ESCANABA - Right to Life (RTL) of Delta County recently held its 23rd annual high school oratory contest at Bay de Noc Community College. Contestants prepared a five to seven-minute speech on one of four topics: Abortion, Euthanasia, Infanticide, or Embryonic Stem Cell Research or Human Cloning.
Judges were Dorothy Kollmann, Mary Lu Gaudette, and Hans Whitmer.
Regional winners and their topics are: First place, Gabrielle Byers of Crystal Falls, "Abortion;" second place, Tyler Rivard of Cornell, "Embryonic Stem Cell Research is Scientific Fraud;" and third place, Benjamin Rivard of Cornell, "The Dire Consequences of Roe versus Wade." First place prize was $100; second place, $75; and third place, $50 provided by RTL of Delta County.
Right to Life of Delta County regional oratory contest winners are from left to right: Gabriella Byers of Crystal Falls, first place, $100; Tyler Rivard of Cornell, second place, $75; and Benjamin Rivard, also of Cornell, third place, $50. The contest was held on March 27, 2012, at Bay de Noc Community College in Escanaba. Gabriella will advance to the state contest May 19 in Lansing.
There were 24 regional contests this year throughout the state and the regional contest was the only one in the Upper Peninsula. Local organizers were Joan Paul and Mary Knoch.
For her first-place win, Gabriella will advance to the state competition on May 19 in Lansing. The winner of the state contest will advance to the national contest June 20 in Crystal City, Va.
Prizes at the state level: $500, $300, and $250. Prizes at the national level: $1,000, $750, $500, and $250. Over the years of the contest, Michigan has produced four national first place finishes and one third place national finish.