Paola Optimist Club

Paola Optimist Club

PAOLA — Local students soon will get the chance to cash in on their writing skills thanks to the Paola Optimist Club.

The club is sponsoring an essay contest in conjunction with Optimist International that is open to students under age 19 as of Oct. 1, 2019.

Students meeting the age limitation in public, parochial, home or private schools are eligible to participate.

This year’s essay topic is “Is optimism the key to achieving the dreams you imagine?” and essays must be 700 to 800 words.

Participants have the opportunity to win a college scholarship of up to $2,500 at the Kansas District level.

Interested students should submit essays to the Paola Optimist Club no later than Wednesday, Jan. 29. No individual who has previously won a district level essay scholarship will be eligible to compete at any level of the contest again, according to a news release.

Essays are judged at the club, district and international levels. The club level winner will be determined by Saturday, Feb. 1, and medallions will be awarded for first, second and third places, along with $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place. The awards will be presented at the club meeting March 31 at the Paola Country Club.

All others who have met the application entry requirements will receive a $10 cash award and a certificate of participation.

District level winners will be determined by April 21, and first-place winners will receive a plaque and $2,500 college scholarship.

Applications for the essay contest have been provided to local schools and are also available from Jim Gray, essay contest chair, by calling 913-306-0433 or sending an email to

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