Sonoma Lions announce speech winners

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The Valley of the Moon Lions Club’s recent speech contest was won by Andee Pressley, 17, a senior at Sonoma Valley High School. Pressley is a student in Janet Hansen’s speech and forensic class. She has taken the first step in winning a scholarship for college by winning the local Lions Club contest.

Pressley was among three contestants in Sonoma’s annual California Lions Club Student Speaker contest. Lions Club international sponsors the program to emphasize the importance of public speaking as a critically important life skill.

The winning speech was selected by a panel of judges which included Don Orr, John Fanucchi and Rachel Hundley. The judges scored the speeches for their originality, main points supported by evidence, conclusion, emphasis, voice control enunciation, pronunciation, sincerity, enthusiasm, poise, cohesive effort, logic, organization, speaker persuasiveness and adhering to the topic.

The 2019 topic was “Freedom of the Press: What Does it Mean?“

The judging was held on Monday, Jan. 28 at the Moose Lodge on Broadway.

City Councilmember Rachel Hundley said that she was honored to help judge the competition and impressed by the timeliness of the topic.

“We heard excellent and thoughtful remarks by some of our Sonoma Valley High students,” she said.

Valley of the Moon Lions Club President and chairman of the speech contest, Frank Lucchetti said that he was impressed by the expression and creativity of the students.

“It is obvious that these young people have strong ideas about current events,” he said. “I am so proud that we were able to provide them with the opportunity to share their views and skills.“

Pressley will attempt to advance through zone, region, district, area and state championship levels to earn up to $21,000 in scholarships.

“Our club is proud in promoting Pressley as she advances in the competition and we hope that her self expression and independent thinking inspires the public’s perspective on this topic,“ Lucchetti said.

Lions International is the worlds largest service club organization with more than 1.35 million members in 210 countries around the world. Learn more at

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