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Students can win cash for top essays in Optimists' contest

The Coquitlam Optimist Club is offering $450 in prizes and an opportunity to win a $2,500 scholarship in Optimist International's 2011 essay contest. The essay contest is open to students under 19 years of age as of Dec. 31, 2010.

The Coquitlam Optimist Club is offering $450 in prizes and an opportunity to win a $2,500 scholarship in Optimist International's 2011 essay contest.

The essay contest is open to students under 19 years of age as of Dec. 31, 2010. Contestants must submit essays of 700 to 800 words on the topic "How my Education is the Key to a Successful Future."

The Coquitlam Optimist Club will award cash prizes of $300 for first place, $100 for second and $50 for third. The first-place winner will advance to the Pacific Northwest District contest with the opportunity to win a $2,500 college scholarship. The Pacific Northwest District includes Optimist Clubs in B.C., Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. In addition, one international winner entered through an Optimist Club in Canada, the U.S.A. or the Caribbean will have his or her essay published in the Optimist International Magazine.

To enter, students must first fill out an application form. To receive the application form along with detailed contest rules and information on how to submit essays, call Dan Robek (604-939-8228) or Peter Smith (604-469-1514), or email coquitlamoptimists@gmail.com. Deadline for entries is Feb. 10, 2011.

Additional information, including the application form, is available at the Optimist International website, http://www.optimist.org/e/member/scholarships3.cfm, but all application forms and essays from Tri-City students must be submitted to the Coquitlam Optimist Club.