Due to Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 Gettysburg Halloween Parade has been cancelled for this year.

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg is hosting the Annual All Star Magic Show to be held on December 14, 2012 at 7:00 pm at the Lincoln Elementary School.  The local “Friends of Youth” have sponsored the entertainment each December for more than 20 years.  Representatives of the Club have begun the annual phone solicitation drive this week and will continue through late November.

In exchange for a donation, youth tickets can be mailed to an address of your choosing or donated to your favorite youth organization.  Some tickets will be available free to young attendees the night of the event.

Optimist Club proceeds from the phone solicitation effort are dedicated to supporting more than 19 youth related programs throughout the Gettysburg area each year.

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg will once again be participating in the Gettysburg Halloween Parade scheduled for Tuesday, October 30, 2012.  Members and youth will be riding Scoot Coups and motor scooters donated by GettyPeds of Gettysburg and will meet at their store located at 39 N. Washington Street (located behind the Flower Boutique) at 6:00 pm.  Riders will be fitted with safety apparel and be given operating and safety instructions concerning the equipment.

Due to construction activity at the Lefever Street Middle School campus, this year’s parade will form at the old National Park Visitors Center parking lot located between Steinwehr Avenue and Taneytown Road beginning at 6:00 PM.  The parade will begin with a motorcycle escort at 7:00 pm and a performance by The Lancers on Lincoln Square at 7:10.  The remainder of the parade units will step off from the parking area at 7:30 pm.

Participants are reminded to wear warm clothing suitable for the season.  A rain date is scheduled for Wednesday, October 31.   There is plenty of  “Scooter Fun for Everyone” and opportunities for additional members, their guests and family to participate in this popular annual event.  If you are interested in participating with the youth of Gettysburg and our club, please contact us at gettysburgoptimist@gettysburgoptimist.com



The next meeting is scheduled for 6:30pm on Wednesday November 7, 2012, at the Seminary Refectory.


Welcome to new officers. President: Craig Sweet.  Vice President: Kris Accardi.  Treasurer: Tom Barako.  Secretary: Mindy Accardi.

A thank you note was received for the money that went to Dollars for Scholars which will help local students attend college or a trade school.

A request for a donation was received from Alex’s Lemonade Stand.  This is not in the current budget, but will be up for discussion.

As a result of our recent donation to the local Boy Scouts, up to eight Optimist members are welcome to join them for a gathering on November 8th at the Links.  Please contact Craig Sweet for more info.


A check will be sent out for Holiday Outreach program.

Money is now being collected for the Magic Show.


Act fast if you would like to be a chicken for a day! The Reading is Fundamental program will be giving books away to children K-5 at James Gettys elementary school this Friday October 19th from 9a-2p.  If you would like to participate or even dress up as the infamous chicken please contact Marci Cropp (mcropp@hotmail.com) so she can give your name to the office ahead of time.

The Halloween parade is fast approaching.  It will be held Tuesday, October 30th with a rain date of October 31st.  We would love to have some more Optimists walking to pass out candy.  Or come ride on a scooter or scoot coupe which are generously donated by GettyPeds (check them out at www.gettypeds.net).  Riders meet at GettyPeds (on Washington St. behind Agway) at 6pm and let Marci know what you would like to ride (mcropp@hotmail.com).  Walkers meet at the old Visitor’s Center at 6:30pm.  The parade is to kick off at 7pm.  Feel free to dress in costume!

Have you heard Christmas bells ring yet? You will soon! The bell ringing for the Salvation Army begins the first weekend in November.  If you would like to sign up for a 1 ½ hr time slot at the Gettysburg Wal-mart between noon and 9pm please contact Craig (craig@idg.net) or Mark Cropp (jmcropp@embarqmail.com).  If you have already signed up, Ellie Sheen will be contacting you to schedule a time.

Please start thinking of businesses you would like to ask to sponsor the golf tournament. Optimistically, if each person is able to contact 3-4 businesses we will be very successful!  A list of local businesses is being compiled.  We would like to have people sign up for the businesses they will be in touch with in order to monitor progress and avoid repeat soliciting.

Thinking ahead:    Christmas parade:  Saturday December 1, 2012 (more info to come)

Christmas party: Wednesday December 12, 2012 (more info to come)

We start a new season of Optimism this Wednesday, October 17, at 6:30 pm in the Lutheran Seminary Refectory located directly across from the Seminary Chapel on the campus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg.   We have a new team of officers which include;  President Craig Sweet, Vice President Kris Accardi, Secretary Mindy Accardi, and Treasurer Tom Barako.  A  fine dinner with soft beverages and beer is planned by Stacey Green of Biggerstaff’s Catering accompanied by a casual but entertaining program.  So please come and join us as we kick off a new year as “Friends of Youth”.

The Salvation Army’s annual Kettle Campaign is scheduled to get underway the first weekend of November at the Gettysburg Wal-Mart.  As in past years, The Optimist Club of Gettysburg membership has been contacted to help “Ring the Bell” and help staff some of the one and a half hour long sessions that  are available from noon to 9:00 pm each day up to Christmas.

Club members, along with their family and friends who wish to volunteer their time can sign-up by submitting their name, phone number and email to Craig Sweet at craig@idg.net, Mark Cropp at jmcropp@embarqmail.com, or by placing their name on the Optimist Members sign-up sheet which will be available at the regular membership meeting on Wednesday, October 17.  Family members and friends are encouraged to participate.

Members who volunteer will be contacted in the coming weeks by Ellie Sheen to determine a convenient time slot for volunteers to “Ring the Bell”.

Seven Optimist of Gettysburg Club members were recently singled out for special recognition for their service to the youth of Gettysburg.  Outgoing Board members Don Davis,

At left, Don Davis accepts his Board of Directors Plaque from Club President, Craig Sweet.

Darlene Brown, Stacey Green and Brent Smith received their Board of Director Plaques in recognition of their many year’s of service to the local organization.  Tom Barako, Treasurer, was the recipient of the Presidents Choice Award for his many years of dedication to the Optimist Club of Gettysburg

Tom Barako, right, receives The Presidents Choice Award from Mark Cropp.

and Marci Cropp, Junction Creative Solutions, was honored for her recent work on www.gettysburgoptimist.com, the Club’s newly redeveloped website.

Outgoing Club President, Mark Cropp presented long time member Joe MacDowell with the newly established Gettysburg Friend of Youth Award.  The award, a framed artist rendering depicting three Optimist youth, was given to Joe in recognition of his outstanding service to the community’s youth and other Optimist Club members.

Left, Joe MacDowell is presented the “Gettysburg Friend of Youth Award by outgoing President, Mark Cropp.

The tradition will continue next year when Joe, the current award holder, will select and present another Club member to receive the award.

The Gettysburg Optimist Club begins their 55th year of service to the community by supporting more than 19 youth related programs in the Gettysburg area. The Club’s next meeting will be held at the Lutheran Seminary Refectory building on Wednesday, October 17, beginning at 6:30 pm.

The Gettysburg Optimist Club inducted two new members during the Clubs Annual Installation Banquet on Wednesday, October 3.  The club welcomes Jim and Brenda DeYoung as the newest members of The Friends of Youth!  The duo who were sponsored by current member J. Mark Cropp received the oath of membership from Tom McGlynn, Optimist District Lt. Governor.

Shown from left to right; Brenda Young, J. Mark Cropp, sponsor, Jim DeYoung and Tom McGlynn, Optimist District Lt. Governor.

At the 54th Annual Installation Banquet held at The Dobbin House Restaurant in Gettysburg. The Optimist Club of Gettysburg installed new officers for the 2012-2013 administrative year.  Current Club President, J. Mark Cropp handed off the Optimist gavel and bell to Craig Sweet, the newly elected President.

At left, J. Mark Cropp passes the gavel and bell to newly elected President, Craig Sweet.

The gavel and bell has been traditionally used to call Optimist Club functions to order for more than 50 years.

Tom McGlynn, Optimist District Lt. Governor, presented Craig and his new team of officers with the oaths of installation.  Included in receiving the oaths were Kris Accardi – Vice President, Tom Barako – Treasurer and Mindy Accardi – Secretary.  The newly installed officers will be joined

Shown left to right; Kris Accardi, Mindy Accardi, Craig Sweet and Tom Barako.

by the Club’s new Board of Directors; Mark Grazulewicz, Marci Cropp, Daryl Aurand, Joe MacDowell and J. Mark Cropp, and together will be responsible for guiding the organization through the coming 2012-2013 year.

The new year begins early at the Optimist Club of Gettysburg when, at the Club’s Installation Banquet on Wednesday, October 3, a fresh panel of officers and board of directors will take on the leadership roles of the “Friends of Youth” of Gettysburg.  Continuing the tradition of serving the needs of the communities youth through positive educational, artistic  and  sports programs, the local chapter of Optimist International has set some generous goals for the 2012-2013 administrative year.  More than 19 programs will receive the Optimist Club’s support over the next twelve months, each sharing more than $40,000.00 of contributions raised through five fund raising projects which include; The Optimist Christmas Magic Show, The Annual Shrimp & Oyster Feed, The Third Annual Optimist Golf Tournament and the Spring and Summer Youth Soccer Parking Projects.

The Club recently established the budget for the upcoming year and selected the following programs for its support in the coming year:

  • Adams County School for Musical Theater
  • The Holiday Family Outreach Program
  • Gettysburg High School Orchestra
  • The Gettysburg Optimist Basket Ball Program
  • Optimist Tri-Star Basket Ball
  • Gettysburg High School Stars Program
  • Dollars for Scholars
  • Reading is Fundamental (RIF), The Lincoln, James Getty, Franklin Township, Saint Francis Elementary Schools and the Gettysburg Kindergarten and Vita Charter School.
  • Gettysburg Schools Environmental Education Program
  • Optimist Club Youth Appreciation Day
  • Optimist Respect for Law
  • The Gettysburg Halloween Parade
  • The Gettysburg Christmas Parade
  • The Adams County Arts Council
  • Gettysburg Little League
  • Adams County Boy Scouts of America
  • Food Kitchen Meals and More Summer Program
  • Adams County Business and Education Partnership
  • Gettysburg High School Sports
  • Optimist Olympics
  • The Optimist Family Night Donation Project

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg was chartered in 1958 and has been in continuous service to supporting the youth in the Gettysburg and Adams County area since its beginning.  “If you are, or have ever been, a member of the Gettysburg community it is likely that you and your family have benefited from an Optimist Club supported program sometime over the years,” says outgoing club President, Mark Cropp.  “It is particularly rewarding to be a part of this great organization and its work with the areas youth, and encouraging to know that the important work will continue thanks to the dedicated efforts of Optimist Club members, their families and the financial support of the Gettysburg area businesses and its citizens.”

Optimist Club of Gettysburg membership is open to all adults willing to volunteer their time and skills in support the clubs on-going efforts.  For additional information on membership opportunities, or to follow the progress of the Optimist Club of Gettysburg, visit, www.gettysburgoptimist.com or www.facebook.com/OptimistClubofGettysburg.