Belgrade, MT – February 28, 2016: The Montana American Legion High School Oratorical Competition sponsored by the American Legion of Montana and its 134 Posts located throughout Montana concluded In Belgrade on Sunday February 28. Michael Fuller of Helena who attends Helena High School prevailed over four other contestants for the right to represent Montana at the American Legion National Finals. The National competition will take place April 15 – 17, 2016 in Indianapolis, IN.

Winner of the 2016 Oratory Contest Michael Fuller of Helena High School with Department Commander Jim Grosset of Calgary (Photo: MT American Legion)

Fuller won the local competition sponsored by Lewis & Clark Post #2 and then went on to take the District contest in Butte a week later for the chance to compete in the state finals. Ryan Dresen of Ronan took second place followed by Tanner Condit of Frenchtown third.

The American Legion established the annual oratorical contest in 1939 as part of its multi-faceted Americanism Program. The focus of the competition has always been the United States Constitution.

The subject of the prepared oration portion of the contest must be about some phase of the constitution of the United States, emphasizing the duties and obligations of a citizen to the United States government. The prepared oration must be an original effort of each contestant and should be 8 – 10 minutes in length.

The Montana state winners 1st through 4th places are eligible for monetary scholarships from the American Legion of Montana. Also as part of the American Legion program fee waiver scholarships are available from the various units of the Montana University system as well as Carroll College. Information on these scholarships is available from high school guidance counselors or the American Legion.

In addition to the awards by winners of the various elimination rounds of the National Competition, university scholarships of $18,000, 16,000 and $14,000 will be awarded to the 1st through 3rd place winners in the National Finals.

Each state winner who competes in the first round of the National Contest will receive a $1500 scholarship.

Participants in the second round who do not advance to the national Final round will receive and additional $1500 scholarship. The top three youth orators who have won all previous rounds will vie for the top honors in the National contest.
American Legion will pay the expenses of the state winners.

The American Legion State Oratorical Chairman is Jeff Holmes, Harlowton, Montana