It was early in 1988 when three Optimist members from the Cape Girardeau, Missouri club came to the Festus/Crystal City area to "build" a new Optimist Club. Finding little interest and even being told by one community leader, "We don't need any more service clubs," they, being optimists, did not give up. Remembering that only recently Optimist International had begun admitting females as members, they forged ahead and began recruiting women. Very soon 63 women had expressed interest and, on May 10, 1988, the Charter Presentation Banquet was held. The club was off and running and, all these years later, continues the race with multitudes of projects to benefit children and exemplify Optimist International mottos - "Friend of Youth" and "Bringing Out the Best in Kids".
PO Box 475, Festus, Missouri 63028
Left to right Directors Marsha Greenstreet, Phyllis Neff, Carol Schanz, Carroll Metzger, Elsie Williams, and Pat Doenges; Treasurer-Elect Leisa Spiker, Secretary Mary Kay Scott, President-Elect Mary McDowell, President Jean Naeger. Mary Hatfield, Zone 10 Lt., Gov. (far right) conducted the installation. Not pictured were Nancy Doering, Secretary-Elect and Debbie Schumaker, Treasurer.
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Meeting the needs of young people in communities worldwide, Optimist Clubs have been “Bringing Out the Best in Kids” since 1919. Optimist Clubs conduct positive service projects aimed at providing a helping hand to youth.
Club members are best known in their communities for their upbeat attitudes. By believing in young people and empowering them to be the best they can, Optimist volunteers continually make this world a better place in which to live.
There are 75,000 individual members who belong to 2,600 autonomous Clubs. Optimists conduct 65,000 service projects each year, serving six million young people. Optimists also spend $78 million on their communities annually. ~Optimist International