Second place went to freshman Emily Richnafsky, who took a stand against the death penalty. Marissa Doud, a junior, placed third with her presentation on the need to increase benefits for vets and their families.

Also participating were freshmen John Legersky, discussing the War on Terrorism; Lily Martin, elimination of standardized testing; and Luiz Patricio, the science behind heartbreak. Cash prizes were awarded for the top three finishers.

Rotarians expressed appreciation to Cameron County High School Superintendent Dr. Keith Wolfe and faculty member Maggie Sensenig for their support.

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