Guests:  The Optimist Club had two exciting and enlightening presentations at our meeting.  We started with a wonderful show by the Adams County School of Musical Theatre.  Six of their students wowed us with their performance of popular songs from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  Their teacher, Chad-Alan Carr spoke briefly about how the Optimist’s donation helps to supports their projects.  Chad also invited the Optimist members to be his guest at an upcoming production of Peter Pan which is being produced as a part of the Penguin Project.  The Penguin Project has been a very successful program in Illinois for the last 10 years.  Children with disabilities ages 8-21 are assigned a part in the play.  They are paired with a mentor of the same age who will help them learn their lines and choreography.  The 6 students who were present at the meeting are actually mentors for this program and they feel that the experience is extremely rewarding.  The production will take place at the Gettysburg H.S. auditorium on Friday and Saturday May 9th and 10th.  Show times are 7pm and 2pm respectively. Please contact Wayne or Darlene if you would like to attend.


We also had a very informative presentation from Brian Devost, with the Gettysburg Area Recreation Authority.  The Rec. park consists of 52 acres of land with a surrounding fitness trail.  A Master Concept Plan has been developed to enhance the park and utilize the space a little better.  Brian explained some of the upcoming goals for the park.  The number one priority per surveyed locals is to create a dog park.  They are nearing the $25,000 goal to begin this project.  Another part of the plan is to make a new, expanded amphitheater towards the front of the park to permit larger acts to come in and to allow easier access for the patrons.  Currently there is no plan to tear down the existing Optimist Amphitheater.  The hope is to actually use it for summer camps at this time.  However, down the road, if the concrete amphitheater needs to be removed, Brian would hope to save the mosaic.   He encourages groups with a connection to the Rec Park and other community members to give suggestions about the future of the park. 

Fundraising Projects:

Golf Tournament: Bruce reports that we have 13 committed gold sponsors and 3 $200 sponsors.  Mercedes will again provide a car with a 6 month lease if a hole-in-one is made on the special hole. We are still looking to surpass last year’s numbers so keep seeking out new sponsorships.  We have approximately 20 foursomes, but we are hoping to have 36 foursomes, so keep talking to your golfing buddies.  If we do not have a full tournament, the Links will open up foursomes to their members for a discounted rate.  Keep an eye out for an email from Bruce for the golf committee meeting.

 Gettysburg Hoss’s Fundraiser: Saturday, May 21st bring your printed flier to Hoss’s and a percentage of your bill will be donated to the club.      

 Public Relations: The recent internet virus Heartbleed has not caused too many issues with the Club’s online media, but if you notice any problems, please contact Marci.

 Member Notes: If you would like to cheer on our Veterans a crowd will be gathered at the Eisenhower Hotel as the Wounded Warriors ride into town on Sunday, April 27th at approximately 1:30pm. 

 Hopefully the nicer weather is on its way, so we will be moving our meetings to the Pavilion.  Members are asked to choose a date to be the chef for the night.

 Upcoming Events: Optimist Golf Tournament at the Links Thursday, May 22th

                                East York Special Olympics Thursday, May 22th

                                Dollars for Scholars Program Wednesday, May 28th


Upcoming Meeting:  Wednesday, May 7th at 6:30pm at Mamma Ventura’s 

                                                Wednesday, May 21st at 6:30pm at the Lake Heritage Pavilion

Come on out Optimist Members for what is sure to be a great evening with youth from the Children’s Musical Theatre.  We will meet at 6:30pm at Mamma Ventura’s.

The next Optimist Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 16th at 6:30pm at Mamma Ventura’s.  We will be hosting guests from the Gettysburg Musical Theatre.

Back Row – Left to Right
Club President Kris Accardi, Vikki Slaybaugh, Renee Winters, Valerie Stone
Font Row
Zachary Slaybaugh (grade 2 at Lincoln), Zach Tipton (grade 3 at Lincoln), Grace Stone (grade 2 at Lincoln)

Guests: We had a great turnout of representatives from James Gettys Reading is Fundamental, Franklin Township Reading is Fundamental, Lincoln Drop Everything And Read, Vida School Reading Program, and Outdoor Education.  Each group briefly described how our donation is impacting their program.

-James Gettys will have 3 RIF days this year.  As a part of the first RIF day, each class from 2021-2026 chose a book to donate to the school’s library.  Along with dispensing book, there was a trivia contest during the second RIF day.  Optimist members are encouraged to attend the next program on Arbor Day, April 25th.  Each student will receive a book and also a tree from Adams County Conservancy.

-Franklin Township will also have 3 RIF days this year.  In September, the focus was on the solar system and a blow-up planetarium was brought in to allow students to walk through constellations.  December, brought the Polar Express to town as a professional story-teller brought this book to life.  The details for the Spring RIF day will be announced at a later time.

-Lincoln DEAR started the year with “fractured fairytales” which put a twist on some classic stories.  The second RIF event was a night at the museum.  Each student went home with a book, hieroglyph bookmark, and fossil.  Optimists are welcome to attend the final RIF day on May 9th.  The science-focused program is called “Fizz, Boom, Read”.  The club was presented with a beautiful thank you card from the students at Lincoln.  Each student added their print to the thumbprint tree seen above.

-Vida Charter School is in the second year of their reading program.  The representatives from Vida were very grateful to be a part of our evening.  They talked about the dual immersion classes that are teaching children to read and write in both English and Spanish.  The hope is that the reading program will be able to provide each student with a book to take home to share with their family.

-Dr. O’Connor, the representative for the Outdoor Education program has long been a proponent of emotionally engaging students to help them learn.  So much more knowledge is retained when the students are actively participating in the learning process.  That is why the Outdoor Education program is such a vital part of local students’ school experience.


Also in attendance was Barb Kingsley, Communications Coordinator for GASD.  Barb has put together a great video highlighting some of the ways that the Gettysburg Optimists have positively impacted local students.  A permanent link to the video will be shared once it is available.


Treasurer: Please remember to keep your dues coming in to Tom.


Oyster Feed wrap:  Wayne was very happy with the turn-out and monies raised at the Oyster Feed.  The oysters were huge and all the patrons seemed to be well-satisfied.

Golf Tournament: Bruce update the club with the latest news from the committee meeting.  Members were assigned to follow-up with previous sponsors.  Please see Bruce’s last email for the list.  If you have a personal relationship with any of these potential returning sponsors please consider contacting them.  At this time we have 9 committed gold sponsors and we are looking for new sponsorships.  Each member is challenged to try and bring in a sponsor.  Also be thinking of potential foursomes.  We are hoping for 36.  Our record to date is 33 foursomes.  If you would like to partake in the next committee meeting, please contact Bruce ([email protected]) and he will add you to the email list.   This is a very important fundraiser for the club, so let’s put the work in to make it a great success!


Soccer Parking: Don sent around the initial sign-up for the soccer parking.   The tournaments are scheduled for 5/24-5/25 and 8/29-8/30.   At this time, we will only need to staff the historical lot as most of the games will be played in the Biglerville area.


Pig roasts: Several of our members attended the Pig Roast sponsored by the Optimists of East York.  They all had a great evening and Joe came out the big winner with a “life supply” of animal crackers!


Member Comments: Darlene reported that there are a few tickets left for the production of Jesus Christ Superstar which is playing this weekend at the Gettysburg Community Theatre.

-Mark and Marci are participating again with the Wounded Warrior Project.  The ride is set for April 26th and 27th.  Riders will be in Gettysburg on Sunday, April 27th.  More details will be available at the next meeting.


Next Meeting:  Wednesday, April 16th at 6:30pm at Mamma Ventura’s.  We will be hosting the Children’s Musical Theatre.  There will be a Board of Directors meeting following the regular business meeting.

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg held its annual Reading Is Fundamental/Drop Everything And Read and The Gettysburg Middle School Outdoor Education Donation Dinner on April 2, 2014. Each year the Optimist Club of Gettysburg supports more than 19 youth related programs throughout the Gettysburg area that “Bring Out The Best In Kids”.

Representatives from Vida Charter School, Franklin Township Elementary, Lincoln Elementary and James Gettys Elementary attended this year’s meeting and made presentations of their respective reading programs. It was wonderful to hear the plans of this past years events and for the upcoming reading programs.

In addition to the local elementary schools, the Gettysburg Middle School was  on hand to receive a contribution for their Outdoor Education Program which is just around the corner.

Come out and support the Reading is Fundamental and Outdoor Education programs at the Optimist meeting tonight.  We will gather at 6:30pm at Mamma Ventura’s.