6 April, 2019 12:47


For God and country
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Nine high school orators survive first round,
advance to national semi-finals this afternoon

INDIANAPOLIS (April 6, 2019) –Nine of 53 top high school orators advanced from the first round of intense competition in a national speech contest about the U.S. Constitution conducted by The American Legion today. The speakers represent champions from 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of France and the Department of Puerto Rico. Each comes to The American Legion Oratorical Contest with one top objective: leave with the $18,000 college scholarship Sunday afternoon.
Representatives of Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin earned the opportunity to return to competition late this afternoon for the semi-finals. Only three will emerge from that round to the finals set for tomorrow.
Reaching the semi-finals are Mattilyn Winburn of Bainbridge, Ga.; Alayna Lopez of Pocatello, Idaho; Caleb Maue of Homer Glen, Ill.; Isaac Bock of Indianapolis; Patrick Junker of Waukee, Iowa; Marissa Gertz of Sedalia, Mo.; Clayton Ward of Duncan, Okla.; Eden Isabella-Ruth Carnes of Friendsville, Tenn. and Timothy Davis of Watertown, Wis.
This is the 82nd annual competition, officially called The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program – “A Constitutional Speech Contest.” The three contestants reaching the finals will leave Indianapolis, the headquarters city for the nearly 2 million-member American Legion, with a large part of their college education expenses assured. Besides the $18,000 top award for the national champion, the second and third runners-up receive $16,000 and $14,000 scholarships respectively.
The nation’s largest veterans organization holds the competition every year to encourage young Americans to improve their communications skills and to study the U.S. Constitution. More than 6,000 high school students begin competition annually at The American Legion post-community level.
The three finalists will be announced later this evening. Sunday’s finals will be webcast live at 10 a.m. on www.legion.org. The website also includes a complete list of contestants by state.

MEDIA CONTACT: John Raughter jraughter. On Site Contact: Cameran Richardson crichardson.

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