Devin Murray wins Burney Lions Club Student Speaker Contest

Burney High School senior Devin Murray won the club level student speakers contest held on Thursday evening February 8 at the Burney Lions Club. The topic for this year’s contest is “Integrity and Civility Play What Role in Today’s Society?”

Murray competed against two other Burney High School students: Elias Urlie, also a senior; and Paris Deaton-Geisler, a sophomore.

Lion Bill Cummings, Melissa Madden, Elias Urlie,Paris Deaton-Geisler, and Devin Murray

All three students delivered well-crafted profound arguments emphasizing the importance of integrity and civility as the foundation of a healthy society. Each speech had to be at least five minutes and no longer than 10 minutes.

Lion Dr. Bill Cummings chaired the contest. He explained the history, the purpose, and the rules of the contest. Melissa Madden, activities director at Burney High School, helped to coach the students in preparation for their speeches. The judges for the contest were Trish Van Dyke, Rod Armstrong, and Sally Armstrong.

After the judges scores were tallied, winner Murray was presented with a check from the Burney Lions Club for $100. Each of the other speakers received $25.

Parents of the contestants, Dana and Kristina Murray, Andrew and Kathy Urlie, and Victor and Teresa Geisler all came to watch their children compete. Elias Urlie’s brother and his brother’s fiancée also attended, as did Deaton-Geisler’s sister Carly.

This is the 81st annual Student Speakers Contest sponsored by the Lions Fourth District Student Speakers Foundation. There are six levels of competition of which the club level is the first. Altogether, throughout the district-wide completion, the foundation will award more than $103,000 in scholarships to students. Awards increase with each level. Fifteen District winners will each receive a $4,500.00 scholarship. Four Area winners will each receive an additional $6,500.00 scholarship, and the winner of the Multiple District Four Contest will receive an additional $10,000.00 scholarship.

The next stage of competition, the zone level contest between the winners of the Burney and Fall River Lions Clubs, will be held at Burney Lions Hall at 2 p.m. on Saturday March 10.


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