Woodlawn High School Senior Matt Renaud and Harrisburg High School Senior Meredith Wolf emerged as winners of the annual Blanche Carlton Sloan speech competition sponsored by Rotary International District 6510 at John A. Logan College on Saturday.
Renaud, 18, won the novice division for students with little or no previous speaking experience. His topic was “The Key to Peace Is Through Serving Others.”
Wolf, 17, won first place int he Rotary Speech Contest division for students with previous speech competition experience. Her topic was “Peace Through Service.”
In the contests, high school youth from throughout the 28 counties in District 6510 spoke about the local, national and global impact of Rotary’s Four Way Test and of the current Rotary theme, “Peace Through Service.”
The Four Way Test which student speakers had to address and which Rotarians are supposed to apply to the things which they think, say and do, asks, “First, is it the truth? Second, is it fair to all concerned?
Third, will it build good will and better friendship? And Fourth, will it be beneficial to all concerned?”
The annual contest is named in honor of the district’s first woman governor, Blanche Carlton Sloan of Carbondale.
Renaud was sponsored in the contest by the Mt. Vernon West Rotary Club, which meets Mondays at 7 a.m. in the Fairfield Inn in Mt. Vernon. Wolf was sponsored by the Harrisburg Rotary Club, which meets Mondays at noon at the Ponderosa Restaurant in Harrisburg.
Rotary International is a global organization of 1.2 million business, professional and civic leaders united to provide humanitarian service, to encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to help build goodwill and peace in the world. District 6510 is comprised of 48 clubs and 1,685 individuals in Southern Illinois’ 28 southern-most counties.