Several eager spectators filled the library auditorium on March 2 to await the third annual Marie Clegg-Jones Speech Competition.

The competition included a host of talented young speakers addressing a variety of different issues relevant to both the local community and nation as a whole.

While all participants were impressive in their own way, Tyler Fenn stole the spotlight and the $500 grand prize. His speech centered around fire and smoke alarm safety, specifically in the home. The purpose was to educate the general population on the dangers of low quality smoke alarms and the benefit of upgrading to a higher quality system.

Fenn took second place in the competition two years ago but was motivated to compete once again.

“When I saw the banners this semester I thought you know what I’m gonna do it again, I’m gonna go for the gold,” said Fenn. “So I feel pretty good that I set out to accomplish something and was able to do it.”

Fenn stressed the importance of his message saying that it is crucial to know what you can do to avoid a potentially tragic situation.

“Just educate yourself on fire safety in the home,” said Fenn. “Make sure that you’re not living a life of ignorant bliss because it can take your life.”

Paul Starita placed second in the contest taking home $250 while Dustin Phelps placed third winning $125.

The judges included University President Matthew Holland, Dr. David Yells, Lori Stevens, Michael Mclean and Kevin Jones.