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Zemene, Wolfe win Hagerstown Toastmasters contests

September 14, 2008

Four members of the Hagerstown Toastmasters Club received kudos for winning the club's evaluation and humorous speech contests recently.

In the evaluation contest, held Aug. 13, Donavon Corum placed first out of five contestants, while Rachel Whitaker placed second. All the contestants presented an oral evaluation of the same speech, given by a guest speaker.

"The evaluation contest recognizes members' ability in giving helpful, constructive feedback to other speakers," said Louise Wolfe, vice president of education for the Hagerstown club, who coordinated the contests. "One of the biggest benefits of Toastmasters is that every speech is evaluated so members know what they did well and where they need to improve."

In the humorous speech contest on Aug. 27, Chuck Zemene placed first out of four contestants. His speech, "How I Destroyed a Destroyer," described the harrowing events that can occur when a Navy ship runs out of toilet paper. Louise Wolfe placed second with her speech, "The Feminist Guide to Dating."

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First-place winners of both club contests advance to the Toastmasters Area 42 contest, which will be held Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. at the Williamsport Library. The public is invited to attend. Area 42 includes five clubs from Hagerstown, Martinsburg, W.Va; and Winchester, Va.

"Speech contests are a great way for members to hone their public speaking ability," said Jim Hanna, club president. "Members not only strive for their personal best, but they get to hear excellent speakers from other clubs as they participate at higher levels."

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching public speaking and leadership skills in a friendly, supportive environment.

The Hagerstown club is one of 11,700 Toastmasters clubs in 92 countries.

Hagerstown Toastmasters meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 7 to 8 p.m.

Meetings are held in the lower level of Washington County Free Library in downtown Hagerstown.

Visitors are always welcome.

For more information, go to www.hagerstowntoastmasters.org.

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