Rotary Clubs' annual speech contest will be held on March 24


BENNINGTON >> Once again, Bennington's two Rotary Clubs are teaming up to host the annual "4 Way Test Speech Contest" in which local high-school aged students have the chance to compete to win an iPad or other prizes.

The contest is open to high school aged students from the towns of Bennington, North Bennington, Pownal, Woodford, Shaftsbury, and Arlington. Speeches will be publicly presented and judged at Southwest Vermont Career Development Center Assembly Room on Wednesday, March 23 at 6:00 p.m., with a snow date scheduled for March 24. Entry forms are available online at the Rotary web sites at and, or they can be picked up at the Bennington Bookshop.

"The Bennington and the Catamount Rotary clubs sponsor this annual competition to encourage high school students to reflect on their own ethics by making a speech on the importance of ethics using the 4 Way Test in the life they live or plan to live," reads a press release from the organizations. The 4 Way Test is used by members of Rotary International to guide all of their thoughts and actions. It says, "1. Is it the TRUTH? 2) Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and better friendships? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?" This test was created in 1932 by Herbert J. Taylor who was asked to take over the Club Aluminum Company which was in financial crisis. It evolved as Taylor decided what guiding principles he wanted in place as he began management of the company. Later, when Rotary adopted the Four Way Test, people knew they could trust a business run by a Rotarian because they worked within this same framework.

The competition allows students to give a five to seven minute speech based on the 4 Way Test. There are three prizes: First prize is an iPad; second prize is $200, and third prize is $100. The first prize winner is also invited to be an entrant to the district competition, the winner of which receives $700.00.

The first prize winner in 2015 was Baha Hamadna, a Palestinian exchange student who spoke about how different life here in Bennington would be if we had the same barriers that exist in his country. Autumn Hausthor won the competition in 2014.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.


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