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The Noon Optimist Club held its annual oratory contest -- themed Healing the World with Optimism -- at the Palladium on March 13. 

Model was represented by 14-year-old Sara Grace Abernathy, who placed first, and Natalie Long, 13, who placed second. From Armuchee, 15-year-old Mary Grace Taylor, 15-year-old Joshua Hash and 16-year-old Gracy Padget placed third.

"Each of the students should be commended for the outstanding job they did as they were all very impressive," the release stated.

The top three each won a cash prize and a medal. First place was $200, second place was $150 and third place was $100.

The next step for Sara Grace Abernathy and Natalie Long will be the area contest. The winners from the area contests will then go on to the district contest, which will be at the district conference on April 24 in Tucker. The top three finishers will divide a total of $5,000 in college scholarships.

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