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Optimist club hosts essay contest
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The Newton-Rockdale Optimist Club is hosting an essay contest. It is open to youth up to 18 years old as of Dec. 31, 2011 who have not graduated high school or the equivalent. Those who are interested are to email to receive an application and full contest rules.

This year's topic is "how my positive outlook benefits my community". The deadline for contest entry is Jan. 31.

Essays submitted will be judged by a panel and then a first, second, and third place price will be given. The winner of the contest will go on to compete in the Georgia District contest with a first place prize of $2,500. The district has an opportunity to give out two first place prizes or a second place prize of $1,500 and a third place price of $1,000.

"We are excited about helping the children of this community," Anita Still, club president said in a statement. "We are looking for some other like-minded individuals who would like to help us improve the lives of children in our community."

The contest was first presented in 1928 and is the second most popular Optimist International Program.

Almost 2,000 clubs participate in the program every year.

Optimist International the fourth largest civic service organization and new to the Newton-Rockdale area. Their slogan is "Bringing out the Best in Kids". Each year, the club decides how to do that best with the scholarship essay being one of those important items.