Welcome to 2014 Optimists!  During our first meeting of the new year we caught up on a lot of old and new business.

Before getting down to business, the club had a moment of remembrance for Ron Heiges.  Ron was a cherished member, friend, and mentor who recently passed away.   Several members recounted Ron’s kindness, generosity, and good humor.  He will be greatly missed.


Guest: Ruth Topper made a presentation to the club about the STARS (success through academic recognition of students) program.  Each quarter teachers select students for three different awards, including the Shining Star award which goes to a student at the top of the class.  The Rising Star award which goes to a student who is making great improvement and the North Star award which goes to a student who goes above and beyond expectations. The Optimist Club of Gettysburg will be sponsoring the 2nd Quarter award winners for Gettysburg Area High School.  Students, teachers, parents, and grandparents are invited to attend the breakfast ceremony on Wednesday, January 29th at 8 a.m.  Last quarter, 75 students received awards along with a small gift.

***If any Optimist member would like to attend as a representative of the club, please contact Kris (kristopheraccardi@gmail.com) so that he can notify Ruth.  Last year, we had a few members present at the ceremony and we were able to take pictures of the award recipients which was really nice for the students, so please consider attending.


Recognition: Former President, Craig Sweet honored Sam Isenberger for his support and service to the club by inducting him as our newest Life Member.  Sam has been an active member of the club since April 8th, 1991.  Sam expressed his gratitude for being chosen.

Secretary Report: The 1st Quarter A&A report was submitted. Some members have asked to update their contact information.  I will be sending out a new roster soon with everyone’s contact information.  If you would like to change any of your information, please submit the changes to mindyd01@hotmail.com by February 1st.


Treasurer report: Tom has completed the taxes for the club.  There are still a few members who owe payment for the Holiday party.  Tom will be in touch with those who owe.


Dues: As previously discussed, the club has not increased membership dues for several years.  As a result of rising costs, a dues increase is necessary to help maintain our current budget.  The board of directors took into account all of the clubs recommendations and outlined a proposal as follows for 2014 which should meet our financial goals as outlined by the approved budget:

1)      eliminate  the $10 member discount for paying dues early in full

2)      eliminate the $8 life member discount (sorry Sam!)

3)      members/guests will pay their way for special events (i.e. installation banquet/holiday party)

4)      dues will increase from $190 per year to $210 per year

5)      members will be encouraged to participate in other fundraisers (i.e. Hoss’s Night)

6)      the board will reassess the budget in 6 months’ time and address is deficit at that time

The club members present unanimously accepted this proposal.  See Congress it’s not that hard!



Old business: The Magic Show drew a great crowd.  The children who won the bikes were very excited!  The Club expects to surpass its fundraising goal for this event.

Everyone seemed to really enjoy the Christmas party.  There was great food, company, and optimism abound.  Santa was a big hit and he plans to return next year!


Basketball: The first week of this 8 week basketball program was a great success.  More than 120 area boys and girls in grades 1-6 participated.  Interested students are still welcome to join in the fun.  We will be at the Gettysburg Middle School gym this Saturday.  The schedule is as follows:

Boys 1st-3rd grades: 9-10am

Girls 1st-3rd grades: 10-11am

Boys 4th-6th: 11-12pm

Girls 4th-6th: 12-pm

The club is looking for additional members to help coach, take pictures, ect.  All ability levels are welcome for both players and coaches!


Other Fundraising: There are 3 Hoss’s Community Nights scheduled.  With a voucher, twenty percent of each bill will be donated to the club.  The dates are: Friday 2/7/14, Saturday 3/15/14, and Saturday 5/24/14.  We will look into scheduling with Ruby Tuesdays as well.  Members are strongly encouraged to attend these events and to ask friends, family, neighbors and coworkers to attend as well.  Flyers will be emailed to members and some flyers will be printed and passed out at the Basketball program.

Oyster/Shrimp Feed:  The date is set for Saturday, March 8th from noon until 3pm at the Gettysburg Fire Department.  Tickets are $35 per person for all-you-can-eat steamed, raw, stewed, and fried oysters, steamed shrimp, ham, steak fries, and beverages.  Please work on selling your tickets and contact Wayne (waynehill743@outlook.com) if you need more.

Golf tournament:  The count down is on!  Put May 22nd on your calendar for this event.  We look to maximize foursomes and sponsors in order to continue to support all of our current projects for the youth in the area.  Bruce will be sending out a notice shortly inviting members to a Golf Tournament Planning session.  Keep your eyes out for the email!

New membership: The club is looking to make a strong push for new members this year.  The Membership committee is interested in sponsoring a specific event for potential new members.  Please think of a person that you can identify who would make a great Optimist member.  If you can bring their name and contact information to the next meeting or send to kristopheraccardi@gmail.com.  The event is still in the planning stages, but formal invites will be sent once the details are ironed out.  Members are still welcome to bring any potential new guest to any regular business meeting.

Next meeting: Wednesday, February 5th at 6:30pm at Mamma Ventura’s.