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Youngsters shine in 4-H public speaking contest

Eleanor Bax, 12, delivers a PowerPoint presentation at Sunday’s annual 4-H speech contest. The contest, as well as other 4-H competitions, are held the week of the Jefferson City Jaycees Fair. This was the first time a category was held for technology-assisted speeches.

Eleanor Bax, 12, delivers a PowerPoint presentation at Sunday’s annual 4-H speech contest. The contest, as well as other 4-H competitions, are held the week of the Jefferson City Jaycees Fair. This was the first time a category was held for technology-assisted speeches.

Eleanor Bax projected confidence and poise beyond her 12 years on Sunday as she gave a PowerPoint presentation about a French breed of chicken called salmon Faverolles.

It was the first time a category for technology-assisted speeches was added to the annual Cole County 4-H Club public speaking contest, and Bax was in her element.

The subject of her speech was close to her heart — it’s her favorite breed of chicken, and a breed that her family raises in St. Martins. The breed is notable for its salmon color and its five toes per foot rather than the usual four.

“They’re really cool,” she said before the contest. “They’re very pretty. And the roosters have lots of color.”

PowerPoint is no stranger to the seventh-grader at St. Martin Catholic School either, as she’s been making the presentations for the past two years at school.

For many people the county fair starts today, but for 4-H members, it started with events held two weeks leading up to the carnival and entertainment at the Jefferson City Jaycees Fairgrounds. Sunday’s 4-H contest held at the Cole County Extension Center drew about two dozen spectators, including the eight competitors.

Bax said her past experience with contests were mostly limited to sports. This was her first speech contest. Was she nervous? “A little bit, bit if you get a little nervous, it makes you better.”

For her efforts, Bax was awarded with two gold medals for her PowerPoint speech.

Gold medal winners can advance to the state fair.

Other winners were:

• Troy Ludwig — gold medal for his speech “What is a Hero?” and another gold medal for his humorous speech on the story of Charlie Brown.

• Claire Luwig — gold medal for her speech on the history of Missouri Fairs and gold for her humorous speech “Judus Asparagus.”

• Eileen Shafer — gold medal for her speech “Passion for Fashion.”

• Madelyn Hansen — gold medal for her speech “The Runaway Prophet.”

• Rachel Holsapple — gold medal for her speech “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by W.B. Yates.

• Lauren Holsapple — silver medal for her humorous speech.

• Hannah Hansen — silver medal for her speech on “Camouflage in the Wild.”

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