By HDN Editorial Board
People in our area had a chance to participate in something really special this past weekend.
The state debate and speech tournament was held here, and it was a really marvelous event. Local people provided judging for events like team debate, original oratory, pantomime and serious dramatization by a duo for teens from all over Montana.
What a pleasure it was. These kids have amazing talent. Be it a proposition to reduce the number of nuclear warheads in the world, or a speech on the delights and health benefits of chocolate, or an explanation of why "The Simpsons" is simply the best television show ever in America, these kids displayed remarkable creativity and poise.
The serious messages sometimes indicated admirable maturity and thoughtfulness, such as the young woman who spoke about the need for personal responsibility in life. Young people need to work for what they want, she said, and not expect or demand that their dream job be presented to them right after they graduate from college. Another young woman explained her decision not to be an underage drinker. Yet another explained adoption and how it enable her to have a life in a stable, secure environment.
After each performance, the competitors graciously thanked the judges for giving up part of their day to help with the tournament.
Thank you, tournament organizers Peggy Fink, Kevin Shellenberger and Tim Leeds (who is a reporter at this newspaper) for your hard work in putting this state tournament together. Local parents and other volunteers were also crucial to making the tournament happen, both in judging and in running the event. Thanks also go to the building principals and staff who donated use of four school buildings to the tournament.
Also, thanks to Debbie Vandeberg and others with the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce. The event meant a weekend of filled hotels, motels and restaurants in Havre during another otherwise slow season.
It also enabled people here to observe the wonderful work of some of the best of Montana's young people.