As we enter the fourth and final quarter of this Optimist year we still have much to accomplish as “Friends of Youth” in Gettysburg. Although the list of things to do is getting shorter, each remaining challenge is certainly no less important to our club, our members and the community.

Since 1958, The Optimist Club of Gettysburg has served the needs of our youth with energy, generosity and commitment to the principles of Optimism. We have made a difference in thousands of young lives throughout the years and we have been successful in instilling the principles of optimism, personal growth and community service in the hearts and minds of the youth we have served and mentored.

Today our organization and other service organizations are confronted with the realities of a challenging economy, social change and increased personal demands on volunteer’s time. As we all struggle to balance the many changes and challenges in our personal lives, the needs of our community and its youth go unabated. Each week another request from someone or some organization wanting to know if the Optimist of Gettysburg can help out with their worthy project presents itself. Surely it can be said that successfully filling a need, produces more needs to be filled.

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg has always achieved it objectives because of the dedication and efforts of an active and interested general membership and member leaders. As we move forward into a new Optimist year we ask you to consider your level of commitment to serving the needs of our community through Optimism.  Opportunities include, club officer and board positions as well as project chair positions and co-chair positions. Please consider reserving a prominent place in your busy life this coming year to help continue the proud tradition of the Optimist Club of Gettysburg.

You are invited to contact Mark Cropp, [email protected], or Craig Sweet, [email protected], to volunteer your desire to “step up” and set an example for others to follow through your leadership.

Tyler Harte and Norma Jean Redman, Gettysburg High School seniors, were recently presented the 2012 Optimist Club of Gettysburg, Dollars for Scholars Scholarship.  The students were presented with their award by Optimist Club member and Dollars for Scholars Board President, Matt Sheads.  The Dollars for Scholars program is one of 19 youth related programs that is supported by funds raised by the Optimist Club of Gettysburg.

Gettysburg Area Dollars for Scholars (GADS) recently awarded 66 scholarships and awards totaling $60,000 to graduating high school seniors residing in the Gettysburg Area School District. In the eight years since its inception, Dollars for Scholars has given in excess of $361,000 in scholarship money to local students continuing their education.

All recipients of the Dollars for Scholars Scholarships can be reviewed in the “Faces” section of the Saturday, June 16, 2012 issue of the Gettysburg Times.

From left; Tyler Harte, Norma Jean Redman and Matt Sheads.


On June 6, 2012, the crew of the USS Eisenhower was in Gettysburg.  As a service project to the community, they painted the Rec Park Optimist Amphitheater.  We extend a big thank you for all of their hard work.  It looks great!






It will be upon us all very soon. The time for family vacations, fireworks, swimming, beach going, barbecues, festivals, grille-outs and all things outdoors. Summer will be making it’s annual debut on June 20th and the Gettysburg “Friends of Youth” will embark upon a Hot Summer of Optimism in Gettysburg. Knowing no season, members will continue to gather to conduct their business, celebrate the nations birthday and share some optimistic moments with their families and friends. Here are the Gettysburg Optimist Club events currently scheduled for the coming season:

  • Wednesday, June 20 -The season begins with the clubs second regular monthly meeting. It will be held at the Lake Heritage Pavilion directly inside the main entrance to the lake community. This meeting will feature regular club business and an informative presentation from one of the clubs 19 sponsored programs.  Dinner will be provided by two Optimist members for all to enjoy. The meeting gets underway at 6:30 pm.
  • Wednesday, July 4 – A  day in America for all of us to recognize and celebrate the birth of the greatest nation on earth. No regular monthly meeting or Optimist events are scheduled.
  • Wednesday, July 11 – This evening has become a favorite of the Gettysburg Optimist Club members and their families.  We will be gathering at Wayne and Sue hill’s home for “Optimists Family Night”.  A great evening of good food, conversation, swimming and, the now famous, trivia contest. Highlight this date on your calendar, you don’t want to miss it.
  • Wednesday, August 1 – Again we meet at the Lake Heritage Pavilion to learn, plan and plot supporting our communities youth.  The evening feast will be provided by two of our own gifted culinary specialist (to be announced) and will get underway at 6:30 pm.
  • Wednesday, August 15 – The Annual Optimist Zone 7 Quarterly Pig Roast will be held at the Lake Heritage Pavilion beginning at 6:30 pm.  The Gettysburg Club will be hosting Optimist members from Zone 7 for the 4th quarter meeting. Held at the Lake Heritage Pavilion, this annual event is very popular with Optimists from York and the central Pennsylvania area as well as local attendees.  Roast barbecue pork, potatoes, filling, slaw, pies and beverages will be the featured presentation for the evening. Entertainment will be provided by Lt. Governor, Tom McGlynn and Optimist Club Presidents from Zone 7.  Invite a new friend of youth and family member and join us.
  • Saturday and Sunday, August 25 & 26th – The Blue Gray Soccer Tournament Optimist Parking Summer Project will get underway at the Adams County Historic Society site on Biglerville Road in Gettysburg.  Don Davis will once again lead the local membership in a remarkable display of car parking rodeo. This is the second soccer parking project of the Optimist year and accounts for a significant contribution to the clubs fund raising budget.  A few time slots remain available for those members who want to participate on either day. Contact Chairman, Don Davis to volunteer to serve.
  • Wednesday, September 5th – The traditional, end of summer, outdoor meeting. The “Promise Yourself Optimists of Gettysburg Grill-Out” will be held at the Cropp residence on Montclair Road east of Gettysburg. Established in the spirit of “Clyde’s Cabin” this last outdoor meeting of the summer will begin at 6:30 pm with steaks, brew and fellowship. A great opportunity to share Optimism with a prospective member.

As you can see, Optimists serving the youth of Gettysburg knows no barrier of time or season. There is plenty of opportunity to come together, between the annual summer vacations, holiday and busy schedules, to join with your fellow friends, family and members for a Hot Summer of Optimism in Gettysburg.

May 2012 was a very busy and important month for the Optimist Club of Gettysburg.  Two of the most important fund raising projects of the Optimist year occurred during the last two weeks of the month.  The Blue Gray Youth Soccer Parking Project and the Second Annual Gettysburg Optimist Golf Tournament commanded the clubs attention and produced very positive results.  A large turnout of members and supporters were on hand to make sure that our contributions to 19 youth related programs were met for 2012 and beyond.  A special “Thank You” to Don Davis, Soccer Parking Chairman, and Chairman Don Ferrara, Second Annual Gettysburg Golf Tournament for their extra, hard work and leadership.

It never seems to fail that no matter how busy Optimist members are, they come together for the youth of Gettysburg.  I thank all members for contributing  their time and talents to make both events a BIG success and also extend my sincere appreciation to hundreds of participants and supporters who sponsored and attended both events. The Gettysburg Optimist Club could not do what they do without their enthusiastic participation.

More than 300 photos of the Golf Tournament have been posted to the clubs website at  for members and supporters to review and download.  Already more than 19 unique visitors have been driven to the site and accessed the photos. It is very rewarding to know that our efforts have such a fine following.

Junction Creative Solutions has written a Blog post and national press release concerning the Optimist Clubs efforts at the Second Annual Golf Tournament.  That posting is available at

The club continues their service in June with this months first regular membership meeting on Wednesday, June 6.  The meeting will get underway at 6:30 pm at the Lake Heritage Pavilion.  Brent Smith and Joe MacDowell are the Food Committee for this meeting.  I welcome all members and those interested in learning more about the Optimist Club of Gettysburg to come by for a visit.


What a beautiful day in Gettysburg! The sun is shining so why not get out on the golf course in support of local youth organizations?

The tournament begins today, May 31 with a shotgun start at 1:00 pm. Members will be arriving early in preperation for the registration at 11:00 am. Wine and cider are being provided by Hauser Winery and Bigerstaff’s Catering will be serving the golfers dinner starting at 7:00 pm.

See you on the green!

For more information, visit

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg and the Blue Gray Soccer Tournament are joining together on May 26 and 27 in Gettysburg to support young soccer enthusiast  from several mid-Atlantic states.  More than 2000 young soccer players from Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia and New York, will converge upon Gettysburg this weekend for the first of two youth soccer tournaments this year in Gettysburg. Traditionally the tournaments occur on the weekends prior to Memorial Day and Labor Day each year.

Some of the more than 40 members of the Gettysburg Optimist Club will operate two parking venues adjacent to the soccer fields at Gettysburg College and James Gettys Elementary School on Biglerville Road. Don Davis, Optimist Club Soccer Parking Chairman, leads the local “Friends of Youth” in parking the more than 1000 cars that will bring the kids and their parents to the playing fields. “These two tournaments represent a significant portion of the more than $40,000.00 that the Optimist Club raises to support the 19 youth related programs in Gettysburg each year”, says Mark Cropp, Gettysburg Optimist Club President.

The parking areas are conveniently located next to the fields of play and afford parents the opportunity to park safely and conveniently.  Many parents have several youngsters participating in the tournament, often at different locations around Gettysburg.  One price permits them to park at either lot and come and go as their needs require throughout the day.

Both lots, located at the Adams County Historic Society property on Biglerville Road and the Gettysburg Construction Company building, will open at 7:00 am and continue to operate until 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. The daily parking fee for use of both lots each day is $10.00 per car.

Just one week remains until it is time to tee up your golf ball for the Second Annual Gettysburg Optimist Golf Tournament at the Links of Gettysburg.  Don Ferrara ([email protected]), project chairman, and Daryl Aurand ([email protected]), Board Commitee Facilitator, are leading the charge to the tee-off and putting the final touches on the plans for this years event.

While the field of participants is filling up fast, a number of opportunities to play still remain available to interested golfers. Members who have not yet registered their foursomes should do so by Friday, May 25.  We encourage all club members to participate in this fund raising event. “This golf tournament is an important part of the Gettysburg Optimist fund raising program and it contributes signifcantly to the 19 youth related programs the club supports financially throughout the year.” says Mark Cropp ([email protected]), Optimist Club President. “If you have ever had a child or young family member in the Gettysburg area over the past 54 year’s than you and your family have benefited from an Optimist “Friend of Youth” program, he added.

The tournament begins on Thursday, May 31 with a shotgun start at 1:00 pm.  Members will be arriving early in preperation for the registration at 11:00 am. Wine and cider are being provided by Hauser Winery and Stacy Green, Bigerstaff’s Catering, will be serving the golfers dinner starting at 7:00 pm.

Information concerning the tournament, open tee times and sponsorships is available from Don, Daryl, Mark or from the Optimist Club website at

So, dust off those clubs and drive one long in support of the Optimist Youth of Gettysburg!




Junction Creative announces the launch of the redesigned Gettysburg Optimist Club website.  Check out the official press release.

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg, a volunteer organization that devotes time and energies to “Bringing out the best in kids,” announces the launch of its redesigned website. Designed by Junction Creative Solutions, the new site was created to engage existing and prospective members to learn more about the club year round.