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Gabriella Germann wins Ceres Rotary speech contest
Ceres Rotary Speech Contest Group Pic 1 22 16
Participants in the Rotary Club of Ceres Speech Tournament were: (left to right), Makalya Souza, honorable mention; Vinay Soni, second-place winner; Ismael Ontiveros, honorable mention; Danielle Haro, third-place winner; first place winner Gabriella Germann; and Raven Lonewarrior, honorable mention finisher. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Central Valley High School senior Gabriella Germann won first place and $125 in the annual speech contest hosted by the Rotary Club of Ceres on Friday.

The theme of this year's Rotary Club of Ceres Speech Tournament was "Be a Gift to the World." Students were asked how the theme applies to their current lives and toward their future, including educational goals and involvement in community service. The speech was to incorporate key components, including how Rotarians and Rotary Clubs serve as a "Gift to the World."

A total of 21 students from Argus, Central Valley, Ceres and Whitmore Charter high schools participated in round one of the competition. Two from each site were selected to compete at the club level on Jan. 22, with the first-place winner moving on to the area competition Feb. 19.

Vinay Soni, a Ceres High junior, won second place and $100.

Third place and $75 went to Danielle Haro, a Central Valley High junior.

Honorable mention titles with $25 each went to Raven Lonewarrior, an Argus High junior; Ismael Ontiveros, a CHS junior; and Makayla Souza, a junior at Whitmore Charter High School.

Each year local Rotary Clubs encourage high school students to enter the Rotary International Speech Competition, which is based on the presidential theme of Rotary International. President, K.R. Ravindran from the Rotary Club of Sri Lanka, chose the theme "Be a Gift to the World" to represent his year in office.