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Area-wide oration contest held Saturday
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Front row left to right: Leah Stein, 2nd place, 8th grader at Sacred Heart Cathedral School, Dodge City; Josh Hoisington, 1st place, 6th grader at Holy Family School, Great Bend; Sarah Hammeke, 3rd place, 7th grader at St. Joseph School, Ellinwood; and back row left to right: Jordan Koerperich, 6th grader at St. Mary School in Garden City; Kristofer Liggett, 7th grader at Sacred Heart School in Ness City and Kaety Kohlhorst, 6th grader at St. Dominic School in Garden City. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Catholic students from the Dodge City Diocese learned about the importance of forming healthy habits and spoke about their knowledge at the annual Civic Oration Contest held Saturday in Great Bend.
Six contestants gave a 3-5 minute speech on a healthy living topic, chosen by the student. Josh Hoisington of Great Bend won first, Leah Stein of Dodge City won second, and Sarah Hammeke of Ellinwood won third.
The contest is sponsored by the Modern Woodmen of America.
Hoisington spoke on the importance of adequate sleep, saying, “one spends of third of life sleeping.”
He included the benefits of adequate sleep which includes mood improvement, improved athletic performance, and slowed aging. He also included tips for good sleep such as establishing a regular sleeping pattern and cutting coffee and alcohol.
“How does one achieve happiness?” asked Stein, opening her speech. Eating right, exercising, and having a strong faith life were some of the necessary components she mentioned.
Choosing an organization that promotes good health, Hammeke spoke on Heartland Farms. In her speech, she included all of the features of the farm such as organic crops.
She repeated a quote by Mark Twain, which says, “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.”
Kohlhorst spoke on oral health, Koerperich-diabetes, and Liggett-a healthy lifestyle.
The students were judged on material organization, delivery and presentation and overall effectiveness.
The contest was judged by Jeanne Habash, Wendy Lockwood and Preston Moore. Each student received an evaluation sheet afterwards that rated material organization, delivery and presentation, overall effectiveness and comments.
Holy Family School Principal Karen Moeder said the students started  working on their speeches after Christmas break. Each student was to research, outline, write a rough draft, and then a final draft.
The theme was chosen by Modern Woodmen. Each school started with a classroom competition, school competition and then moved on to the district event.