A Historic Speech: The 16th Annual Gettysburg Address Contest

Gettysburg Address Contest 2014

As the nation celebrated the 151st Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, 8 middle school students from local West Chester schools recited the speech with pride and tremendous poise. Despite a little rain, the students gave their speeches from the Lincoln Building balcony to the parade goers on the street below.

Hosted by the Chester County Community Foundation and the Historical and Architectural Review Board (HARB), “each student did a great job delivering their speeches” commented Joe Martino, contest organizer.

Michael Usilton, Sarah Guan, and Karsten Neal from Fugett Middle School, placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. Samantha Topka, Kristyn Usilton, and Johanna Arevalo from Fugett Middle School as well as Alana Pappas from Saints Peter and Paul School, all received participation certificates. Johanna Arevalo of Saint Agnes School rounded out the contest by winning the award for Best Costume. Cash prizes were presented to all. Judges included Dr. John Noakes, Associate Provost for Faculty Advancement & Student Learning, Arcadia University, Kate Shaw, Executive Director of Research for Action and Carol Clark, Chester County Community Foundation Board Member, and Michael Karwic, Investment Specialist, Iron Valley Wealth Management.

In addition, Mayor Comitta greeted and thanked the Little Lincolns for participating in the contest and learning such an important historical speech. Bob Gross, event founder and Master of Ceremonies, was pleased with this year’s participants, saying “all of the students presented the speech beautifully, even ignoring an ambulance with its sirens and lights on across the street during their speeches.” A representative from State Senator Andy Dinniman’s office also presented each contestant with a certificate.

The event encourages youth, their families, and friends to become more involved in the community around them and more deeply appreciate local history and the key events that have shaped our nation.

Event sponsors included:

Friends of Mayor Carolyn Comitta, Committee to Elect Kathleen Cozzone, Friends of Andy Dinniman, Friends of Dan Truitt, DNB First, Fulton Bank, Iron Valley Wealth Management, Buckley, Brion, McGuire, Morris and Sommer, Susquehanna Wealth Management, StanAb, LP, Team Jean Gross Homes, Weston Solutions and Zukin Realty.