The Optimist Club of Gettysburg met on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 7:00 PM by Zoom. We had 8 members who met by zoom. This makes our first virtual membership Gettysburg Optimist Club meeting for the new year.

Business Meeting:

  • Secretary’s Report: Approved
  • Treasure’s Report: Approved
    1. General Account: $2,768
    2. Activities Account: $7,492
  • President’s Report:
    1. Sadly, we had to cancel our in-person Holiday Party that had been planned for 12/16/20
    2. Our Salvation Army Bell ringing event was a success on 12/11/20 and Brian thanks everyone who volunteered to help.
    3. Our club is still looking for a Vice President
  • Giving Spree: We made $1,710.00 from this event. 28 donors total with 13 members contributions and 15 non member contributions. Considered a success for our first time. We discussed ways to improve this fund raiser such as asking our membership for (10) prospects with mailing addresses and email address.
  • An idea for a new fund raiser proposed by Dan Mattern is a “Bicycle Ride”. We need a committee as Mark Cropp volunteered along with Dan. If you are interested in helping with this committee contact Dan.
  • 11/17/20 – 1st Quarter Zone Meeting, was attended by Brian along with Fred.
  • Optimist Basketball update will be held in the spring with the date to be determined
  • Oyster & Shrimp Feed planned for March 2021 is still under consideration and look forward to an update for this project.
  • 5/20/21 – Optimist Golf Tournament
  • 2/03/21 Regular Meeting using Zoom
  • 2021 Meetings: Per our calendar our meetings are set to be virtual using Zoom for the months of January, February, and March. We will review our membership meeting status regularly. We all prefer in person meetings but in these times our virtual is our safest alternative.

Respectfully Submitted,

Daryl Aurand, Secretary

Topic: Gettysburg Optimist Club Meeting

Time: Wednesday Jan 6, 2021 @ 7:00 PM


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Basketball on Court

As we all navigate through these unprecedented times due to the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we want to share an update to the Optimist Club 2021 Basketball Program.

First, this is a severe and rapidly changing issue that affects everyone worldwide. We are not in this alone. Our focus continues to be on the health and safety of everyone associated with the club, it’s programs and our country.

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg is committed to doing our part. The logistics of running the program in the current environment is extremely challenging. While we are announcing the cancellation of our January/ February 2021 Optimist program is hugely disappointing to many — most notably our student-athletes and coaches– we know this step is necessary.

We have made considerable adjustments to our yearly activities yet continue vitally essential functions in support of the youth in our community.

President Brian Skidmore comments, “Some things are bigger than basketball. This is a global situation and we need to make sure we follow the guidance and direction of the experts and health officials. While we are disappointed with not being able to play in January and February, we will stay dedicated to our organization and services. We want everyone to stay safe and take precautions to protect yourselves and loved ones.”

Members echo his sentiments. Although the 2021 January/ February Basketball Program is cancelled, the organization is looking for ways to engage the youth in the Spring or early summer through new programs. Subscribe to emails, join us on facebook or twitter to stay informed on our latest events.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us via email at

There’s still time.

Adams County Giving Spree.

Won’t you partner with us to support the youth of our community?

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Gettysburg is proud to be in continuous service for 62 years of the 100 Optimist International years. Not only do we have direct impact on local organizations, our efforts grow and impact youth around the globe!

In addition to Youth Basketball, RIF, and academic programs, our Optimist Club also supports the Gettysburg Community Theatre, Holiday Family Outreach, Gettysburg Area High School Orchestra, Environmental Education, Optimist Olympics, Dollars for Scholars, Adams County Business Education Partnership, Respect for Law, Gettysburg Halloween and Holiday Parades, Little League, and the Optimist Foundation.  By supporting our local club in the Adams County Giving Spree, you support many local organizations that strive to bring out the best in kids.  #joinus  #november5  #givingspree

Giving Spree Reminder #70. November 5, 2020.

Words from our incoming President: Brian Skidmore.

Fellow Optimists,

I am looking forward to working with each and every one of you in 2021 to “bring out the best in youth.”  2020 was an unprecedented year for the club. We had to cancel most of our activities and fundraisers, and held our meetings through Zoom (Thank you Marci for setting that up). Hopefully, in 2021 things will get better. We started strong with a successful golf outing and are looking forward to an excellent turnout for the Giving Spree.  So, let’s keep those glasses half full and have an extremely optimistic year!

Brian Skidmore

October 7 Meeting Minutes

Our first 2020-2021 Board of Directors Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21 via zoom. Join Zoom Meeting
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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.

We believe in the Optimist Creed:

“Promise Yourself
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.”