Optimists charter Lake Orion club, seek members
October 20, 2010 - A newly assembled group of people began looking on the bright side of town last week when the new Lake Orion Area Optimist Club was officially chartered.
The club, with 29 charter members, began to assemble early last summer when Roger Diederich and Don Brose, chairmen of new club building for the Clarkston Area Optimist Club, began soliciting membership for a new club.
"Lake Orion is a large enough community to get a strong club going," Diederich told the Review, noting the former Lake Orion/Oxford club disbanded several years ago. "We're looking for civic minded individuals who want to see the community grow."
The new group will cater only to Orion area youth, working in tandem with local schools to provide activities aimed at helping youth develop to their full potential.
Each club operates with the autonomy and flexibility to determine specific needs within its own community and tailor programs and projects to meet those needs.
"One thing we all decided together was that we want to see what's happening in the community before we jump in and start organizing projects or events," said Kelly Weaver, president of the Lake Orion Area Optimist Club. "We've got a lot of great organizations already out in our community, and we want to be sensitive to that."
Weaver, who is active with the Lake Orion Education Foundation and was recently appointed to fill a vacancy on the Lake Orion Community Schools' Board of Education, was installed as the club's president Sept. 30 along with other club officers by Richard Bloom, a field rep and former vice president of International Optimists.
Weaver said she's excited to bring the club together and begin to make a contribution to the community.
"None of the original members are back, so we'll all experience this together for the first time," she said. "I want to make sure we do it right and build a sustainable group."
The club is off to a good start, she added.
Other officers include Vice President Mary Jo Burchart; Vice President David Duenow; Treasurer Jennifer Nickson; Secretary Katherine Baumann
The club's Board of Directors includes Katherine Baumann, Mary Jo Burchart, Mike Cohn, Sophia Lafayette, Jennifer Nickson, Gino Rahman , Kelly Weaver, Dave Decker, Sandy McCloud, and Laurie Trafton.
According to Optimist International website, the association of more than 2,900 Optimist Clubs around the world - including 105 in Michigan - are dedicated to "Bringing Out the Best in Kids."
Optimist International officially sponsors a number of programs, including the Childhood Cancer Campaign, Internet Safety, the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships and the organization's scholarship contests (Essay Contest, Oratorical Contest and Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing).
In addition, Optimist International encourages involvement in other community activities like Respect for Law/Promotion of Non-Violence, Tri-Star Sports Skills Challenges, Youth Appreciation and Youth Safety.
The Lake Orion Area Optimist Club will meet the second and forth Thursday of each month at 4:30 p.m. at Burger King, 1155 S Lapeer Road, in the special meeting area of the restaurant.
All men and women 18 years and older are welcome to attend and find out about what the club will be doing in the Lake Orion community in the coming years to enhance opportunities for young people.
For more information on joining the Lake Orion Area Optimist Club, contact Katherine Baumann at 248-505-3067 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Optimists visit www.optimist.org
Lake Orion Review Editor