Optimist Club of Coronado

2019 Oratorical Contest Results

MeOptimism Declaimed, Wonderfully: Fourteen eager students, aged eleven to fourteen, from Sacred Heart Parish School and Coronado Middle School, spoke on the topic Is There A Fine Line Between Reality And Optimism? at the Coronado Optimists 48th Annual Oratorical Contest on February 27th in the Library’s Winn Room. All the students carried themselves well and dealt with this seemingly dry topic with winning charm, vivacity, and persuasive sincerity to the delight parents, siblings, and Optimists filling the Coronado Library’s Winn Room. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medallion winners were: Logan McKerring, Valeria Quiroga, and Marietta Renison. Bravos to all!

There were many memorable moments in the students’ 4 – 5 minute speeches. They quoted many historic optimists including Henry Ford, “…If you think you can or you can’t you are right,” “…Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently,” and added their own insightful aphorisms, “…Reality is life, optimism makes life better,” “…Reality is the facts of life that surround you, but optimism is a positive lens through which you view your reality,” “…Things happen because of our optimism in ourselves and in others,” “…If Jack can climb the beanstalk, you can get your job…,” “…it was through optimism and family love that we got through that reality…,” “….Optimism is a state of mind...that can steer you to accept any reality…,” and “I am optimistic that I have a chance of winning this contest today, and that is my way of showing optimism in reality.” Coronado

Optimist Club President Carla Fargo and President-elect Dennis Dorman presented each student a well-earned Certificate of Participation and thanked the parents and teachers for encouraging their students to enter the contest. All were very proud of their students, daughters and sons who are terrific young adults with bright futures

Judges for the contest were Mike Lavin, Paul Lull, and George Kunberger, with Sue Cargill serving as timekeeper; Marta Radcliffe, Julia Turpit, and Molly McKay as greeters/curators; Pat Kelly, Sergeant-At-Arms; Lee Cargill, photographer; Irish Flynn, contest scribe; and Gene Rathswohl, contest coordinator – Optimist Club members all.

Announcing the 2019 Oratorical Contest

The Wall! Immigrants!! Climate Change!! Violence and conflicts!! Poverty!! Security!! The list of human concerns goes on and on. What is the reality of these issues? Can we be optimistic about the future? Coronado school students are urged to express their own thoughts and concerns in the 2019 Coronado Optimists Oratorical Contest on the topic Is There A Fine Line Between Optimism And Reality?

This is the 48th year of the Coronado Optimists’ contest and will be held in the Winn Room at the Coronado Library on Wednesday, February 27th at 3:30 – 6:00p.m. The contest is an enjoyable but serious public-speaking opportunity for Coronado students to explore why they are so confident and optimistic about their future. All are invited to attend the contest, especially the students’ families and friends, and be amazed with the students’ insights and the quality of their speeches.

All Coronado school students, including home-schooled students, under the age of 19 as of October 1, 2018 (there is no minimum age) are eligible to participate and encouraged to apply. Students are urged to work with his/her teacher to prepare their speech.

The students’ 4 – 5 minute speeches are judged on content, presentation, poise, and overall effectiveness. All the students receive participation certificates and the top three students receive medallions and cash awards. The top two students can go on to compete at the Optimists zone and district level contests in April for college scholarships up to $2,500; the district level winner can participate in the Optimist Oratorical World Championship in July for a college scholarship up to $22,500.

The Application form, which includes all the contest rules, is below. It is also available from Gene Rathswohl, the contest coordinator, at

Completed application forms should be mailed to:

Gene Rathswohl
924 Eighth Street
Coronado, CA 92118

Applications must be received by Friday, February 22, 2019.

A maximum of 20 students can participate, so the earlier an application is submitted the better. Feel free to contact Gene with any questions you have regarding the contest.

(image above is from the 2018 Oratorical Contest)

Optimist Sports Fiesta 2018

New and Old Events Highlight 2018 Optimists Club’s Sports Fiesta

It is historic. It is fun, and most importantly, it is an inspiring collaboration of local businesses joining forces to support Coronado’s youth.

Returning events include the 1-mile rough water ocean swim, a 5K run, and the longest, continuous running triathlon in the world. The triathlon consists of a 400 yard ocean swim, 1-mile run and 4-mile bike ride.

New events on Saturday, July 28, include a Cornhole tournament (youth and adult divisions) and Family Carnival. Both will run from noon - 4:00 pm at Sunset Park. Beach Volleyball at North Beach begins at 9 am. Pickleball and Lawn Bowling tournaments will be on Sunday, July 29th at the Coronado Marriott and Spreckels Community Center and Bowling Green, respectively.

For spectators and those who just want to hang out and enjoy a Coronado tradition, there will be a picnic area from noon to 4pm at Sunset Park. All are encouraged to bring their own food and drink, (no alcohol please) or they can order from Panera, which will be taking orders and delivering to Sunset Park July 28th.

Entrance fees range from $10 (for under 18) to $40 (day of registration). Some events are capped, so sign up early by clicking the Sports Fiesta link at the top of this page. Carnival games are just 50 cents and everyone wins a prize!

A Tribute to Optimist Stan Searfus

This morning we had a special presentation by Ben Ruef.  His mother, Julie, is an Optimist Club member.  Ben was one of the lucky kids who was mentored by our own Optimist, the late Stan Searfus.  Ben produced a spectacular tribute video of Stan and gave us a showing.  Excellent and inspiring work, Ben.  You've created a lasting legacy for one of the good guys, our friend Stan.

CHS Girls Basketball

The CHS Girls Basketball Team came to update us on their season.  We give them a check to help with their expenses.  It's always a pleasure to see the youth we support at our meetings!

Coronado Junior Optimist Activities

Coronado's Junior Optimist Club, sponsored by the Optimist Club of Coronado, participated in group activities and team building with other Junior Optimist clubs from the San Diego/CALSOUTH  area.

A nice turnout of 18 enthusiastic Junior Optimists and three Junior Optimist Club Advisors met at the Mission Bay Santa Clara Recreation Center near the Sail Bay area of the Park on January 20, 2018.  Junior Optimists representing six California South (CALSO) District Junior Optimist Clubs shared a morning of fun activities led by Immediate Past President of Junior Optimist International, O'Hara Wickham, and current Junior Optimist International Director, and Coronado's own, Cole Mullins.

The group performed a team oriented, "ice breaker" activity searching the floor for answers to questions posed by the leaders.  New friendships were made, and a lot of fun was had by all.  The Club Members shared their recent and current Club activities and upcoming plans.  The leaders shared news from the CALSO JOI District and Junior Optimist International and upcoming Scholarship Contests, including Essay, Oratorical, and the Reel Optimism Video Contest.  A pizza luncheon was enjoyed by all before the teams headed out for the beach cleanup community service project.  Books were collected for the inner city school in the CALSO JOI District wide 'Joy of Reading' service project.  The event was concluded with a clean beach, happy Junior Optimists, and  thanks from the Park Ranger for a job well done!

Installation Dinner Sep 18, 2017

On Monday at Spiros we had our annual Installation of the new board with President Crawford and release of the old board with President Zoll.  Molly and Renee did a marvelous job setting up our was delightful, and the company was superb.  Matt Heinecke was a great addition to the evening of friendship and lovely sunset on the San Diego Bay.  Again mission accomplished by Zoll and welcome Don and his team. Looking forward to another great year of Optimism.

Eagle Scout Candidate Jack Schiaffino

Jack Schiaffino, accompanied by his parents, came to share his completed Eagle Scout project at NASNI.  He thanked the Optimist Club of Coronado for helping him with expenses of the project.  Congratulations, Jack, on a job well done!

New Member Johnny Perez

The Optimist Club of Coronado welcomed a new member into our club.  Johnny Perez was a guest speaker and apparently liked what he saw, so he came back and decided to join!  Welcome to the club, Johnny!!!

Optimist Club of Coronado Oratorical Contest 2017

Optimist Club of Coronado to Sponsor Oratorical Contest

“To be, or not to be…” famously spoke Hamlet. Local Coronado students can earnestly speak their thoughts on the topic, What the World Gains from Optimism, as participants in the 2017 Optimist International Oratorical Contest sponsored by the Optimist Club of Coronado.

The Oratorical Contest gives students an opportunity to organize and present their ideas and opinions to an audience, a valuable life skill. The Optimist Club of Coronado has been sponsoring the Oratorical Contest each year since 1971 helping to bring out the best in our students.

This year’s contest will be held in the Winn Room at the Coronado Library on Wednesday, March 22nd at 3:30 p.m. Judges will assess the students’ 4 – 5 minute speeches based on content, presentation, poise, and overall effectiveness. The top three students receive medallions and cash awards. The top two students have the opportunity to compete at the zone level contest in April; the zone winners will then compete at the California-South District level for the opportunity to win college scholarships.

Coronado students, including home-schooled students, under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2016 are eligible to participate and encouraged to apply. Application forms and contest rules are available online and from Gene Rathswohl, the contest coordinator, at Completed application forms should be either emailed or mailed to Gene Rathswohl, 924 Eighth St., Coronado, CA 92118. Applications must be received by Tuesday, March 14th. A maximum of 20 students can participate, so the earlier an application is submitted the better. Contact Gene with any questions regarding the contest rules.

Optimist International is one of the world’s largest service club organizations with over 75,000 adult and youth members in 2,600 clubs in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and throughout the world. 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 the Optimist Club of Coronado, visit our web site, come to a weekly Thursday morning meeting at 7:00 AM at the Community Center, or contact any member of the club.

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