I Pity Those Poor Judges

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I am so grateful to have been the Contest Coordinator for this Fall’s District Contest but, oof!  I would NOT have wanted to be a judge for these contests.  It must have been grueling to rank the seven superb contestants in each contest and only be able to select three!
(Note, this was the first brace of contests to have seven contestants and Division G represented – and represent they did!)
First off, let me begin by thanking those that made the contest possible: the Judges, the Ballot Counters, the Timers and the Sergeants-at-Arms. These contestants and the District owe you our heartfelt gratitude. These contests cannot happen without the support given by each of you.  Thank you.
The following are the electrifying results of the contests:
On Friday, November 18, we held the Speech Evaluation Contest.  Our Toastmaster, Michael Schellen of NationStar Speaks, kept us plugged in and on track for the entire contest.  Ed Babino, also of NationStar Speaks, volunteered to be evaluated seven times as Test Speaker.  His speech, “Homecoming Parade,” could have competed very well in the Humorous Contest this year.  My sides hurt afterwards.
Jessica Pallett, Ashley Casey, & Thomas Goodwin

Evaluation Speech Contestants:
Jessica Pallett, Division A
Jerry Kness, Division B
Linda Olson, Division C
Kasey Morrisey, Division D
Ashley Casey, Division E
Nora Loyd, Division F
Thomas Goodwin, Division G
The results were:
1st Place – Jessica Pallett, Division A, Panther City TM
2nd Place – Ashley Casey, Division E, BNSF
3rd Place – Thomas Goodwin, Division G, IT EGOS
Saturday afternoon, November 19, we had the Humorous Speech Contest.  Our Toastmaster, Tim Fields, was our master of ceremonies and ran a powerful show of gut-wrenching, tear-streaming belly laughs for over an hour.  The image I paint here contains zero hyperbole – these Toastmasters were FUNNY!
Left To Right, Yvonne Hall, Allen Lopez,
& Mary Helen Hernandez

Humorous Speech Contestants:
Allen Lopez, Division A
McKee Smith, Division B
Mary Helen Hernandez, Division C
Yvonne Hall, Division D
Matt Bunke, Division E
Stella Timmons, Division F
Jeetinder Singh, Division G

The winners were:
1st Place – Yvonne Hall, Division D, Cleburne
2nd Place – Allen Lopez, Division A, Afterburners
3rd Place – Mary Helen Hernandez, Division C, ARBOR TM

I urge you to make the commitment to attend the next Conference on May 19 & 20.  We will have a Table Topics competition and the International Speech Contest, the winner of which goes on to the World Championship of Public Speaking.  I am honored to help coordinate the district contests – a service of sweat and tears I gift to the district (no blood).  What comes back to me by attending the conference astounds me every year – it is so much more than I put in.  

See you in May!

Article submitted by Allan Pickering, District Contest Coordinator.  Thank you, Allan, for two amazing District Contests!