It was a good night for a speech contest, as much as any night when using Zoom and doing it virtually. The speech contest staff was ready, Jay Boatwright, our technical director and Phil Danz, moderator, and Alan Gallaway, responsible for the training of the judges had practiced 2 or 3 times before the contest. And we received much encouragement from Bill Highland, District 5180 Chair, who is nicknamed Dr. Zoom (because of his expertise.) Vicky Boatwright was our timer, and the Judges, aforementioned Alan Gallaway, Tara Abraham, and Daria Hill (all three are members of a local Toastmaster’s Club and Daria is their president). This years subject for the contest is "How 2020 Opens Opportunities".
The three outstanding contestants who were named #1,#2, and #3 for security purposes gave wonderful talks on the topic of “How 2020 Opens Opportunities”. They were all excellent and everything went well except that I apparently pushed a wrong button and was muted for a while, but President David Thorman took over and it was lucky that he had an agenda and so knew what was going to happen. I got my sound back on just to the last of the contest. Some of the important guests not mentioned above were  Leigh-Ann Reinero, Sara Catiger, and Shannon Shope. There were 31 attendees (virtually) at the contest.
The winners were: 3rd Place: Shawn Varshney, Oak Ridge High School received a certificate and $100.00; 2nd Place Joseph Vallejo, Cristo Rey High School, received a certificate and $200.00; and 1st Place: Elizabeth Roe, Victory Cristian High School received a certificate and $400.00 and she will compete in the semi-final contest, March 25th at 7:00 p.m. Our contestants almost convinced us that 2020 was not such a bad year!