|Delphos Optimist Club turns 25|
|Friday, September 27, 2013 12:00 AM|
BY NANCY SPENCER
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
DELPHOS — The Delphos Optimist Club is celebrating its 25th year this month. Chartered on Sept. 30, 1988, by the Lima Noon Optimists with 40-plus members, the club is still going strong with numerous projects that benefit Delphos youth.
“That’s really our focus,” charter member Gary Levitt said. “Optimist International is a multinational organization that understands what’s really important in life beyond our families — what really matters — kids. They are our future.
“When you have two very strong school systems, you have a lot of youth and a lot of talent. We want to bring that out. It’s our purpose. Optimists have always been a ‘Friend of the Youth’.”
Ticking off a laundry list of the club’s activities, it’s easy to see that focus. The club hosts events like the Junior World of Golf Tournament; Punt, Pass and Kick; an annual Easter Egg Hunt with more than 6,000 stuffed eggs; the Fourth of July Fishing Derby; volleyball tournament; Oratory Contest; Essay Contest; Santa Visitation; and more.
To support youth achievement, the organization has formed the Optimist Scholarship Foundation, which gives away four $1,500 scholarships each year and gives monthly awards to students, including the “Optimist Student of the Month” and “Most Improved Student.”
To foster community-minded youth, the club pays the local Boy Scout charter fee and sponsors two Junior Optimist Clubs to hopefully groom new members.
Levitt said the club has been a positive influence in his life.
“Being an Optimist is not a large commitment but I personally get a big return,” he said. “It’s a great group of people I consider among my friends and I can’t think of a better way to start a Friday morning than with the Optimists. The Optimist Creed may sound like ‘pie in the sky’ but I have recited it to myself a couple of time to lower my blood pressure.”
Current member of the local club and an Ohio Optimist Lt. Governor, Michael Friedrich feels the club is the strongest it’s ever been.
“We have a good core group and younger members coming in,” Friedrich said. “I started in 1990 at age 10 helping my grandma, Doris Dickman, and fell in love with ‘Optimism’.”
Friedrich was the second-youngest to join the local club as an adult and hopes he inspires others.
“I do what I do for the kids,” he said. “I’m in a profession I could die young. I’m a firefighter and an advanced EMT. I want to help the kids we have now and hopefully, someone will be there for the next generation or even my kids.”
The club will celebrate its anniversary with a dinner including special guests on Sunday at the Delphos Museum of Postal History.
The Optimists meet at 7:30 a.m. on Fridays at Mary’s A&W Restaurant.