New Club President (Moi!) Is Optimistic About Coming Year
Fenton Area Optimist Club is an advocate for Fenton, Lake Fenton and Linden's 'kids in the middle.'
On Saturday, Oct. 1, I will take over as president of the Fenton Area Optimist Club. It is an honor that I do not take lightly and plan to do everything in my power to make it a great year.
This club was formed more than 10 years ago, and I am pleased to say that I am a charter member. I had to leave the club for a few years due to family and work obligations, but I have been back for two years and am pleased to have the chance to lead our fine membership for the next year.
The Fenton Area Optimist Club is an advocate for children, specifically those in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. These kids in the middle, who need us the most, are often left out of the limelight. High-schoolers are lauded frequently for their achievements, whether it is academic or athletic, and elementary-aged children are regularly recognized for their many activities.
Middle school-aged kids are at the stage in life when they are neither “little kids” nor “big kids.” These are the years when they are changing both emotionally and physically – and how we as adults treat them during these difficult years can make a huge difference in their lives – for the good or bad. The Fenton Area Optimist Club strives for the good!
It is the Fenton Area Optimist Club’s goal to fill these barrels with much-needed items for kids in the sixth through eighth grades. Our local principals, who are all club members, have told us that the greatest need for girls and boys is for new socks, T-shirts and gym shoes. There is also a need for jeans – they don’t have to be brand new – gently used jeans will be just fine. Coats, jackets and sweatshirts will gladly be accepted as well. If your family is able to donate any of these items, there will be other families very grateful for the use of these items.
“Threads for Kids” will also be promoted at local high school sporting events. This promotion will take place in October and November of this year, and again in the spring.
This is going to be an exciting year, too, as our club recently launched it's first "Junior Optimist Club" in Fenton. Under the leadership of one of our past presidents, Chris Simon, expect to learn great things about our Junior Optimists.
The Fenton Area Optimist Club’s biggest fundraiser – The Camel Races – will take place on March 10, 2012 so please save the date. As in previous years, the event will take place at the St. John Activity Center, and the theme will be “March Madness!” Tables, tickets and camels will be on sale throughout the year. Just contact me and I’ll point you in the right direction.
The Camel Races has become one of Fenton’s most anticipated, fun activities of the year. More than 300 people participated in last year’s event. So get ready for the fun! As the Guinness ads say: “Get Your March On” and “Go Bold or Go Home!” Be true to your alma mater during next year’s college basketball season and be thinking about how to creatively decorate your tables and camels. Oh, and deck yourself out, too. We already know the Wolverines and Spartans will be well-represented. We’re looking forward to seeing some other “colors” as well.
In early May, the Fenton Area Optimist Club will once again recognize some pretty special kids at the Turn Around Program. Throughout the school year, teachers keep a close eye on each of their students to see which are doing what they can to turn their lives around – whether it is improved academics, behavior or other changes. In the spring, the teachers nominate the students they feel have done the best to make positive changes. Principals then choose one or two students from each grade who have done the most to turn their lives around.
Those students are invited to a wonderful luncheon at Spring Meadows Country Club in Linden. They are guests of the Fenton Area Optimist Club along with their families, school teachers and administrators, and local elected officials who prepare proclamations recognizing their achievements.
It is my personal favorite because you can see in the eyes of the students, parents, siblings and grandparents, how much this means to them – it's proof that their hard work pays off and that someone truly cares.
As in previous years, the Fenton Area Optimist Club will again hold one or two membership drives in hopes of attracting some nice folks who want to help us help kids. But you don’t have to wait for a membership drive to join us. We have a breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month at Bob Evans Restaurant on Owen Road in Fenton.
Please join us! You won’t be sorry you did.