Lucas Blanchong of Wauseon will represent Fulton County at the First District level of the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest on March 5 at American Legion Post 384 in Whitehouse.
If successful, he will compete at the state level March 19 at Ohio Dominican College in Columbus. He is sponsored by American Legion Post 265 in Wauseon.
The Fulton County level of the competition was held Feb. 20. The county competition and each succeeding level of competition mirror the local contest, held Feb. 12 at American Legion Post 373 in Delta, but the awards get progressively better. The First District contest includes 10 counties in northwest Ohio.
Participants must write an eight- to 10-minute speech on any part of the U.S. Constitution, then deliver it in an oratorical style before a live audience and the contest judges. No notes, prompting, microphone or other help is permitted.
In addition to writing their own oration, four assigned topics – articles or amendments to the constitution – are chosen each year, and a drawing held at every contest to determine the one to which one all the contestants will speak. Each contestant gets five minutes to prepare a three-to-five minute oration on the topic. A contestant’s score is based on content and delivery of both speeches.
The goals of the program are to encourage students to study the U.S. Constitution and to develop their reasoning and public speaking abilities, which fulfill requirements of the Ohio high school curriculum.
Lucas, a high school junior, is the son of William and Tina Blanchong of Wauseon.