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Click on the “Club Articles” and the “More Club Articles”  sections above  for the following stories: THE 2018 CLUB #28 INTERNATIONAL SPEECH AND TABLE TOPICS CONTESTS DATE SET FOR MARCH 1ST !! LINDA KLEIN and Renee Ellis earn CC;  Detra Flood, Daphne Hart, Chi Simons, Susan Storma earns  ALB, ALS, ACB, ACS, ACG and DTM Awards!!!!!!    Follow the Orlando Toastmasters Club #28’s Distinguished President’s Award progress!  Follow your Competent Communicator progress! Meet our new officers… and much, much more!


By Kenneth H. Walley DTM

(March 2018)

The rumors had been in the air for over a month that Club #28 was about to produce two contests that would be special, maybe even eclipse the legendary contests of Club #28’s past.

March 1, 2018 arrived with a wave of anticipation. Well before contest time, the local Toastmasters elite started lining up at the Herndon Branch Library. Extra seating was hastily produced to shoehorn in the overflow crowds streaming in from all over the Central Florida area.


The excited murmuring and squeals of expectation were called to order by the Contest Sgt. at Arms Kara Newcomb ACG, ALB. Kara introduced Diana Walley ATMG, CL who first joined Club #28 in 1993 to deliver our Invocation and Pledge. Diana choose to pay honor to those who teach by quoting Henry Adams “A teacher effects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

Contest organizer and Club #28 Vice President of Education Susan Storms ACB, ALB welcomed Toastmasters and guests and introduced our Contest Master.

Club #28 also discovered a sparkling new talent in first time Contest Master David Hundeby. David created an excitement that enhanced the excellence of this brilliant evening. Although a new Contest Master, David handled his duties as if they were second nature, blending professionalism and entertainment while still letting the speakers have the spotlight. It was worth coming to the contest just to watch David.

David called upon Chief Judge Ken Walley DTM to certify the qualifications of the contestants and then we were ready for the first contest; the International Speech Contest.


The first speaker was Linda Klein CC with a speech titled “Make a Habit / Break a Habit”. This exceptionally well-crafted speech, told how as a child Linda picked up a bad habit of swearing that she found that she had carried into adulthood. One day, she prayed to God to help her lose this horrendous habit. Soon after Linda decided to take a vacation. Because it was a short trip, Linda left her cat named Benjamin, food and a clean litter box. She also left her realtor business to an associate named David. When she returned home she called David to find out if any of her clients had needed help and walked into the house to find that Benjamin had destroyed the house and ruined her prized living room rug by “pooping everywhere!” Linda burst into a tirade of anger and swear words. Then she discovered that she had accidentally closed the door to room with the litter box in it when she had left! She pleaded with the cat “Oh I am so sorry for yelling at you Benjamin!” It was then that Linda realized that David was still on the phone and had heard every word! Worst of all David did not know that “Benjamin” was a cat! God had answered Linda’s prayer about swearing. Her reputation was now in tatters but she never swore again!

The Second speaker was Chi Simons DTM titled “Gold Digger”. Chi told the story of how in Vietnam she and her father possessed a fortune in gold hidden within the walls of her house to keep thieves from stealing it and harming the family. When it was time to retrieve the treasure, Chi convinced her father to help him. Although a young girl, Chi had challenged herself to face the danger. Had they been found they most certainly would have been killed for the gold. Clandestinely, they chose to do this during the day, timing the hammering at the walls to a butcher slaughtering chickens near-by to mask the noise. Covered in dust, striking through concrete, they soon saw the bright yellow of the gold bars. It was their ticket to freedom. Chi encouraged us all to “become gold diggers! Believe in yourself, define yourself and open the possibilities of your life.”

The last speech by Bob Steg ACB was a moving powerful speech titled “The Color Doesn’t Matter” about overcoming racism and winning acceptance. Bob started out the speech remembering the recent Olympic games and the first Black Woman US speed skater named Maame Biney. She was born in Ghana and moved to Virginia where she was raised by her father.  Completely beloved by her father, a man who encouraged her every step of the way, he found that she had a real speed- skating talent.  it became apparent that to reach her Olympic dream, Maamie would have to leave him and live with a white family in Kerns, Utah where the US team was training. Maamie was treated like a part of their family. Her father said, “The color doesn’t matter.” Bob told another story of a black man named Wilmot Collins, the only black man in Helena, Montana. When he moved there he was greeted by someone spray- painting on his house a racial slur. The entire community came together to support him, eventually electing him mayor of the town! Bob remembered hearing fellow classmates making fun of Jews in his elementary school. He was Jewish, and he wondered if he should ever tell anyone of his beliefs. This influenced his life until he decided that he was not going to hide who he was anymore. “Hate begets hate” said Bob, “Color does not matter but It is how you treat others that matter.”

Thus, ended the International Speech Contest.

Soon the Table Topics Contest was set to start. This contest featured four speakers Joe Mangasale, Lily Phuong-Tang, Bethany Johnson and Daniel Gutierrez. All of them answered the same question: “What advice would you appreciate hearing from a happy and successful 80-year-old?”  We got four very different answers. Joe asked a question of his own “if you did not know how old you were and could not find out; how would that change your life?’ He said he had meet people in their 80’s that act much more youthful than they were. “How do you do that?” was what he wanted to ask them. Lily also knows “older people” and said that she often asks advice of them. One bit of advice she got was “If you lose money, you just lose money. If you lose time, you lose a part of your life.” Bethany Said that she would ask the 80- year-old about taking risks. She spoke about a recent trip she took that that ended up being one “of the best things I have ever done.” Said Bethany “Take risks, the more you move out of your comfort zone; the better off you are.” The last speaker Daniel, said he had a friend that was 76-year-old. “Does 76 count? He thought I was going to steal his car! When he realized I was just admiring it, we became friends. One day he told me to ‘just be yourself’ and ‘be creative.’”

As the judges attempted to come up with winners for our contests as not everyone can come in 1st place; David and Susan paid tribute to the functionaries who made the contest possible: Timers Scott Maloney ACB, ALB and Kate Murray; Vote Counter Renee Ellis CC, CL and Tina Weiczorek, Sgt. at Arms Kara Newcomb ACG, ALB; Chief Judge Ken Walley DTM and of course Contest Chair Susan Storma ACB, ALB and Contest Master David Hundeby themselves.

Our Area 33 Director Mona Cherkaoui ACG, ALB was on hand to help hand out the trophies. In the Table Topics Contest coming in second place was Bethany Johnson and keeping it a family affair, her father… Joe Mangasale took the first place prize!

In the International Speech Content Chi Simons DTM took 2nd place and… Drumroll please… Bob Steg ACB won 1st Place!


Photo: (l to r) Joe Mangascle, Bethany Johnson, Chi Simons and Bob Steg.

In this 85th year of Club #28 these contests will go down in history as two of the best held. They will be remembered fondly for at least another 85 years.

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