Merced County Times Newspaper
The Power of Positive Press
John Whitaker

Toastmasters Sends Top Local Speakers to State Meet

The Toastmasters International, Division F / District 33, spring speech contests were held recently in Livingston at the campus of Foster Farms. With the theme “Making the impossible possible,” nearly a dozen speakers from the region competed under the categories Table Topics and International Speech.

The event included 24 Toastmaster clubs in five areas with contestants from each area. Toastmasters’ Division F — led by Director Jackie Alford —  has clubs in the region from Merced to Modesto to Sonora.

The category Table Topics is an impromptu answer to a question asked to each contestant, one by one. This year’s winner was Jeremy Frank from the Foster Farms Roasters club in Livingston. Augustin Ramirez and Sondra Ahen took Second and Third places respectively.

The International Speech category features a message common to anyone in the world. Chris Carson from the Smart Talkers of Modesto club won First Place. Dirk Mous of Merced and Janet Fabtazia won Second and Third places respectively.

Judges looked upon the criteria of Speech Development, Effectiveness, Speech Value; along with Physical, Voice and Manner aspects of the presentation.

The two First Place winners and alternates will now go to the state Toastmasters Conference in Bakersfield in early May where they will compete again. The International Finals will be held in Denver in August.

FYI: Area F1 Toastmaster Clubs include:

  • Sunrise Toastmasters, meets Mondays, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., Paul’s Place, G & Alexander, in Merced.
  • Big Shots Toastmasters, Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at UC Merced Downtown Campus Center.
  • Talk Show Toastmasters, Wednesdays, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., IHOP, Merced.
  • Linguistic Lynx, Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., at the UC Merced Science and Engineering Building 1, Room 298.
  • Talk It Up, Thursdays, every other week, (next is March 22), 5 p.m. at the Merced County Office of Education, 13th and M streets.
  • Foster Farms Roasters, Fridays, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Foster Farms in Livingston.

For more information, call Karen Mous at 756-3001 or email: [email protected].

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