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SAR Objectives Confirmed During
Annual Oration Contest

Compelling Leaders of Tomorrow Stirred the Arizona Audience

By Larry McKinley, Fairfax Resolves Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution

Published in the Summer 2012 Edition of The SAR Magazine

 

Arizona provided an excellent backdrop for the orations presented to Compatriots and guests by 14 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. Each competitor represented a State Society’s participation in the SAR Rumbaugh Orations Contest. Since 1949, the youth of this nation have been encouraged and our historical education system has been supported by Compatriots across the country, encouraging high school students to conduct research and report on a person, place, battle or document which contributed to our Revolutionary War period success as a nation. One key to their convincing speeches is delivering the historical content with what meaning this historical activity has for us today!

With President General Larry Magerkurth, left, and Larry McKinley, Tight, are participants, front row, from left: Abigail Kohake (Kentucky), Chassidy Menard (Louisiana), Hannah Stimson (Florida), Carley Lynn Stamps (Georgia), Anna J. Goodman (Kansas), Rebecca Catherine Kneebone (Maryland), and Rachel C. Thompson (Alabama). Back row, from left: Lydia Grace Richardson (Ohio), Phillip Paul Cozzi (Illinois), Bode Wayne McKay (Texas), Joshua Underwood (Virginia), Joshua Joseph Letwat (Indiana), Shinn LaMachio (Mississippi), and Ariel Elana Sobel (New York).

With President General Larry Magerkurth, left, and Larry McKinley, Tight, are participants, front row, from left: Abigail Kohake (Kentucky), Chassidy Menard (Louisiana), Hannah Stimson (Florida), Carley Lynn Stamps (Georgia), Anna J. Goodman (Kansas), Rebecca Catherine Kneebone (Maryland), and Rachel C. Thompson (Alabama). Back row, from left: Lydia Grace Richardson (Ohio), Phillip Paul Cozzi (Illinois), Bode Wayne McKay (Texas), Joshua Underwood (Virginia), Joshua Joseph Letwat (Indiana), Shinn LaMachio (Mississippi), and Ariel Elana Sobel (New York).

While participating in the contest as an orator may be daunting to some, participation in the contest as a judge is hailed as one of the "hardest jobs at Congress." The orators moved the audience to standing ovations during each preliminary session as well as the finals on Sunday night. These contestants can be proud of their performances and their excellent communication skills – they are clearly future American leaders!

Scholarship and Knowledge

A leader learns communication through practice, and the Rumbaugh Orations Contestants persuaded the audience on the topic of their choice. These students riveted the audience with stories of heroes and important philosophical points of view. They challenged the audience to link these stories and points of view with the American Revolution, a link that many say is lost on the youth of today. These Contestants worked hard on their research and presentation, practicing for hours before making their appearance in Phoenix. The SAR should reward that with a commensurate scholarship.

With hundreds of youth contests competing for student’s time, the SAR Rumbaugh Orations Contest needs to provide compelling reasons to capture a student’s attention. The most compelling factor is a worthwhile monetary reward for active participation. These students annually educate and inspire their communities by presenting their orations at the Chapter and State levels and functions such as July 4th celebrations. Each listening ear hears the SAR objectives being reinforced.

We MUST Increase Financial Support

Significant financial support is required annually to operate the current level of the Orations contest. Up to $11,000 is dispersed annually to contestants. To remain competitive with other service organizations and to compete for the talent, the Rumbaugh Orations Contest need to distribute at least $30,000 annually. SAR can do this by increasing the Orations Contest endowment to $1,000,000 (in the long term) and at least $750,000 (in the short term). The current endowment is $238,000.

In order to enhance our endowment we need to raise the funds from all sources, individual and business. The more monies SAR brings in from Compatriots, the more leverage SAR has during negotiations with corporations. Remember — the Orations contest is training the future leaders of America. Encourage Chapters, Chapter Members to make contributions in honor of a special program speaker during your fiscal year. Make a donation from your State Society in honor of your Orations Chairman! Pass along points of contact for companies who might be interested in donating to a vitally important historical and educational program. If you prefer to contact the company yourself, please pass along contact information to Larry McKinley (contact info below) so efforts are not duplicated.

How You Can Help:

The enhanced endowment was kicked off (with great response) at the 2012 Congress with the authorization of the new Dr. Joseph Warren Medal.

Joseph Warren, a Boston doctor, was the orator selected to commemorate the anniversary of the Boston Massacre. Because the orator would be heckled by unforgiving British officers and sympathizers, Warren bravely presented his speech with a steady and firm voice. Warren’s stirring oratory skill recruited more patriots and moved others to support the Revolution.

Dr. Joseph Warren Medal - Obverse, Reverse, and Patron Ribbon

Dr. Joseph Warren Medal - Obverse, Reverse, and Patron Ribbon

Donations of $250 or more will be recognized with the standard and miniature size medal set. Donations of $1,000 or more will be recognized with a campaign bar for the standard medal. The medal is suspended from a blue, gold and white drape.

On the back of the large medal is a quote from Dr. Warren’s Boston Massacre commemorative oration:

“On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.”

Send contributions to:

Larry McKinley
12158 Holly Knoll Circle
Great Falls, Virginia 22066
Dustoff@Verizon.net

 

Please make checks payable to NSSAR and indicate “Orations Endowment” in the memo field.

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2017 Fairfax Resolves Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution