Niles Optimists launch essay contest

Published 2:37 am Thursday, January 15, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Noon Optimist Club is now accepting submissions for their annual essay competition, which is themed "Being the Best I Can Be."
The competition is open to all high school students 18 years old or younger and the deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. The essays should be 400-500 words.
Mark Whitaker, of Tyler Motors, has been involved with the optimist club for a little more than a year and is the chairman of this event.
The club has chosen three well-respected community members to judge the essays, which will be evaluated on form and content.
The contest is free to enter and offers a variety of benefits to the winner. The contestant who finishes in first place will receive an optimist essay medallion, a six month YMCA family membership, gift certificates from Walmart and Tan Unique and the essay will be published in the Niles Daily Star.
The winner will also have the opportunity to compete in the Michigan essay contest with a possibility of advancing to the international contest.
Whitaker said the Optimist International competition awards $44,000 in scholarships each year.
He also said everyone who enters the Niles contest will receive a participation award.
There were approximately 60 entries last year and Whitaker hopes to have at least 100 contestants this year.
Entry forms may be picked up at the following locations: Niles Community Library, Niles-Buchanan YMCA, The Niles Daily Star, Majerek's Readers World, Niles, Brandywine, Buchanan and Edwardsburg Senior High Schools. The finished essays may also be dropped off at these locations or mailed to Optimist Essay Contest, 313 E. Main St., Niles, MI, 49120.
The Noon Optimist Club of Niles meets every Tuesday at noon. For more information regarding the essay contest or the club, call Mark Whitaker at 683-1710.