The Optimist Club of Gettysburg held its annual Reading Is Fundamental/Drop Everything And Read and Gettysburg Middle School Outdoor Education Donation Dinner on February 20, 2013.   Each year the Optimist Club makes a donation to the reading programs of James Gettys, Franklin Township, and Lincoln Elementary Schools as well as Adams County HeadStart, St. Francis Xavier School, and the Vida Charter School.  Additionally, the Gettysburg Middle School received a donation for their Outdoor Education Program.


James Gettys Elementary DEAR Representatives: Kristin Mooney, Valerie Andrews, Victoria Parrish, Henry Mooney, Olivia Andrews, Isabell Parrish, Maggie Mooney and Optimist President Craig Sweet













Adams County HeadStart RIF Representatives: Jen Showers and Optimist President Craig Sweet












Lincoln Elementary RIF Representatives: Vikki Slaybaugh, Val Stone, Zachary Slaybaugh, Grace Stone and Optimist President Craig Sweet










Franklin Township Elementary RIF Representatives: Becky Kohler, Ellie Kohler and Optimist President Craig Sweet












Gettysburg Area Middle School Outdoor Education Representative: Principal Dr. Jim O’Connor and Optimist President Craig Sweet


Invited guests: We had a great turn-out as donations were given to the Reading Is Fundamental and Outdoor Education programs.  We learned about the hundreds of books given out to students, themed classroom decorations, and mock elections.   One group of students even surpassed their goal of reading more than 2,013 books in three months.  Some of our young guests expressed their love for the program because “reading is a lot of fun” and “books take you places that you haven’t been” .

James Gettys school has invited the Optimist Club to participate in their last RIF program of the school year from 9am-3pm on Friday, April 19.

Dr. O’Connor, the representative from Outdoor Education told us about how this program is such a great opportunity for “learning by doing”.  Our donation will help to maintain the program through difficult budget Many of Optimist members could recall fond memories of participating in this week long event.

Optimist Moment: Jean clearly recalls her first Optimist meeting where everyone was so welcoming.  Every single member present took the time to come up to her and chat about themselves and the organization.  That cemented Jean’s desire to become a part of the club.

Upcoming Events: Optimist Basketball returns this Saturday from 9-11:45.  Members are encouraged to come and lend a hand to help with drills, coaching, or refereeing.

The Optimist Oyster and Shrimp Feed  is fast approaching on Saturday, March 9, 2013.  Please continue to sell tickets.  A count by the members present indicated that 125 tickets have been sold to this point!   If you need more tickets please contact Wayne.  Don’t forget the new event location is at the 1863 Inn of Gettysburg on Baltimore Street.

 On Tuesday, March 26th the East York Optimist Club will be holding their Annual Oyster Feed.  Please see Joe for more details.

Members are encouraged to continue to seek out sponsors for the Optimist Golf Tournament in order to make it another successful event.  We are able to support many youth programs by the funds raised at this event so please take the time to seek out a sponsorship.

Other notes: Jim has started to work on the design for a portable banner that the club can bring to Optimist events to help encourage recruitment.  The members who were present at the meeting voted for Jim to proceed with ordering the banner.

***Important Meeting information: There will be a new venue for the next Optimist meeting on Wednesday, March 6th.  Due to the Refectory already being in use, our meeting will be held down the street in Valentine Hall (Two doors down from the Chapel and directly across from the parking lot that is next to the Refectory).  We will have a presentation from the Boy scouts.

In elementary and middle school Optimist member Mindy Accardi played basketball in a Saturday morning program run by parents and volunteers. It was fashioned very similarly to the Optimist Basketball program. Mindy loved learning basketball skills, exercising, and spending time with her friends outside of the classroom. She used the skills learned during the Saturday morning camps as she continued to play basketball through high school. It was during her high school years that she first learned what it felt like to give back and volunteer. She committed her Saturday mornings during the basketball season to helping coach a new generation of young basketball players. She found just as much enjoyment in volunteering and watching the kids learn as she did in playing.

When Mindy learned that the Optimist Club of Gettysburg sponsored a Youth Basketball program she became even more excited to join the local Club and she continues to find the volunteer experience very rewarding.  We appreciate Mindy’s contributions to the club and the basketball program.

After a weekend break in observance of Presidents Day, play resumes on Saturday, February 23  The schedule is as follows:

Boys, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM, Gettysburg Middle School 4th, 5th & 6th
Boys, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM, Gettysburg Middle School K – 3rd
Girls, 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM, Lincoln School 4th, 5th & 6th
Girls, 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM, Lincoln School K-3rd

Hello Fellow Optimists,

This is just a reminder that our next meeting is scheduled for 6:30pm on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at the Refectory.  This will be a big night for donations as we give to Reading is Fundamental and the Outdoor Education programs.  Lets fill those seats!  Looking forward to another great evening of shared optimism!

The Optimist Basketball Program will be taking a break this week due to President’s Day weekend.  Play will resume on Saturday, February 23.  We hope you all enjoy the long holiday weekend and look forward to seeing everyone on the courts Saturday, February 23.

Celebrating their 5th year, Gettysburg Community Theatre will again hold the annual Musical Gala at the Gettysburg Hotel Ballroom located at 1 Lincoln Square in downtown Gettysburg.

This year’s Gala event will be Friday, March 15th at 6:30pm.

“That’s Entertainment!” is a Hollywood theme with a professional concert featuring alumni from Gettysburg High School, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg Community Theatre, as well as favorite singers of Gettysburg, performers from NYC, and students of GCT!

This year’s concert is being sponsored by the Optimist Club of Gettysburg and our own member Wayne Hill will be putting on another outstanding performance!


Starring: Chad-Alan Carr, Pamela Cooper-White, Mary George, Kyleigh Grim, Wayne Hill, Marquis Johnson, Jane Johnston, Sean Mott, Kate Moyer, Ed Riggs, Carrie Trax, Greg Trax, and students of GCT!

The event also includes Hors ‘doeuvres, Cash Bar, and a fabulous Silent Auction.

All proceeds will go to Gettysburg Community Theatre not-for-profit 501c3 organization.

Tickets go on sale to the public February 15th. They can be purchased online at or by calling the theatre at 717-334-2692.

Come out and enjoy the show!


The East York Optimist Club has announced their upcoming Fundraiser.

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Location: UAW Local 1872 Union Hall, 3562 Gillespie Drive York, PA

Ticket price: $40.00

Dinner: 6:30 pm.

Meal includes roast pork, barbecue pork, chicken, scalloped potatoes, baked beans, coleslaw, rolls, dessert.  Beer will be on tap and soda will be provided for your BYOB.

Tickets will be pulled for a variety of prizes.
5th to last ticket call wins $100
4th to last ticket called wins $200
3rd to last ticket called wins $300
2nd to last ticket called wins $400
The last ticket called wins $500

Come out and enjoy the Optimist Club of York for a fun evening. To purchase tickets, contact Treva at or 717-487-5138


Al Parone first became aware of the Optimist Club of Gettysburg  several years ago when he signed his son Shawn up for the Gettysburg Optimist Basketball Program and decided to volunteer as a coach.  Enjoying the experience, he decided to become a member of the local club and has been involved in “Bringing Out The Best In Kids” ever since.

This year Al returned to coach the Optimist Basketball Program but this time it is his grandson Anthony that is receiving the attention.  Anthony is enrolled in the 8 year old group and plays basketball with friends in his age group every Saturday morning at the Gettysburg Middle School.  When not coaching his grandson, Al continues his more than 15 year association with the Optimists by supporting the Club’s projects that help sponsor more than 19 youth related programs in the Gettysburg area throughout the year.

The next fundraising event is the Annual Optimist Club Oyster & Shrimp Feed to be held on Saturday, March 9.  To purchase tickets for this popular event, contact Al Parone or contact the club.

The 2013 Optimist Club of Gettysburg Basketball Program will continue on Saturday, February 9.  The girls will remain at Lincoln Elementary School and the boys will play at the Gettysburg Middle School.  The K through 3rd grade boys are scheduled for 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM and 4th through 6th grade Boys are scheduled for 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM.   The K through 3rd grade girls are scheduled for 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM with the 4th through 6th grade girls wrapping the day up from 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM.

Club members, family and community volunteers are encouraged to attend and support the days activities.


-We had a very enlightening presentation about the Gettysburg Little League Baseball program.  This year is the 60th anniversary of Little League in Gettysburg.  Approximately 150 youth, ages 7-18 participate in the Spring season and 90 participate in the Fall season.  This year, the fee paid per child has increased to $60.  In actuality, it costs approximately $150 per child to play a season.  This includes approximately 20 games in the spring and 7 or 8 in the fall.  No child is ever prohibited from playing based on their ability to pay the fee.  That is why fundraising and generous donations help to keep Little League running smoothly.  The Optimist Club was able to present our donation to the Gettysburg Little League following the presentation.

Treasurer’s report: Quarterly dues were paid to Optimist International and we received a $100 credit.

Secretary report:  Well wishes go out to Walt as he recovers from a broken ankle.

Recent/On-going events: The STARS program was another inspiring event.  Water bottles were passed out to the students along with the awards.

Optimist Basketball continues on Saturday mornings from 9-11:45.  There are four more sessions left.  Reminder: there is no basketball over President’s Weekend.  Members are encouraged to lend a hand as the teams begin to scrimmage.  We will need more support to help with coaching and refereeing.  Any help and experience level would be appreciated!

Upcoming Events: The Annual Optimist Oyster and Shrimp Feed is fast approaching!  Please continue to sell tickets for $30 per person to this All-you-can-eat event.  Members are encouraged to help with prep on Friday March 8th at 6:30pm at the 1863 Inn of Gettysburg.  On Saturday, March 9th setup will begin at 9:30am.  Guests are welcome to enjoy the buffet from noon until 3pm.

The Optimist Golf Tournament is still seeking more sponsors.  A sign-up sheet was passed around to members in order to organize prospective sponsors.  If you have not signed-up, please  consider doing so as soon as possible.

The club voted to donate to Alex’s Lemonade stand in hopes of helping to eradicate childhood cancers.

On Tuesday, March 26th, the Optimist of West York will be hosting their annual Pulled-Pork Dinner.   Please see Joe for more information if you would like to go.

Jim has volunteered, with the help of his daughter, to get some ideas together for a display that we can use to promote the Optimist Club at each of our events.

Hi Everyone,

Now that the football season is finished, baseball is just around the corner!  At our meeting this Wednesday, February 6th at 6:30pm back at the Refectory we will have guest speakers Ken Hassinger and Fred Cosden tell us about the Little League Baseball program and how we may be able to be of assistance.

Please be prepared to share your count for any tickets sold for the Oyster and Shrimp Feed along with any sponsors that you may have acquired for the Golf Tournament. We all know how important it is to stay motivated to keep our fundraisers successful so that we can continue to make such a big impact on our local youth.