Saturday, October 17, 2009

TOASTMASTERS: Division B Fall Contests

This morning, the Fall Contests for Toastmasters District 84 Division B were held at the Holiday Inn Conference Center, which was fantastic for me (so close). Anyways, everything ran smoothly, and we came out with our two winners.

For this event, I had both my point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot A710 (7.1 megapixel, 6x optical) camera, and a Nikon D80 (10.2 megapixel, 18-135mm lens) that my friends let me borrow.

The theme was "Fantasy". I saw a princess, a witch, a gypsy, a ship captain, a ladybug, Darth Vader, a Shriner, and a flapper.

Thai, Lady, Vader

Princess & Captain

Shrine On!

Witchy Woman &
Not an Abu Ghraib costume

Then there was me... in khakis and a white button-up... to which I just asked the other guests (using my best Puss-in-Boots voice) "Is this not your fantasy?".

Anyways, for the contest, I was a timer along with Gloria. She's such an extrovert, and it's refreshing from time to time not to worry about whether or not I'll have fun -- we always have a good time with it.

Before I get into the contesting, let me post pics of the food and get that out of the way.

The salad was tasty, as was the beef dish
(and I love pine nuts in my rice pilaf).

Then Gloria and I shared our desserts.

All was delicious! Okay, now for the contests...

First up: The Evaluation Contest.

New-to-District 84 (D84) John Sanderson was the test speaker, whose "My Life Reset" gave the audience some perspective on life changes, which he mentioned, are often prompted either by inspiration or desperation. Lisa R., from my area, Area 22, came out with the win, with Sylvia N. (also from our area but representing a different area) came in second.

Next was the Humorous Speech Contest.

There were five contestants, starting with Vladimir N. from Area 22 talking about street racing with friends and a car without brakes. Next, Bill B. gave an account of Navy boot camp, then Dan Brown discussed the differences between men and women (it's in their genes). Amy S. spoke and demonstrated the dedication of some fathers from the animal kingdom, and Fonnie B. shared some lessons she learned from her pet fish.

Amy and her Jack Hanna/Discover Channel speech are moving on to represent Division B at the District Conference in a couple weeks. Fonnie took second and Dan Brown third.

Overall, I was pleased with and agreed with the results. Congratulations and good luck to the winners.

As with many Toastmasters contests, there were raffles and a 50/50. I purchased 25 raffle tickets and went in with Gloria for another 25 50/50 tickets (the pot was about $117).

But before any of tickets were drawn, our Division B Governor Dee M. told the audience about something she saw done and wanted to do -- which was to give a gift to the person who was first to register for the event. And that was... ME! (woo!).

Upon arriving at the contest, Gloria brought me to the raffle prize table and asked which prize I liked the most -- telling me that if she won it, she'd give it to me. I had asked her the same question, and she said that she'd want the decorative candle set. Unbeknownst to me, I was being set up, and I got the prize that I wanted.

Is this not your fantasy?

In the actual raffle, I won a Yankee Candle, and I was able to return the favor to Gloria -- last year, she won the Toastmasters tote bag that I wanted and selflessly gave it to me. Anyways... we didn't win the 50/50 but we both went home with a prize and had a good time.

As for the camera-ing, I primarily used the Nikon because of its speed. It was a little bulky and intimidating, but it was good practice. Most of the picture did turn out darker than I expected, which was a disappointment, and for now, I think that I'm going to continue with my point-and-shoot.

UPDATE: again, we didn't win the 50/50 raffle, but I enjoyed drawing animals on the back of the tickets...

I love my Pilot VBall pens!


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