The Optimist Club of Gettysburg installed new officers Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at Mason Dixon Distillery.  Outgoing President, Marci  Cropp, passed the gavel to the incoming President, Brian Skidmore. Tom Barako will continue to serve as treasurer and Daryl Aurand will continue to serve as Secretary.  Additional Board of Directors for the 2020-2021 year will include Stacey Schlosser, Darlene Brown and Fred Darling.

Left to right: Daryl Aurand, Marci Cropp, Brian Skidmore, and Tom Barako.

Words from the outgoing President: A Year in Review

It is hard to believe that another year has past! And what a year it has been! I am happy to say not only did we achieve our objectives but we as a club excelled optimistically. We have achieved a lot in the last 365 days for which we should all be proud.  As I reflected, I became overwhelmed by everything that was accomplished during one of the most unprecedented times in our life.

In October of 2019, we partnered with the Adams County Tech Prep building trade class and made renovations to the Gettysburg area recreational authority optimist pavilion. Together the optimist club brought out the best in youth while educating the class as they learned workplace and life skills. Together we were able to renovate the structure, new sign and all, that is a testament to the organizations ability to withstand the test of time and provide a safe space for youth and adults alike to enjoy entertainment and the outdoors.

In December, the club participated in the Salvation Army bellringing program. Additionally, in December, under direction of Doug Miller, the club, hosted a magic show free to our youth in the community. A big THANK YOU to Doug for organizing this event seamlessly.

In January and February, the basketball committee under the direction of Chris Bender with the assistance of Brian Skidmore continued the Optimist legacy basketball program for the 55th year.  Wow! The committee transitioned and excelled at teaching youth of the community basketball skills. They rallied the troops on Saturday mornings and motivated them to get off the couch and have a little fun with her friends. Thank you for continuing this tradition. The impact on the youth of the community is priceless.

In February, the Optimist Club of Gettysburg sponsored the stars awards breakfast at the Gettysburg area high school. Several members attended and assisted with distributing the honors.

Shortly after the program concluded, COVID-19 inspired unique challenges. The club did not skip a beat. We adapted and investigated opportunities outside the box. I’m happy to report, the club rose to the challenge.

We continued our mission and assisted Ruth’s harvest of Gettysburg in time of great need. The club reached deep to assist those with food vulnerabilities.

In March, the first ever virtual meetings began. Not only could we continue the club’s mission but we were able to stay in touch and provide member support.

In May, the club participated in the virtual dollars for scholars’ awards at the Gettysburg area high school. The club gave away 2 – $1,000 scholarships awarded to two graduating seniors.

In July, under the direction of Walt Jones, the club supported senior self-improvement awards.

Fundraising halted briefly. But did not deter members. We became innovative. Seeking new opportunities.

The oyster feed was cancelled. To everyone’s understanding. A huge THANK YOU to Stacey and Wayne for spearheading this endeavor.

Our golf tournament was postponed leaving us time to plan for exciting changes. A big thanks to Tom Barako, Tom Bair, and Daryl Aurand for your leadership and commitment. And to Stacy and Biggerstaff’s Catering for meal prep. Tomorrow promises to be a great day!

We’ve continued our social media presence and engaged a new member.  A big Thank you to Gary for sharing our mission with others and engaging a new member. Welcome Steve.

In August, Under the direction of Tom Barako, the club applied and was accepted to be a part of Adams County community foundation giving spree scheduled for November 5. Giving the club an amazing opportunity to fund raise throughout the county and to share our mission!

In September, under the direction of Doug Miller, we honored 2 to park rangers Maria and Dan for their commitment to the Gettysburg National Military park and local community.

The coming year will continue to present challenges, but I know the new officers and board members won’t be deterred. Although the ways of accomplishing the mission might look different, together we will succeed.

A big THANK YOU to this year’s officers. Tom, Daryl, and Brian. And to this year’s board of directors; Chris, Doug, Fred and Stacey. And OI rep; Dan Mattern. Thank you for making this year so memorable!

I’d be remise if I didn’t thank my parents, Rosie’s staff including Ashley Skidmore for their continued support throughout the year!  Stepping up and volunteering where possible.

It took every member this year to make 2019-2020 a success year. With that, I must also Thank every member for your continued dedication to the club and mission of bringing out the best in kids.  You are the individuals making a huge difference in the lives of others.

I also want to thank the in coming years officers for stepping up to the plate. Your dedication is greatly appreciated. Darlene, Tom, Daryl, Brian, Stacey, and Fred.  I’m honored to be able to work with you on the board in the coming year.  Keep Optimistically looking to the future.

I will leave you with the same parting words as I did last year when I took office. Live life to the fullest, and make a difference along the way.

And with that I’ll pass the gavel back to Brian.