Toastmasters salute humorous speech, evaluation winners

Published: Monday, October 21, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 1, 2013 at 6:50 p.m.

The Gainesville Area 70 Toastmasters Club announced winners of the 2013 Humorous Speech & Evaluation Contest.

The Humorous Speech Contest winners are: First Place, Greg Smith of the Gainesville Club; Second Place, Stephanie Travis of the Gator Club; and Third Place, Elena Rhoades of Talking Gators Club.

The winners of the Evaluation Contest of a target speaker are: First Place, Roz Miller of Gainesville Toastmasters;  Second Place, Erika Meinholz of Gator Toastmasters; and Third Place, Mary Savage of Talking Gators Club

Toastmasters International is an organization that helps members develop good communication, presentation, speaking and leadership skills.


Samantha Donlin of University of Florida and Shands Children’s Hospital is one of the winners of the Third Annual “Superheroes of Nursing” Contest, sponsored by Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Donlin was recognized with The Achiever Award at the American Nurses Credentialing Center, or ANCC,  National Magnet Conference held recently in Orlando.


Four Floridians who have provided outstanding contributions to Florida’s agriculture industry and who have mentored future leaders in agriculture will be inducted to the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame  2014 at the Agricultural Hall of Fame Banquet to be held Feb. 11 in Tampa.

They are:  

Scottie Butler of  Gainesville who retired as general counsel from the Florida Farm Bureau Federation in September 2013, after more than 40 years advocating for Florida’s farmers and ranchers. In addition to his expertise, Butler believes in helping raise up the next generation of agriculture leaders and has mentored several of today’s industry leaders.

Bruce Christmas Sr. of Cottondale is a former director of the Poultry Evaluation Center at the University of Florida. Christmas is a fifth generation farmer from Jackson County and a former Orange County extension agent. He has been recognized by many organizations for his leadership and his volunteer service to youth and was previously chosen “National Volunteer of the Year” for the National Agriculture Alumni and Development Association.

Dr. Elver “Doc” Hodges of Wauchula is a retired professor emeritus at the University of Florida. Hodges’ contributions to the livestock industry in Florida are enormous. His research as an agronomist identified problems and found solutions to enrich low-quality Florida soils, which revolutionized peninsular Florida beef production. He served with the University of Florida Range Cattle Research and Education Center and with the USAID International Program in Malawi. In addition, he was involved with his local 4-H program for many years.

Dallas Townsend is a retired director of the University of Florida Hendry County Extension Office. Townsend served 39 years as an extension agent in Southwest Florida and was instrumental in working with IFAS and the agriculture industry to bring more research capacity to the area through the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. His involvement with youth and 4-H is legendary, coaching more than a dozen 4-H teams and thousands of 4-H youth.


Starke resident S.A. Molteni is the winner of a September writing contest for her short story, “Her Name Was Half Calf,” about a favorite pet calf. The contest was sponsored by Midlife Collage, an online publication that  sponsors a weekly contest of midlife short stories.

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