BOCK to Sponsor Oratorical Contest for Students

MEDIA RELEASE: February 1, 2016

2015 Oratorical Contestents
2015 Oratorical Contestants

Kalamazoo, MI — The Breakfast Optimist Club of Kalamazoo (BOCK) is encouraging area students to speak their minds about the topic: “How My Best Brings Out the Best in Others.” as part of the Optimist International Oratorical Contest for the 2016-2017 year. It is scheduled for 10 am. on Saturday, February 13, 2016, at the Greater Kalamazoo Association of Realtors (GKAR) auditorium, 5830 Venture Park Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009.

The Optimist Club will judge the local students’ speeches based on content and presentation to determine the top winners. and the winning speeches will be sent to the Zone level, and possibly the District level for the opportunity to win college scholarships.  Winners of the District level will be eligible to compete in a regional competition in St. Louis Missouri at Saint Louis University.  Winners of the regional contests will compete in the World Championship also held at Saint Louis University.  Students could possibly win up to $22,500 or more in scholarships!

The contest is open to students under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2015.

“As they prepare for their future, many of our local students need experience expressing their thoughts and opinions to an audience,” Club President Laurie Jefsen said. “The Oratorical Contest challenges them to do just that and also offers an opportunity for scholarships. In this way, our club hopes to bring out the best in each of them and help them achieve their goals for the future.”

The Breakfast Optimist Club of Kalamazoo (BOCK) is a local service organization, chartered in September of 1988, with more than 80 adult men and women motivated by the desire to promote a positive environment in our area by participating in activities that benefit local youth and the Kalamazoo community. Other programs and service projects that the Club is involved in include Right Start Auction, Back to School Shopping, Childhood Cancer Campaign annual golf outing, Optimist International Essay Contest, The Great Grown Up Spelling Bee and Girls on the Run. To learn more about BOCK, please call (269) 718-4623 or visit the organization’s website at

Oratorical logoOptimist International is one of the world’s largest service club organizations with 75,000 adult and youth members in 2,600 clubs in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico and throughout the world. The Optimist Oratorical Contest is one of the organization’s most popular programs, with more than 2,000 clubs participating annually. Carrying the motto “Bringing Out the Best in Kids,” Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than six million young people each year. To learn more about Optimist International, please call (314) 371-6000 or visit the organization’s website at