Four-Way Test Speech Contest Draws Outstanding Student Speakers

By GasserOnline Correspondent, TIM COLWELL

4-Way-Test-2014-Rotary-SceneFor many years, the Rotary Club of Tulsa has challenged area high school students to model moral and ethical behavior through participation in the Rotary’s Four-Way Test Speech Contest. Once again club members were impressed by the quality of presentations; this year six outstanding speakers competed from area high schools.

The three finalists in the 2014 Four-Way Test Speech Contest pose afterward with club members who helped with the event. From left, Past-President Linda Bradshaw, who served as emcee; Robert Beers, a senior at Riverfield Country Day School; Taylor Spaulding, a sophomore at Memorial High School; winner Emma Keely, a junior at Riverfield Country Day School; club President Karen Keith, who served as a judge; and event chair Louann Buhlinger.

The winning student speaker at the Jan. 15 competition was Emma Keely, a junior at Riverfield Country Day School. Emma was presented a $750 cash award and Riverfield received $200 for her speech that challenged the audience to “leave a trace of yourself” in friendships and by helping others, using the Four-Way Test as a guide. Emma will now present her winning speech to the entire membership at next week’s club luncheon.

The other finalists included second place Roberts Beers, a junior at Riverfield, who received $500, with $150 to his school; and third place Taylor Spaulding, a sophomore at Memorial High School, who received $250, with $100 for her school. All contestants received a $50 Visa gift card, courtesy of Rotarian Tim Lyons and TTCU The Credit Union.

Emma will continue on and face competition from other Oklahoma Rotary club-sponsored contests before participating regionally for a $1,000 cash prize presented at the next Rotary District 6110 assembly.

This year committee chair and event organizer Louann Buhlinger staged the contest at the new Hardesty Arts Center of the Arts & Humanities Council, in the Brady Arts District. Close to 40 Rotarians, students, their families and speech teachers participated in the after-work event.

Past-President Linda Bradshaw emceed the event and spoken word performance artist Claire Collins entertained during the judges’ deliberation. Serving as judges were President Karen Keith, President-elect Rhonda Renz, and 2013 Tulsa Police Officer of the Year-Above and Beyond Award recipient Jesse Guardiola. Rotary board Chairman-elect Tom Byers served as an alternate judge.

Also serving on the 2014 Rotary Four-Way Test Speech Contest Committee were Erik Ortega, Jerry Bates, Desiree Daugherty, Tom Payne, Wanda Hartman, Alisha Herrera, Dawn Duca, John Howland and Tim Colwell.

The Four-Way Test of the Things We Think, Say or Do was authored by Chicago Rotarian Herbert Taylor during the Great Depression to help guide and save his nearly bankrupt Club Aluminum Company. In 1943, Rotary International adopted the simple test as an integral part of Rotary around the world, and it has stood the test of time, serving as an ethical and moral compass for Rotarians everywhere.

Rotary’s Four-Way Test of the Things We Say, Think and Do:

Is it the TRUTH?

Is it FAIR to all concerned?

Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER relationships?

Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?