The traditional end of summer Promise Yourself: Optimist of Gettysburg Grill Out is scheduled for Wednesday, September 5.  The last outdoor membership meeting of the year will be held at President Mark’s house at 275 Montclair Road beginning at 6:30 pm.  The feature menu entree will be New York Strip Steaks prepared to order over the grill.  The agenda will include elections for the upcoming administrative year, presentation of the 2012-13 budget for approval at the September 19 meeting, and recent Board of Directors recommendations.

The annual end of summer meeting continues a long tradition first started by Clyde Williams (charter member 1958) when the membership gathered at his cabin in Caledonia State Park to celebrate the coming of a new year of Optimism.  All members are encouraged to bring a potential member as a guest.  We have lots of important business to complete before the Installation Banquet on October 5.  See you all there!




Great weather, good food and great Optimist fellowship were plentiful at the 2012 Optimist Fourth Quarter Zone Meeting on Wednesday, August 15.  More than 40 members from the First Capitol, East York, Lancaster and Gettysburg Optimist Clubs arrived at the Lake Heritage Pavilion in Gettysburg for what has become an annual tradition for the central Pennsylvania Optimist Clubs.  Attendees were treated to pork barbecue, roasted potatoes, coleslaw, baked beans and assorted desserts provided by the Gettysburg Optimist Club. Elmo Vestal filled in for the ailing Lt. Govern, Tom McGlynn and conducted the evenings business agenda.  Each Optimist Club in attendance gave a brief presentation on at least one project they are currently sponsoring in their respective communities.  Marion Duarte reported on the upcoming District Meeting and State Convention and Elmo reviewed the standings of each club in the Zone as well as the requirements for Honor Club and an update on the Optimist Olympics Project.  A review of the A & A Report indicated those clubs in attendance rank in the top 15 out of 57 clubs. The meeting ended with a 50/50 drawing, continued fellowship and the traditional recitation of the Optimist Creed.

The second Optimist Soccer Parking Project of the year is scheduled for NEXT WEEKEND, August 25th and 26th.  Don Davis has the project well planned and members should check the Parking Schedule to confirm the times and the lot location that they have volunteered to work.  The field maps are not available yet, but the plan currently calls for parking vehicles at the Adams County Historic site (former Adams County Prison) and the Gettysburg Construction Company site, both on Biglerville Road north of Gettysburg.  Don may make last minute personnel adjustments to site assignments and will contact those individual members affected by the change.

The Optimist Soccer Parking Project represents a significant portion of the Clubs fund raising efforts each year, so members are encouraged to put on their Optimist shirts, grab their hats, sunglasses and a lawn chair and head out Biglerville Road next Saturday and Sunday.  More than 2000 young soccer players and their parents will converge on Gettysburg from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia for the second Gettysburg Battlefield Blast Soccer Tournament of 2012.

Members who wish to volunteer to help with this  important project, should contact Don Davis at 717-253-0295.

Every July members of the Optimist Club of Gettysburg gather at Wayne and Sue Hill’s home for one of the most popular Optimist meetings of the year. The Gettysburg Optimist Club Family Night is an opportunity for club members and their families to gather and enjoy some really good food, warm family fellowship and the traditional Optimist Family Trivia Contest.  Prior to the conclusion of the evenings festivities, attendees are divided into groups to compete against one another for the right to select a deserving recipient for a charitable contribution from the Club.

This year the winning team of Bill Pyron, Katie Barako, Mark and Beverly Grazulewicz and Don and Ginny Davis demonstrated their remarkable knowledge of the subject matter and earned the opportunity to select a deserving charitable organization for a $1000.00 contribution from the Optimist Club of Gettysburg.  The winning contestants selected the Dayton R. Biesecker Special Needs Fund and the Blake E. Biesecker Special Needs Fund for this years contribution.

Dayton and Blake are the seven year old, twin sons of Tom and Nikki Biesecker of Biglerville, who last year were both diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening disease known as  Muscular Dystrophy with the Duchenne type.  It is the most aggressive type of MD and affects 1 in 3,600 boys.  The disease targets the muscular-skeletal system and over time will require expensive ongoing treatment, therapy and specially designed mobility equipment.  The Special Needs Funds were created to provide the family with much needed assistance in meeting the costs of two, specially designed wheel chairs.

At the Clubs regular membership meeting held on August 1, the members voted unanimously to deposit $500.00 in each of the accounts maintained by Adams County National Bank.

While the Optimist Club generally does not contribute to individuals, but rather to organizations, the membership decided that given the family nature of our event, the Special Needs Funds cause was more than appropriate.   The Gettysburg Optimist Club raises more than $40,000 each year in support of 19 youth related programs throughout the Gettysburg and the Adams County area and is pleased that we could include Blake and Dayton’s Special Needs Funds to our list of recipients this year.



Mark your calendars and set your schedule now for the Optimist Zone Seven Quarterly Meeting on Wednesday August 15! The Gettysburg Optimist Club will be hosting the event to be held at the Pavilion at Lake Heritage at 6:30 pm. Lake Heritage is located at the junction of Pennsylvania route 97 and US route 15, two miles south of Gettysburg.

Optimist members, spouses or guests from Gettysburg, York, Lancaster and all over Zone Seven are invited to the Gettysburg Optimist Annual Pig Roast. Daryl Aurand and Mark Cropp are preparing a menu of barbecue pork, baked beans, coleslaw, roasted potatoes and assorted desserts.

Plenty of good food, great fellowship and Optimist business will be on tap for all those who attend. If you are from a visiting club in Zone Seven, please contact Mark Cropp at [email protected] or Elmo Vestal at [email protected] by Monday evening, August 13, to let us know you will be participating. Upon arrival tell the gate keeper at Lake Heritage that you are with the Gettysburg Optimist Club. The pavilion is located just inside the gate to your right.

We are looking forward to meeting all our “Friends of Youth” this coming Wednesday.

The new mantra of the Gettysburg Optimist Club may well be, “Neither thunderstorm, lightening, hail nor high winds will deter a dedicated Optimist from performing their duties of serving the communities youth.”  The August 1, regular meeting at the pavilion at Lake Heritage was briefly delayed due to a strong and violent storm that moved through the area Wednesday evening but, with only a little fear,  the meeting and the business of Optimism was concluded.

Nancy Forgang, Meals & More Director, spoke to the group about her programs impact on the areas youth.  As in the past, the Optimist Club of Gettysburg elected to support the Meals & More Program this year.  Bruce Bradshaw presented Nancy with a check for $2100.00 to help with the costs of the nine week program.  The agenda also included topics such as; The Summer Soccer Parking Project (scheduled for August 25th & 26th), the Zone Seven Optimist Meeting on August, 15, the Officers and Directors Nominations for 2013 and the upcoming organizational meeting for the 2013 Gettysburg Optimist Golf Tournament.  Members in attendance voted to approve the recipient of the Optimist Family Night Trivia Contest Donation.  More details on this topic in an upcoming post.

The group feasted on fried chicken, meatballs, potato salad, baked beans, fresh garden salad and a very large chocolate cake (consumption to be continued at a future event). The meal was  provided by Walt Jones and Kris Accardi.  To view the official agenda for the evening, click on Optimist 080112 Meeting Agenda.

Mark your calendar for the next meeting on August 15, 2012 at the Lake Heritage Pavilion.  This evening will be our annual “Pig Roast” and we will host Optimist members from Zone Seven which includes York and Central Pennsylvania.  Members spouses, significant others and guests are welcome to attend this annual event.  Daryl Aurand will act as head chief for the evening so you do not want to miss this one!

Yours in Optimism,

J. Mark