GUESTS:  Carolyn and Ruth came to talk to us about the Gettysburg Area High School STARS Program which stands for Success Through Academic Recognition.  This is a quarterly program which awards students in the categories of Shining Star, Rising Star, and North Star.   Our Optimist donation goes towards a quarterly breakfast ceremony where students and parents gather to celebrate achievements in academia, leadership and character.  See our Facebook page for recent pictures of this event.

OPTIMIST MOMENT: Tom talked to the group about a conversation he shared with a local physician while at a STARS program several years ago.  Tom related how proud he was to hear how this program was making a significant impact on local youth by improving their confidence and outlook on life.

OTHER NEWS:  Mark received a pin from Optimist international for helping to bring 2 new members to our group.

Optimist international is currently promoting an introductory offer for new members 30 years of age or younger.  If a new member under 30 joins the organization somewhere between February and September the dues for the first year will only be $30.



OYSTER AND SHRIMP FEED:  There was another strong showing of Optimist members at this event on Saturday March 9th.   The 1863 Inn of Gettysburg was a hit as the new location for the feed.  We look forward to working with the Inn again in the future. The addition of shrimp seemed to be a big draw.    Some comments from our guests included:  “This was the best oyster feed I’ve ever been to” and “That was the best stew I have ever had”.  This year we served an additional 70 people compared to last year’s number, with nearly 250 tickets sold.  It is estimated that more than $3500 was raised which will go towards local youth programs.  Stacy asked that we avoid discussing making this a bi-annual event until she recovers from this year’s excitement!

BASKETBALL:  Another Optimist Basketball season is in the books.  Our last session on March 9th boasted a large turn out to end the weekly camp.  We had a very enthusiastic group of children and parents who are already looking forward to next season!

COMMUNITY OUTREACH:  Our website and Facebook pages continue to be a great way to promote the club to community members.  More than 831 people have been reached by our Facebook page.  Several potential new members have requested applications through our website.



GOLF TOURNAMENT:  The key word is Sponsors for the May 23rd fundraiser.  Optimist members are challenged to seek out sponsorships to make the most of this fundraising event.  Please contact Daryl if you have any questions regarding the tournament or soliciting sponsors.

PIG ROAST:  The Optimist of East York are sponsoring this all-you-can-eat evening for $40 on Tuesday March 26th.  Please contact Joe if you would like to attend.

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday April 3rd at 6:30pm at the Adams County Arts Council Building

*Please consider if you would like to assist the Arts Council in their 2nd Annual Chili Cook-off on July 13th noon until 6pm.

Tonight’s Optimist meeting will be held at 6:30pm in room 206 in Valentine Hall.  This building is located on the Seminary campus 2 doors down from the Chapel and directly across from the large parking lot that connects with the Refectory.

The next Optimist meeting is Wednesday, March 20th at 6:30pm.  The location of the next meeting is room 206 in Valentine Hall.   Valentine Hall is on the Seminary campus two doors down from the Chapel and directly across from the large parking lot that connects with the Refectory.

It all came together several decades ago, a feed just for oyster lovers and a project to raise funds in support of the Optimist Club of Gettysburg’s Youth Programs.  Truly an odd pairing to say the least, but it clicked in the hearts, minds and pallets of members, community leaders and citizens of Gettysburg who every year since continue to gather together not only for their appreciation for the slippery shell-fish but, more importantly, come together in their desire to make a difference in the lives of area youth.  This year the popular Oyster Feed grew to include a new addition to the menu, steamed shrimp, and the community responded with a record turn out and what is sure to become a record fund-raiser.

In addition to the new menu a new venue, the 1863 Inn of Gettysburg, welcomed more than he 236 diners from as far away as Scranton, Lancaster and York with more space and a brighter more sparkling environment.  It created some new and different challenges for the Oyster and Shrimp Team but in the end it was a successful afternoon of good food, great fun and lively social interaction between family and friends.  But even though it may look easy, it is not.  Bringing it off so successfully just didn’t happen, it happened because of the hard work, dedication and commitment of many talented individuals, each focused on achieving a quality experience for all those generous people who showed up in support of the Clubs goals and objectives.

Terrific performing teams come together behind inspiring leadership and the Club followed Wayne Hill and Stacey Green, who for yet another year, pulled out all the stops to organize and lead the Optimist Team through the process of ticket sales, food purchases, site acquisition, cooking and cleaning.  For Wayne, Project Chair since its inception,(“shucking” has become part of his DNA)  he has once again retained the crown as “Oyster King” and Stacy, of Biggerstaff’s Catering, mastered the difficult challenge of teaching the members some reasonable culinary skills.

As members we collectively offer our sincerest appreciation for the attendees, contributors, volunteers  and supporters of the Optimist Club of Gettysburg.   Your continued and overwhelming support provides us the ability to reach out to the youth of our community through more than 19 Youth related programs each year.  We thank you for your kind efforts and invite you to become a member and join with us in making a difference.

For more photos of the event, visit our Facebook page.


Adam is the 16 year old son of Brenda and Jim DeYoung, two of the newest members of the Optimist Club of Gettysburg.  The DeYoung’s travel from their home in Greencastle, PA to be enthusiastic members of the Gettysburg Club, setting forth an amazing example of community service for their children and others.  Adam is following his parents example of “Bringing Out The Best In Kids”, by selecting the Gettysburg Optimist Youth Basketball Program as his community service project, a requirement for his graduation from the Greencastle-Antrim School District next year.  He has traveled from Greencastle to Gettysburg to help coach and work with the youth of the Program.  “My experience with helping the Gettysburg Youth basketball organization was one of a kind. I enjoyed helping the kids get better at their basketball skills and it was an experience I won’t forget”, said Adam.  The Optimist Club of Gettysburg thanks Adam for his support and wishes him well in his continued studies.

The final session of the 2013 Gettysburg Optimist Basketball Program will be held this Saturday.  The schedule is as follows:

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


The Annual Gettysburg Optimist Oyster and Shrimp Feed is upon us.  As in the past, members will be asked to roll up their sleeves, slip on their gloves, man their favorite tool and prepare to shuck, pad, steam and fry.  This is a last call for members to tune-in and turn out and prepare for the onslaught of hungry oyster and shrimp eaters that will be charging the buffet line this Saturday, March 9, beginning at noon.

As is always the case, effectively meeting the challenge depends most upon our preparation, so all members are encouraged to show up on Friday evening at 6:30 pm for the 2013 annual oyster pad-off.  Project leaders Wayne Hill and Stacey Green will be providing the inspiration and an adequate supply of bandages for eager participants.  Saturday’s preparation will begin at 10:00 am and the feeding frenzy will commence at Noon and run through 4:00 pm.  We have experienced an increase in ticket sales this year and expect to be busy during the length of the event.

Please bring a desert!  Spouses, kids, grand kids, significant others, friends and volunteers are invited to help out.

If you have not yet heard, this years Event is being held at the 1863 Inn (the old Holiday Inn) located on Baltimore Street, at the intersection with Steinwehr Avenue, in Gettysburg.  A prize will be awarded to any member who shows up at the Gettysburg Fire Hall appearing confused, as to why they don’t recognize anyone, and thinking that they may have the wrong date for the event.  Winners will have to be present and admit to their mistake in front of all their fellow members in order to receive their prize.


The Annual Gettysburg Optimist Oyster and Shrimp Feed is this Saturday, March 9, 2013 between noon and 3 pm.

This year the popular event moves to the 1863 Inn of Gettysburg located at 516 Baltimore Street, in Gettysburg.  The annual All U Can Eat Oyster & Shrimp Feed includes oysters (raw, steamed, stewed, and fried), steamed shrimp, ham, steak fries, beverage, and dessert for a donation of $30 per person!

For ticket reservations, phone (717) 220-3416.

All money raised contributes to supporting more than 19 local youth related programs and organizations throughout the Gettysburg area.

Come on out and help the Optimist Club of Gettysburg, “Bring Out the Best in Kids”.  We hope to see you there!

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg Membership Meeting scheduled for this evening has been cancelled due to inclement weather.  The next regular membership meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30 pm.  Stay tuned for updates as to the location.

The Refectory will be the site for the next Optimist Meeting on Wednesday March 6th.  Come hear a presentation from the Boy Scouts.  This will be our final meeting before the Optimist Oyster and Shrimp Feed.

Matt Sheads began his association with the Optimist Club of Gettysburg in 2004 and soon after became the Chairman of the Optimist of Gettysburg Youth Basketball Program.  Each year since, accompanied by Optimist members, parents and interested volunteers, the program has flourished and provided hundreds of Gettysburg area boys and girls the opportunity to learn and play basketball.  We appreciate Matt’s continued leadership and his generous, ongoing effort to “Bringing Out The Best In Kids.”

This Saturday, March 2, the program will continue.  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