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Welcome to Our Stories Page

We just wouldn't be Optimists if we were not working hard and steady on our projects that impact youth in our community.  Here are just a few of our club project stories.  They are listed in reverse order, so if you want to see a special one from a previous month, you may need to dig deeper.

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    The Caldwell Optimist Club recently gave funds to the Caldwell High School girls soccer team. Pictured here, left to right, are Optimist Club member Bob Kafka, coach Eric Garza, team member Gabby Corado, team member Syd Smith, team member Lita Force and Optimist Club member Joe Shreve.
Submitted by Robert Kafka 

.The Caldwell Optimist Club of Caldwell, Idaho gave $945.75 to the Ridgevue High School Robotics Club on Nov. 9 in compensation for the Robotics Club’s help with the Optimists’ concession booth at the College of Idaho Yotes’ home football games this season!

    It was a win-win: The Robotics Club got funding, and the Optimist Club got some much-needed help with its booth (which helped fund its own club, too; kudos to the C of I for its hand in that).

Hillsboro Optimist Club Donates to Veteran Family

    The Hillsboro Optimist Club in December received word of a military family that would be returning state-side without resources lined up. The family - with five children - would need to obtain food, lodging, clothes and more. 
    Spearheaded by current Club President Monte Akers, a donation drive was started through the club members individually. In less than three days, members opened their hearts to this family and donated. The donations from the Hillsboro Optimist Club, totaling over $600, the family was able to return home with less of a burden.
Submitted by Sarah Newton, Hillsboro Optimist Club 1/18/17
Second Quarter Meeting for Zone 3
Hostess and Lt. Governor, Fran Bounds, visits with Fred Wallace, U. S. Curling and Tri-Star Chairperson at dinner the evening before the meeting kickoff.
Then there was the big celebration when Immediate Past Governor, Michael Gray, presented the hosting Lebanon Club with their citations for Distinguished Club.  Accepting on behalf of the Lebanon Club are Gary Heintzman and Dale Hall.
Lynn Viner, District Leadership Development Chair,
continued on with the second in a series of leadership oriented presentations.  This one was entitled, "Leading From Where You Are."
Past Governor Lyle Miller of the Roseburg Club, helped everyone present at the after-meeting function celebrate his 82nd birthday, by leading the group in song.
ROSEBURG OPTIMIST CLUB HONORS DOUGLAS COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT IN 41ST ANNUAL BANQUET

The Roseburg Optimist Club did it again! For the 41st year, the small and mighty club held the Respect for Law Banquet Friday, February 24. It is one of the organization’s national events.

In July 1965, a discussion between Past Optimist International President Carl Bowen and former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover resulted in the birth of the Respect for Law program. This is the fourth most popular program with more than 1,500 Clubs participating last year. In the Pacific Northwest District, the Roseburg Optimist Club holds the largest, and the most well attended event.

This year’s event was attended by nearly 150 people, most of whom were Douglas County law enforcement officers and their families. Community members also attended to honor the men and women in blue. Roseburg Optimist’s Boy Scout Troop, #225, presented the colors and led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Ted Smith provided the invocation and State Representative Dallas Heard was the keynote speaker. 

Each of the departments named their own honoree and the Roseburg Optimists provided a plaque and a gift. Lt Steve 
Mitchell from the Oregon State Police, Roseburg office announced that Senior Trooper Brad Zuver was this year’s honoree.
One of Zuver’s many accomplishments is that he is one of four troopers that investigate gun sale application declines.

Douglas County Sheriff, John Hanlin had the privilege of announcing three awards. The first, to Patrol Deputy Aaron 
Gardner. Even though Gardner hasn’t been with the Sheriff’s office for very long, because of his positive attitude and can
 do attitude, his fellow deputies nominated him for this award. His relentless work on large scale investigations have made 
a significant impact on the safety of this county.

                                                        Deputy Peter Collins, from Corrections, was honored for his positive attitude as well. His
                                                         proficiency in communication, knowing when to be assertive and when to be a listener
                                                         has helped him in his position. He regularly serves as the Acting Watch Commander due
                                                        to his ability to make sound, fair, practical decisions.

                                                       Communications Lead Katie Hutchings was described as being unflappable. She is a learner and 
                                                       giver, starting and continuing children’s education programs within the community. She is willing to 
                                                       cover shifts for her fellow dispatchers and doesn’t let the stress or negativity get to her. When 
                                                       accepting the award, she suggested to the emcees that if they were to have given her a headset, 
                                                       she would be much more comfortable talking in front of the crowd.


Roseburg Police Chief Jim Burge announced his department’s honoree, Officer Cameron Derrick. Derrick is a young officer that has
 gained the respect of his fellow officers. Burge complimented him on being, “mindful and critical of his own performance, always
                                                     striving to do better.” He is an outstanding DUII investigator and has recently became certified as a
                                                    Drug Recognition Expert. He’s Roseburg’s newest trained narcotic detection K9 handler.

                                                    Kirk Sanfilippo, Sutherlin’s Police Chief introduced Kyle Nelson as the department’s choice. Nelson
                                                    is caring and encouraging of his fellow officers and everyone he comes into contact with. He embraces the concept  of      
                                                    being life long learner. He has gotten training with the Roseburg Police Department Hostage Negotiation team and is an 
                                                    instructor for the TASERx2 program.

                                                    Police Chiefs Scott Gugel from Winston and Don Brown from Myrtle Creek also received honors
                                                    for their departments. “When you have a small department like Myrtle Creek has, every member is 
                                                    officer of the year,” Brown said. Gugel touted his department’s ability to adapt when facing
                                                    challenges. They were down three officers last year. Myrtle Creek Mayor Ken Brouillard accepted
                                                    the honor as Brown received an emergency call.

                                                    The evening finished with Optimist’s own Lyle Miller getting a Life Time Achievement Award. 
                                                    He has been the face of Respect for Law in Douglas County for the last decade. He is the longest
 standing member of the Roseburg Optimist                                                                 Club and a mentor to the club. Miller was
 completely taken aback with the award, and                                                                in accepting it relayed a story about his last
 “touch” with law enforcement. That                                                                                conversation ended with, “I’m an Optimist.
 We put on the Respect for Law Banquet!”

                                                                                                                                                     (He was not ticketed.)

3rd Quarter Conference in Burnaby, British Columbia
The theme of the conference, "Celebrate Our Youth," was kicked off during the Saturday luncheon when the Essay Contest winner was announced and allowed to present her winning essay.  Trenna Garcia, Meridian Optimist Club, serving as the District Essay Contest Chairperson introduced Alena Arounpradith who was accompanied during the ceremony by the sponsoring club representative, Roger Hampton.
Later on Saturday, the Awards Banquet was kicked off by the Mistress of Ceremonies, Rose Brodie, Mission B. C. Club.  Rose, pictured here was assisted throughout the evening by an interpreter to insure all in attendance were able to take in the celebration.
It was then up to Ray Hilts, District Chairperson for the Oratorical Contest.  Ray introduced the participants and the winners of the contest.  The first place winner was May Fan, sponsored by the Coquitlam, B.C. club; second place, Cleo Chang, sponsored by the Vancouver, B.C. club; and third place Andrew Welch, sponsored by the Tacoma, Washington Club.
It was then Teresa Wallace's turn to introduce high achieving youth.  Teresa, District Chairperson for the Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing announced the scholarship winners were Jacob Gerlitz who was sponsored by the Vancouver, B.C. Club.  Jacob was awarded the OI Scholarship.  Then the scholarship awarded by the Pacific Northwest District was given to Chastity Davis from Mission, B.C.  This scholarship, wholly funded by donations from within the District was recently memorialized in the names of two devoted Optimists.  Connie Pollock and Dr. Thomas Hammond were to be honored by the distribution of the scholarship.  This year the scholarship would memorialize Connie Pollock as the contest was won by a Canadian student.