Jordan Cowell, a student at the Kutztown Area Middle School, recently won the Atlantic Central District of Optimist International's oratorical contest based on a theme of "Why Me? Why Not?"Cowell was awarded a $1,500 scholarship for the honor. She competed against students from throughout the Central Atlantic District of Optimist International. The Central Atlantic District covers eastern Pennsylvania, lower New York, New Jersey and upper Delaware.

"Jordan did a wonderful job presenting her speech about the questions posed to her," said Kutztown Club President Tom Luckenbill. "The members of our Optimist Club have no doubt that Jordan has a bright future ahead of her."

The Optimist Club of Kutztown has been participating in the Optimist Oratorical Contest for over twenty years and has been active in the community since 1981. Other programs and service projects that the Club is involved in include the annual Kutztown Fool's Run Scholarship Race, annual Easter Egg Hunt, youth basketball and t-ball programs, Senior Citizen's Dinner, and an annual children's cancer campaign.

Optimist International is one of the world's largest service club organizations with 120,000 adult and youth members in 3,800 clubs in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico and throughout the world. The Optimist Oratorical Contest is one of the organization's most popular programs, with more than 2,000 clubs participating annually. Carrying the motto "Bringing Out the Best in Kids," Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than six million young people each year.

To learn more about Optimist International, please call 314- 371-6000 or visit the organization's website at

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