THE OPTIMIST CLUB OF EVANSVILLE Downtown BIRTH OF OUR OPTIMIST CLUB On Friday, May 13, 1921 the Optimist Club of Evansville was chartered. The date of Friday the 13th was not picked because of their optimism, but because it was the birthday of the first club president, Dr. Charles Hartloff. There were 34 charter members who met at the Vendome Hotel to organize the club. Original Optimist Banner HIGHLIGHTS ROARING 20s 1921 1930 Summer, 1923 At the Chattanooga International Convention, Dr. Charles Hartloff made the motion, which was passed, that the slogan of Optimism be, Friend of the Delinquent Boy. At the Milwaukee Convention the following year, this was
changed to, Friend of the boy. (It has evolved to, April, 1930 Friend of Youth today.) Meeting place was moved to the Vendome Hotel May, 1930 Memorial Day Services at the graves of our departed Optimist members were started. At this date, four members have died: Rev. W. R. Plumber, Ray Geupel, Floyd Ragland, and Dr. George Ridgeway. From this date, these Services have been conducted annually under the leadership of Rev. Addison, Chaplin, as long as he lived. October, The tradition is still being continued. 1930 Begin the sponsorship of the four Friendly Indian Junior Optimist Clubs with membership not to exceed 80 boys. Downtown Optimist Club 1921s 30s SOMETHING 1931 1940 Continued
Camp Optimist October 1933 Decided to operate Camp Optimist and make it available to groups under proper supervision. October 1934 Meeting place was moved back to Shrine Mosque. January, 1935 Meeting place was changed to the McCurdy Hotel at 12:15 P.M. on Wednesdays. first JOOI Club June 23, 1935 July, Started 1936 Life Membership Plan in Optimist International was opened up and the following year, George Krauss became our first life member.. August. 1937 An additional room was built at Camp Optimist at a cost of $385, the labor was done by members Summer 1940 Searched for a new camp site, but was informed later in the year by the City Park Board they would extend the lease indefinitely so long as the Camp was used for youth work. Note: (May, 2011) Optimist Drive still exists off Mt. Auburn
FLIRTATIOUS 40s 1941 - 1950 May, 1941 Spent $400 for the construction and furnishing of a cabin at the Y.M.C.A (Camp) Carson. September 28, 1944 Mayor Manson Reichert declared the week Optimist week and urged all citizens to give sincere consideration to this timely appeal to the end that torment may be lifted from mens hearts and peace may come for all nations and peoples. The theme of the observance, sponsored by Optimist clubs of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico is Lets be worthy of their sacrifice. This is a concerted appeal to all individuals and groups to forget differences of the past and unite in home front December, 21, work for victory and lasting peace. 1944 Optimists hear Bosse Singers under the direction of Charles Horn. February 14, 1945 Optimist told youth guidance is vital to nation. The youth of America is the is the greatest asset of greatest liability depending upon the guidance and education WE MAKE AVAILABLE.
May 15, 1945 Evansville Optimist Club celebrates 25th Anniversary and two charter members still present, Louis B. Levi, life Insurance and Orla Heim, Printer. Photo carried in Evansville Courier April 14, 1946. Celebration held in Gold Room of McCurdy Hotel. The work of the club started in the loft of the two story barn in back of St. Vincents Nursery in co-operation with the Knights of Columbus. The loft was turned into a workshop and boys from Fulton and Carpenter School districts used woodworking tools to make useful articles. FLIRTATIOUS 40s 1941 1950 Continued June 1, 1947 Articles of Incorporation filed with county recorders office. Summer, 1947 Camp Optimist was remodeled and enlarged. August, 1949 Additional funds were spent at the Camp to make the necessary changes and provide equipment for use by crippled children during the Summer months. FABULOUS 50s 1951 - 1960 October 10, 1953 Louis J. Alber, famous lecturer, world traveler and author will speak at the Optimist Club. His topic, Laughing with World Celebrities. During World War I,
Alber was national director of the speaking campaign for Liberty loans, and was past director of the National Housing Committee. Evansville Breakfast Club met at Fritz Belvedere Caf at 7 a.m.; each Tuesday. Sponsored and established the following Optimist Clubs March 18, 1953 March 22, 1957 Evansville West Side Club April, 1954 Evansville Twilight Club June, 1959 Posey County Club March 26, 1955 Evansville Breakfast Club April 7, 1956 Evansville East Side
Club Petersburg Breakfast Club Additional Clubs established later: May 3, 1971 Santa Claus Club April , 1989 Mt. Vernon Club May, 1956 Host to the Fifth District Convention Sponsored the New Santa Claus Club 60s and 70s, TWO DECADES OF SERVICE 1961 1980 May, 1962 Host to the Fifth District Convention.
December, 1962 New set of Bylaws for the Club was adopted. Sponsored appearance of St. Olaf Choir in Evansville 1967 Purchased diorama for permanent installation at Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences. 1968 Paved play area in Wheeler school area for youth recreation purposes. Returned Camp Optimist to the City of Evansville Parks Department. 1969 Meeting place moved from Hotel McCurdy to Hadi Shrine. Participated in purchase of materials including films for Evansville Police Department Respect for Law Program. Formed Junior Optimist Outdoor Club. 1970 Formed outdoor Junior Optimist Club. Sponsored Pass, Shoot Dribble Basketball Contest, taking our local winner to Rushville, Indiana for state competition. Purchased tape recorder cassettes for Evansville Police Department. Contributed to bring stage presentation Concept to Evansville in cooperating effort with Junior Service Leagues work against drug abuse.
OPTIMISTS CLUBS CHANGED FOREVER WOMEN JOIN THE RANKS TO HELP KIDS A number of members, male members, did not like the idea of women joining their all male club. The women had their own club, Time would prove these disgruntled males to be in the minority and very wrong. We know today that without the women, many leaders, Optimists would not be a viable entity. Today, women make up eighteen percent of our club, and since Pam Fulkerson-Macer was 1992, there have been seven
the first woman in the club women presidents. when she joined on March 1, 1988. President , 1992 1993 OPTIMISTS CLUBS CHANGED FOREVER - CONTINUED WOMEN PRESIDENTS Pam Macer Virginia (Ginger) Drake Lana Baker
1995 1997 2003 2004 2007 2009 Currently, 24 percent of the Club is comprised of women. Where would we be without them? 80s to 2017s, SERVICE INTO THE NEXT CENTURY April 14, 1989 Built Mt. Vernon Club August 2000 Hosted the Districts 14th Convention April 16,,
2001 Built Culver School JOOI Club October 21, 2002 Built Warrick County Club October 27, 2007 Built Evansville North Side Club August 2007 Hosted the Districts 21st Convention January 24, 2008 Built Joshua Academy JOOI Club Past Presidents Still Active in the Club Donald Julian 1986 - 1987 Ronald P. Eberhart 1987 - 1988 Timothy Deisher 1989 - 1990
Kenneth Dennis 1993 - 1994 Gary Burk 1997 - 1998 Todd Wahl 1998 - 1999 Michael Wall 2005 - 2006 Donald Julian 2007 2008 Karen Morris 2008 - 2009 Ronald P. Eberhart 2009 - 2010 Jeff Olson 2013 - 2014 John Perkins 2016 2017 Current President DISTRICT OFFICERS FROM EVANSVILLE Past Governors 1947-1948 *Olive C. Reeves, Evansville 1949-1950 *Paul E. Miller, Evansville 1955-1956 *William E. Laswell, Evansville 1975-1976 *Daniel M. Kissel, Evansville Downtown
1959-1960 *Gordon "Bish" S. Thompson, Evansville Past District Secretary Treasurers 2006-09 Gary A. Burk, Evansville DISTRICT OFFICERS FROM EVANSVILLE Continued Past Lieutenant Governors In Alphabetical Order Gary Burk Ron Eberhart Ken Dennis Tim Deisher Don Julian Dan Kissel William Laswell Paul E. Miller Ollie Reeves
Betty Strickland Gordon Bish Thompson NATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS DURING OUR CLUBS HISTORY Pages of Time - A Nostalgia News Report - Selected Years in Review 1921 Prices 1931 Prices 1941 Prices 1951 Prices 1961 Prices 1971 Prices 1981 Prices 1991 Prices
77.5 Average Income New Car New House Silver Per Ounce Dow Jones Average Minimum Wage Life Expectancy New Club Chartered on April 2, 2011 U.S.I. Optimist Club Charter Party President of the USI Optimist Club, Stephanie Kreilein, ringing the bell for the first time. Pictured left to right: Kent and Paula Reyling, Betty Strickland,
Indiana South District Lt. Governor, Stephanie, and Ron Eberhart, Downtown Optimist President and New Club Organizer. New Club Chartered on April 2, 2011 - Cont Ken Dennis, President of the Downtown Optimist Club Foundation, presented Nathan Messmer, Treasurer of the USI club, with a check for $500. Governor
Kathy Underwood addresses the USI Optimist Club during their Charter Banquet. Lt. Governor, Betty Strickland, presents the USI club president, Stephanie Kreilein with their club bell and gavel . Jerry Schue presents Stephanie Kreilein with
a banner stand to hold their "creed". CLUB EVENTS Cha n ging Gua of the rd Memorial Day Grave Visitation Annual Picnic Henry Ballman adding to his Woodpecker Hole collection
EVENTS WITH THE KIDS Joshua Academy Junior Optimist Club Youth Appreciation Breakfast Kids at Biaggis Restaronte Italiano after their Dinner Etiquette Class Our outing was rained out, so we went to Lics Ice Cream. Dinni arson C p Cam Room
Junior Optimist Club Tri-St ar Baske tbal l Camp Carso n all asketb B r a t S Tri-
ng Joshua Academy JOOI After the Dinning Etiquette Class Oratorical Winners Soc cer Win ner s Dan Phillips and Don Julian with the Junior Golf WINNERS! Something is not on the Level Like I said. . .
Board Meeting at the Boys and Girls Club Getting the $500 Tour Award Given to people who help kids. Bish Thompson wrote, Of Dreams and Deeds. He was an International Vice President at OI. Chiligans Island Chili Cook-off at the Freedom Festival One of Betty Stricklands creations. She was a great Optimist! THE OPTIMIST CREED Promise Yourself . . . To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to everyone 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 the best, to work only for the best and 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 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. OPTIMISTISM IS A WAY OF LIFEBELIEVE
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