Claremore Daily Progress

March 2, 2014

Optimist Club of Claremore seeking donations for area youth programs

Mark Friedel
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — The Optimist Club of Claremore is currently planning youth programs and events for the year. In order to bring these positive experiences to area children, club members are seeking funds from businesses and residents.

“Our programs continue with the support of the business community, our members and area residents,” said Optimist Club president Gene Smith. “As with any service organization, we also seek new programs to reach more children.”

Smith said the Optimist Club of Claremore is best described as a “friend of youth.”

The group was chartered by Optimist International in the late 1970s, and members have since engaged in the offering of scholarships, a youth basketball league, a Christmas gift distribution and more.

Plans are underway for the club’s 36th annual Easter egg hunt. Club members and volunteers stuff 10,000 eggs with candy and special prizes for the more than 4,000 egg hunters who have attended in recent years.

One of the largest projects developed by the Optimist Club, is the Optimist Basketball League. Since 1985, league volunteers have helped teach children ages 7-12, about the importance of team work and sportsmanship. More than 300 children have signed up for the upcoming season — which is expected to begin around the first week of December.

Each year, the club promotes the importance of education through the Optimist International Essay Contest. Essays are written by local students and follow a certain positive theme. The student with the winning essay, decided on by members, will be entered into the Oklahoma district competition for a chance to win up to $2,500 in scholarships.

Optimist International and the Optimist Club of Claremore are both non-profit organizations. Those interested in supporting area youth, can mail tax-deductible donations to the Optimist Club of Claremore, PO Box 1364 Claremore, OK 74018.

To learn how to get involved with the Optimist Club of Claremore, call (918) 341-0959.

Club members meet at 12 p.m. Wednesdays at Eggberts, located at 900 South Lynn Riggs Boulevard.

For more information, visit claremoreoptimist.org.