We started out the Optimist year with a good crowd at Mama Ventura’s. The club hosted Liz from Big Brothers Big Sisters of York and Adams Counties who gave a great presentation about her organization. She described the sign-up process and expectations for “Bigs” and “Littles”. After filling out the initial paperwork a phone interview/orientation is conducted. The program asks for 3 references and background checks prior to matching. Once matched, the Big and Little pairs are encouraged to meet 2-4 times per month for a minimum of one year. The average length of a match is 18 months, but there are several pairs that have been going strong for 3-4 years or more! This is such a great program that children are calling up themselves just to be matched. There are children currently on the waiting list, so if you or someone you know would like to be a Big Brother or Sister you can find more information at www.bbbs–york.org. The winners of this summer’s trivia contest decided to give a donation to Big Brother Big Sisters of York and Adams Counties on behalf of the Optimist Club. The plan is to use this money to recruit Bigs and Littles in our community.
Keith, an 8th grader, who has participated in several Optimist-sponsored activities (and also happens to be President, Kris Accardi’s little brother from BBBS) prepared a wonderful speech for us. He described some of the positive experiences he’s had as a result of Optimist activities which include: the Optimist basketball program, the Roads to Freedom project, classes through the Arts Council, the All-star Magic Show, and walking in the Halloween Parade. Not only has Keith benefited from these programs, but he has also given back to the community by volunteer time to help coach some of the younger children in the basketball program and he carried the Optimist banner during the last Halloween parade.
Halloween Parade: We will walk with members of Big Brothers Big Sisters of York and Counties on Tuesday, October 22 (Rain date October 29). Please line up in costume at the Middle School at 6pm!
As a result of our recent donation to the Boy Scouts of America, the club has been given eight tickets for members to use to attend a Silent Auction program on Friday, November 1st. Please contact Craig for further information.
The Club will once again be ringing bells to collect donations for the Salvation Army. A sign-up sheet will go around during the next meeting.
Christmas Party: Please mark your calendars for this great event which will be on Wednesday, December 11th at the Refectory. Socializing will begin at 6pm with dinner served at 6:30pm. We are optimistic that a special visitor will be attending to help spread holiday joy.
Magic Show: Tickets are being purchased and donations are already coming in. The program date is set for December 13th at 7pm at the Lincoln Elementary School. One lucky girl and boy will be going home with a new bike by the end of the evening!
Optimist Basketball: Matt will take care of the preliminary set-up for the basketball program. Sign up dates TBD. We are in need of members to help volunteer to coach this 8 week program which starts in January and runs through March, so please consider participating even if you can only make it out to some the Saturday practices.
The Annual All-You-Can-Eat Oyster and Shrimp Feed is scheduled for Saturday, March 8th at the Gettysburg Fire Hall. We are looking forward to another great turn-out. There is comfortable seating for approximately 225 people and this year members will assist with seating to utilize the space to its fullest. Tickets for the event will cost $35.
A Calendar of meetings and events is in the works and will be distributed to members once it is complete. Also members will find a separate email with the approved budget for the coming year.
Next meeting: is scheduled for Wednesday, November 6th at 6:30pm at Mama Ventura’s.