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The deadline to apply for a statewide high-school-age girls speech competition has been extended to Sept. 14, organizers recently announced. 

Metro Republican Women sponsors the Speaking Proudly competition, which this year will center around the theme "'A republic if you can keep it': Rising to Benjamin Franklin's Challenge." It's set to happen at the Capitol on Oct. 26. 

This is the event's first year. The first-place finisher wins $1,000; $500 goes to second and $250 to third.

Applicants must provide a one-page document including their speech title, summary and outline along with a $50 deposit. This year's topic references a quote attributed to Franklin about the challenge and risk of maintaining the country's form of government. 

More information is available at speakingproudly.org

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