Words from our incoming President: Brian Skidmore.

Fellow Optimists,

I am looking forward to working with each and every one of you in 2021 to “bring out the best in youth.”  2020 was an unprecedented year for the club. We had to cancel most of our activities and fundraisers, and held our meetings through Zoom (Thank you Marci for setting that up). Hopefully, in 2021 things will get better. We started strong with a successful golf outing and are looking forward to an excellent turnout for the Giving Spree.  So, let’s keep those glasses half full and have an extremely optimistic year!

Brian Skidmore

October 7 Meeting Minutes

Our first 2020-2021 Board of Directors Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21 via zoom. Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 858 6570 6352
Passcode: Hello

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg installed new officers Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at Mason Dixon Distillery.  Outgoing President, Marci  Cropp, passed the gavel to the incoming President, Brian Skidmore. Tom Barako will continue to serve as treasurer and Daryl Aurand will continue to serve as Secretary.  Additional Board of Directors for the 2020-2021 year will include Stacey Schlosser, Darlene Brown and Fred Darling.

Left to right: Daryl Aurand, Marci Cropp, Brian Skidmore, and Tom Barako.

Words from the outgoing President: A Year in Review

It is hard to believe that another year has past! And what a year it has been! I am happy to say not only did we achieve our objectives but we as a club excelled optimistically. We have achieved a lot in the last 365 days for which we should all be proud.  As I reflected, I became overwhelmed by everything that was accomplished during one of the most unprecedented times in our life.

In October of 2019, we partnered with the Adams County Tech Prep building trade class and made renovations to the Gettysburg area recreational authority optimist pavilion. Together the optimist club brought out the best in youth while educating the class as they learned workplace and life skills. Together we were able to renovate the structure, new sign and all, that is a testament to the organizations ability to withstand the test of time and provide a safe space for youth and adults alike to enjoy entertainment and the outdoors.

In December, the club participated in the Salvation Army bellringing program. Additionally, in December, under direction of Doug Miller, the club, hosted a magic show free to our youth in the community. A big THANK YOU to Doug for organizing this event seamlessly.

In January and February, the basketball committee under the direction of Chris Bender with the assistance of Brian Skidmore continued the Optimist legacy basketball program for the 55th year.  Wow! The committee transitioned and excelled at teaching youth of the community basketball skills. They rallied the troops on Saturday mornings and motivated them to get off the couch and have a little fun with her friends. Thank you for continuing this tradition. The impact on the youth of the community is priceless.

In February, the Optimist Club of Gettysburg sponsored the stars awards breakfast at the Gettysburg area high school. Several members attended and assisted with distributing the honors.

Shortly after the program concluded, COVID-19 inspired unique challenges. The club did not skip a beat. We adapted and investigated opportunities outside the box. I’m happy to report, the club rose to the challenge.

We continued our mission and assisted Ruth’s harvest of Gettysburg in time of great need. The club reached deep to assist those with food vulnerabilities.

In March, the first ever virtual meetings began. Not only could we continue the club’s mission but we were able to stay in touch and provide member support.

In May, the club participated in the virtual dollars for scholars’ awards at the Gettysburg area high school. The club gave away 2 – $1,000 scholarships awarded to two graduating seniors.

In July, under the direction of Walt Jones, the club supported senior self-improvement awards.

Fundraising halted briefly. But did not deter members. We became innovative. Seeking new opportunities.

The oyster feed was cancelled. To everyone’s understanding. A huge THANK YOU to Stacey and Wayne for spearheading this endeavor.

Our golf tournament was postponed leaving us time to plan for exciting changes. A big thanks to Tom Barako, Tom Bair, and Daryl Aurand for your leadership and commitment. And to Stacy and Biggerstaff’s Catering for meal prep. Tomorrow promises to be a great day!

We’ve continued our social media presence and engaged a new member.  A big Thank you to Gary for sharing our mission with others and engaging a new member. Welcome Steve.

In August, Under the direction of Tom Barako, the club applied and was accepted to be a part of Adams County community foundation giving spree scheduled for November 5. Giving the club an amazing opportunity to fund raise throughout the county and to share our mission!

In September, under the direction of Doug Miller, we honored 2 to park rangers Maria and Dan for their commitment to the Gettysburg National Military park and local community.

The coming year will continue to present challenges, but I know the new officers and board members won’t be deterred. Although the ways of accomplishing the mission might look different, together we will succeed.

A big THANK YOU to this year’s officers. Tom, Daryl, and Brian. And to this year’s board of directors; Chris, Doug, Fred and Stacey. And OI rep; Dan Mattern. Thank you for making this year so memorable!

I’d be remise if I didn’t thank my parents, Rosie’s staff including Ashley Skidmore for their continued support throughout the year!  Stepping up and volunteering where possible.

It took every member this year to make 2019-2020 a success year. With that, I must also Thank every member for your continued dedication to the club and mission of bringing out the best in kids.  You are the individuals making a huge difference in the lives of others.

I also want to thank the in coming years officers for stepping up to the plate. Your dedication is greatly appreciated. Darlene, Tom, Daryl, Brian, Stacey, and Fred.  I’m honored to be able to work with you on the board in the coming year.  Keep Optimistically looking to the future.

I will leave you with the same parting words as I did last year when I took office. Live life to the fullest, and make a difference along the way.

And with that I’ll pass the gavel back to Brian.



We believe in the Optimist Creed:

“Promise Yourself
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.”


What is RIF?  Reading Is Fundamental is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. By partnering with them, we prepare and motivate children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. We inspire children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice. RIF provides new, free books for children to choose from and make their own. The seeds of inspiration in these books have motivated children to follow their dreams and achieve their potential. We are happy to support RIF in their mission as we provide books to local students.

Thank you to our sponsors, golfers and volunteers who came out for a beautiful October day at the Links at Gettysburg! We appreciate your continued support in bringing out the best in kids! 100% of today’s proceeds with go to Youth in our Local community. That’s right. All admin fees are paid for or donated by members allowing your donations to go further! A few images can be located on our facebook page!

The Annual Gettysburg Optimist Golf Tournament is set for Thursday, 08 October, 2020 with tee off scheduled for 12:00 Noon at the Links at Gettysburg. Sponsored by C.E. Williams Sons, Inc.

The 10th Annual Golf Tournament features contests including a Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, Green of Gold, and Putting contests with awards to the top three finishing foursomes.

It’s sure to be a great day out on the greens tomorrow.

The local high school recognizes youth who have made a significant improvement in their school performance through the STARS program, Success Through Academic Recognition. The Optimist Club of Gettysburg sponsors this quarterly program which awards students in the categories of Shining Star, Rising Star and North Star. Additionally, the Optimist Club of Gettysburg contributes and supports the Dwight D. Eisenhower Senior Self Improvement Award for students who have overcome significant obstacles to make dramatic improvement in their attendance, behavior, attitude, academic performance and community/school service. A cash award and achievement plaque is awarded to each of the thirty students nominated from the six high schools in Adams County.  We are proud to support students’ academic achievement!

The Annual Gettysburg Optimist Golf Tournament is set for Thursday, 08 October, 2020 with tee off scheduled for 12:00 Noon at the Links at Gettysburg. Sponsored by C.E. Williams Sons, Inc.

The 10th Annual Golf Tournament features contests including a Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, Green of Gold, and Putting contests with awards to the top three finishing foursomes.  We look forward to seeing you all out on the green!