Jonathan Gardner receives his trophy from Frank Natera

Gardner receives his trophy from Natera

Jonathan Garner and Dustin McEwen, two talented speakers, were crowned champions during District 23’s Fall 2016 Conference in El Paso, Texas, on October 14-16, 2016, at the El Paso Marriott.

Jonathan won District 23’s Evaluation contest and Dustin won the district’s Tall Tales contest.

In the Evaluation contest, all contestants where challenged to deliver a 2 to 3 minute evaluation of a test speech by Past District Governor Roy Crawford, DTM. Without hearing each other’s evaluations, the contestants were brought back into the contest room one at a time. As the contestants delivered their speech evaluations of Roy’s speech, judges from around the district scored the contestants according to the Toastmasters International judges ballot and awarded first place to Jonathan, who hails from Los Lunas, New Mexico, and is a member of the Midday Madness club in Albuquerque and the Valencia Voices club in Valencia. Rusty Rodke of Santa Fe took home second place.

Dustin McEwen receives his trophy from Frank Natera

McEwen receives his trophy from Natera

The Tall Tales contest features speakers delivering highly improbably and completely over the top stories, often delivered in a humorous manner. Dustin, a member of the Toasters Club in Lubbock, Texas, regaled the audience with his speech titled “McEwen Tales,” a story of his McEwen relatives from medieval Scotland. The story featured a witch, the Loch Ness monster, Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, and a slew of famous warriors known as the McEwen Clan. Second place went to Darrell Henderson of El Paso, Texas, and his speech “The Wingman.” Diana Rodney of Amarillo, Texas, took third place with her speech, “Bear Country USA.”

Frank Natera of El Paso, Texas, chaired and organized the speech contests during the Fall Conference.