On Wednesday September 19, the Optimist Club of Gettysburg presented a contribution to the Dwight D Eisenhower Senior Self-Improvement Award managed by the Adams County – Business – Education Partnership. Walt Jones, representing the program, presented information to the Optimist members in attendance and accepted the donation on behalf of his organization.

The Senior Self- Improvement Award is a $500 cash award which is given to a high student who demonstrates overall self-improvement during his or her senior year.  A $100 cash award is also presented to four additional students who have shown self improvement.  Improvement in the students grades, school attendance, behavior, attitude, effort and service to others are critical elements for receipt of the awards.

Every high school senior seeking to participate in this years award process must complete an application and submit it to their respective high school principle before the end of the first marking period.  The next step is for the student to submit documentation supporting their improvement along with a personal statement and letters of recommendation to the principal no later than Friday, April 15, 2013.

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg is pleased to participate in supporting the Dwight D. Eisenhower Senior Self-Improvement Award and the Adams County Business-Education Partnership.  This is one of more than 20 youth related programs supported by the efforts of The Optimist Club of Gettysburg annually.

Left, Mark Cropp, Optimist Club President, presents Walt Jones a contribution to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Senior Self-Improvement Award and the Adams County Business-Education Partnership.

Doug Miller- Optimist Respect for Law Committee Chair, Jill Clark – recipient, Mark Cropp – Optimist Club of Gettysburg President

Each year the Optimist Club of Gettysburg selects and recognizes a deserving law enforcement professional from the Gettysburg area for the Optimist Respect for Law Award.  “We believe it is important for children to grow up with a strong belief in abiding by the law, respecting law enforcement and doing what they can to maintain peace”, said project chair, Doug Miller.  Through the club’s 2012 Respect for Law program, the club selected Jill Clark,  Community Re-entry Program, Director of Institutional Services, Adams County Department of Probation Services.  Jill was selected for her commitment and selfless dedication to her profession and the community.

Ms. Clark is involved with creating and maintaining a program called The Adams County Community Re-entry Program.  Her goal and mission is to allow and assist individuals to reenter into the community as upstanding citizens.

The Community Re-Entry Program, as supported by the Mission of the Adams County Court, is committed to providing opportunities for all those who participate to be stronger, healthier, more productive individuals than they were before they were incarcerated. The objective is to provide a structured environment that promotes accountability for growth and self-development and seeks to instill a desire within all participants to succeed and to focus on a healthier future as they return to the community.

The Community Re-Entry Program provides opportunities for participants to engage in the community prior to their release from incarceration through employment, treatment and rehabilitative programming, public service and visitation in a structured environment. These opportunities, when embraced by those who share a desire to improve their future, are essential components for a successful transition from incarceration to the community.

Optimist International is one of the world’s largest service club organizations with 93,000 adult and youth members in 3,200 clubs in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico and throughout the word.  The Optimist Respect or Law Program is one of the organization’s most popular programs, with more than 1,500 clubs participating annually.  Carrying the motto “Bringing out the Best in Kids,” Optimists clubs around the world conduct hundreds of positive service projects that reach more than six million young people each year.

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg was chartered in 1958 as an affiliate of Optimist International and has been in continuous service to the Gettysburg community and its youth since its initiation.  To learn more about The Gettysburg Optimist Club, visit http://gettysburgoptimist.org/news/ or http://www.facebook.com/OptimistClubofGettysburg.


The Optimist Club of Gettysburg will begin their 55th year serving the needs of Gettysburg youth on Wednesday, October 3, 2012.  A new slate of officers and Board of Directors will take the oath of their respective positions during the annual Gettysburg Optimist Club Installation Banquet at the Dobbin House Restaurant in Gettysburg.  The evening will begin with a social gathering at 6:00 pm followed by dinner at 6:30.

Installation Banquet Chairman, Mark Grazulewicz, is planning the evening beginning with a buffet menu which includes; Chicken Coq Au Vin, Seafood Newburg, Beef Tips of Stroganoff, assorted vegetables and desserts.  Following the meal outgoing President, J. Mark Cropp will review and wrap-up the 2011-2012 Optimist administrative year.  Elmo Vestal, Optimist District Finance Chairman from  East York, will be the keynote speaker and Tom McGlynn, Optimist Lt. Governor, will install the new officers and directors for the coming year.  Incoming Club President, Craig Sweet will address the gathering and set forth the objectives for the Club in 2013.

Officers taking the oath for 2012-2013 will be Craig Sweet – President, Kris Accardi – Vice President, Tom Barako – Treasurer, and Mindy Accardi – Secretary.  The newly elected Board of Directors members will include; Joe MacDowell, Mark Grazulewicz, Marci L. Cropp and Daryl Aurand.  They will join outgoing President, J. Mark Cropp and the newly elected officers in guiding the “Friends of Youth” throughout the coming Gettysburg Optimist Club year.

The evening will conclude with the recitation of the Optimist Creed and the handing-off of the Optimist Bell and gavel to the new administration.  Traditionally the Bell and gavel have been used to call the Club’s meetings and special events to order since the Optimist Club of Gettysburg was chartered n 1958.

Members who are planning to attend the 2012 Installation Banquet are encouraged to contact event chairman Mark Grazulewicz by Friday, September 28, at markgraz@comcast.net.  A fee of $10.00 for each attendee will be collected prior to the event.  There is no fee for official guests of the Club and invited prospective members.


The Optimist Club of Gettysburg is moving back indoors for their last regular membership meeting of the 2011-2012 administrative year.  After a busy summer when membership meetings were held outside at the Lake Heritage Pavilion, and the homes of members Wayne Hill and Mark Cropp, the Gettysburg “Friends of Youth”  will complete the clubs business for the current year at their home for the coming fall and winter months.  The meeting is scheduled to be held at the Lutheran Theological Seminary Refectory on Wednesday, September 19 , beginning at 6:30 pm.  The meal will be catered by Stacey Green and Bigerstaff’s Catering.

Featured at next weeks meeting will be Walt Jones,  Adams County Business and Education Council and Doug Miller, making the presentation of the Gettysburg Optimist “Respect for Law Award” for 2012.  As always, members are encouraged to attend and are welcome to invite prospective members as guests.  For an advanced copy of the evenings agenda, click on  Optimist 091912 Meeting Agenda.

Mark your calendar now to join us in an evening of Optimism.  See you there!

J. Mark


At their last regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 5, the Optimist Club of Gettysburg launched a new page on their recently redesigned website.  “Our Sponsors” page is an opportunity for businesses to participate in supporting the clubs efforts.  The local “Friends of Youth” raises in excess of $40,000.00 annually to fund more than 20 youth related programs throughout the Gettysburg community.

Fees from the new website page will help off-set the clubs administrative operating costs, assuring that 100% of the dollars that are raised from the clubs many fund raising projects throughout the year will go directly to supporting selected youth programs.  The page features the sponsors branded link to their website and recognizes the businesses for their support of the local, non-profit, community service organization.

Those who sign up now as “Charter Sponsors” will receive a special rate of $100.00 for the first year listing.  If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the Gettysburg Optimist Club you will find our contact information at http://gettysburgoptimist.org/contact-us/.

Contact us today to see how you can join these “Charter Sponsors” in their support of the Optimist Club of Gettysburg.

Meeting Minutes from September 5, 2012

Club members celebrated their annual steak feed at President Mark’s home Wednesday September 5.   A big “Thank You!” to Mark for hosting our group.

Nominations for officers and Board of Directors for the upcoming 2012-2013 administrative year were announced as:

President – Craig Sweet

Vice President – Kris Accardi

Secretary – Mindy Accardi

Treasurer – Tom Barako

Board of Directors:

Daryl Aurand

Mark Grazulewicz

Marci Cropp

Joe MacDowell

Mark Cropp will serve on the Board as Past President

There being no nominations from the floor the above officers and Board members were declared elected by President Mark Cropp.

Don Davis reported on the success of the Soccer parking.  Thanks to Don for organizing this important fund raiser!

Mark Cropp reported that a new web page was added to our website that acknowledges and accepts sponsorships, http://gettysburgoptimist.org/sponsorships/.  Two sponsors already appear in recognition of their on-going contributions to the club. These are Biggerstaff’s Catering and Junction Creative Solutions.

The installation banquet will be held on Wednesday, October 3rd at the Dobbin House Restaurant in Gettysburg.  Please mark your calendar for this important event date!!  Cost will be $10.00 per person
The 2012-2013 budget was presented by Tom Barako and after discussion, a modified budget was passed.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday September 19th at the Lutheran Seminary refectory building, beginning at 6:30 pm.  Hope to see you there!