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On December 11, the Thomas W. Cole – Post #19 held the American Legion High School Oratorical Contest to determine the representative for the Post in the District #1 – Regional Contest. The contest, which has been held since 1938, focuses on various aspects of the US Constitution. Contestants each give an eight- to ten-minute speech on a topic of their choosing, followed by three- to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic.

There were two representatives competing in the contest, Josh Werner from Sanford High School and Lehana Petelo from Sanford Christian Academy. The contestants presented their Prepared Oratory first and then the Assigned Topic Oratory was presented. Both contestants made excellent presentations. The Judges then convened with the Tabulator to determine the winner.

Post Commander Dan Hathaway announced Josh Werner as the winner, with second Place to Lehana Petelo. Both contestants were awarded Scholarships and Certificates of Achievement. Josh will represent the Post in the District #1 Regional contest which will be held in Sanford on January 9. Lehana will be the alternate, if Josh is unable to compete. The Regional winner will go on to the state contest, and the state winner to the national competition, with a top prize of a $25,000 scholarship.

Judges for the contest were Marge Lewis, Post #19 Auxiliary; John Bshara, District #1 Commander; Lt. Colonel Rick Bach, Air Force National Guard; Bill Cameron, First Vice Commander, Post #19; and Kristine Stanley, 1st Lt., Army National Guard. Advisors to the contestants were Michael Kane, Sanford High School Mentor and Cherith Bell, Sanford Christian Academy Mentor. All in attendance appreciated the Oratories of each contestant. Refreshments were served after the contest and photos taken of both contestants.

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