The Sunrise Optimist Club of Freehold is encouraging area students to speak their minds about the topic Where are my roots of Optimism as part of the Optimists International Oratorical Contest for the 2017-2018 year.

The Optimist Club will judge the local students speeches based on content and presentation to determine the top two winners.  Winners will each receive $500.00 scholarships and the first place student will compete at the Zone level and possibly the District level for the opportunity to win college scholarships.  Winners of the District level will win $2,500 and will be eligible to compete in a regional competition in St. Louis Missouri at Saint Louis University.  Winners of the regional contests will win $5,000 and compete in the World Championship also held at Saint Louis University.  At the world competition 1st  place winner gets $15,000, 2nd place $10,000 and 3rd place $5,000.  Students could possibly win up to $22,500 or more in scholarships!

The contest is open to students under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2017.As they prepare for their future, many of our local students need experience expressing their thoughts and opinions to an audience, Club President Shari Scaramuzzo said.  The Oratorical Contest challenges them to do just that and also offers an opportunity for scholarships. In this way, our club hopes to bring out the best in each of them and help them achieve their goals for the future.

The deadline to hand in speeches is March 15, 2018.  Students wishing to participate in the oratorical contest can find out more about the contest at or by contacting the club through Bill Woodard at 732-446-9782 ( or Sylvia Allen at 732-946-2711 (

The Sunrise Optimist Club of Freehold has been participating in the Optimist Oratorical Contest for many years and has been active in the community since 1985.  The Club has been involved with and supportive of many programs and services to the youth in our communities.  Two of the more notable accomplishments were the creation of Camp Quality of New Jersey, a camp for children with cancer and the Club was instrumental in the establishment of what was back then the Freehold Area Hospitals (now CentraState) Health Awareness Center.  The Clubs main area of contribution was the Drug Awareness Program and TAM (a totally anatomical model of the human body).  The Sunrise Optimist Club of Freehold meets every Friday morning @ 7 am at Perkins Restaurant, 3445 Route 9, Freehold, NJ.

Optimist International is one of the worlds largest service club organizations with 93,000 adult and youth members in 3,200 clubs in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean and throughout the world.  The Optimist Oratorical Contest is one of the organizations most popular programs, with more than 2,000 clubs participating annually. Carrying the motto Bringing Out the Best in Kids, Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than six million young people each year. To learn more about Optimist International, please call (800) 500-8130 or visit the organizations website at

Sunrise Optimist Club of Freehold

The Sunrise Optimist Club of Freehold has announced the installation of a new Board of Directors for 2017-2018. The new Board is pictured below, which includes:

Back row:  Scott Pinheiro, David Reich, Vince Halleran, Bill Woodard, Mel Crystal, Gene Riordan (District Governor) and Bob Campbell; Front row:  Alan Dworkin (Foundation Treasurer), Jeff Shapiro (Club Secretary/Treasurer), Maureen Fasano (President Elect), Shari Scaramuzzo (President) and Brian Furie.