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Club Fundraising Projects

Carrollton Optimist Club (21076) - Georgia District
1st Annual Carrollton Optimist Club Golf Tournament
Planning the event began when the Club set the goal of organizing a new fundraiser. A sub-committee of 12 Members was organized to set up the event. Other Members assumed positions of leadership in organizing teams, obtaining hole sponsors and finding door prizes. The day of the event, Members worked the registration table, distributed goodie bags, handled mulligan sales and acted as hole monitors and rovers. Food was provided by the sponsoring country club. Prizes were awarded to the first- through third-place teams. The purpose of the tournament was to promote the Club and establish a successful fundraiser that could become an annual event.

Project Contact: Britt Madden
1609 Cave Spring Road
Cedartown, GA 30125
(770) 748-2210

Central Macomb Optimist Club (17504) - Michigan District
Challengers vs. Central Macomb Optimist Club Basketball Game
The Central Macomb Club played a basketball game against the Sterling Heights Challengers, a group of junior disabled wheelchair players. Local politicians were also invited to be players. The event was held to raise money for the Challengers’ team expenses, travel and training costs. The Macomb Club made T-shirts for the Optimist team and held a poster-making party to make posters promoting both teams. A donation box was set up and used instead of charging an admission fee. In order to raise additional funds, Club Members sold soda and water, held a 50/50 raffle and sponsored a half-court shot contest at half-time. Local newspapers were contacted and the inclusion of local politicians served as a draw for the media. This event allowed the Club to interact with the local youth and they raised awareness of the Optimist organization by distributing Club materials to attendees.

Project Contact: Elaine Lyon
16515 Festian
Clinton Township, MI 48035
(586) 790-2128

Optimist Club of Caledon (47041) - Central Ontario District
Caledon Village Haunted Hall
The Optimist Club of Caledon designed, built, installed, ran, dismantled and stored all parts and pieces of a Halloween haunted hall. This project began a new and unique tradition in their community and gave them a fun way to raise funds. A building on the local fairgrounds was converted into a haunted maze with a “graveyard” outside. Participants dressed in scary costumes but refrained from including any gore so that children of all ages could enjoy the event. A minimal entrance fee was charged so that all families could attend. The Club received a large amount of publicity from the event, built strong ties with other community organizations, drew new membership interest and was able to donate funds raised to local youth Clubs and the local hospital.

Project Contact: Lorraine Glassford
242 Elizabeth St.
Orangeville, ON L9W 1C8
(905) 677-5777, ext. 31

Optimist Club of Grand Prairie (38492) - North Texas District
Big Bass Bonanza Fishing Tournament
The Optimist Club of Grand Prairie and the Vought Bass Club jointly sponsored the Second Annual Big Bass Bonanza Fishing Tournament. The purpose of the tournament was to raise funds for the Club’s youth programs and bring awareness of the Club and its good works to the community. The City of Grand Prairie waived the launch fee and the park entry fee for the fishing participants. Local businesses were asked to be sponsors and their company information was prominently displayed in all promotional materials. All participants received a tournament T-shirt, package of custom baits, reel cleaning kit and meal. Trophies were presented for the largest fish caught and drawings were done for hourly cash prizes and gifts.

Project Contact: Kendra Roper
3301 Trible Drive
Grand Prairie, TX 75050
(972) 642-7224

Optimist Club of Palm Desert (15650) - Pacific Southeast District
Installation Dinner and Annual Fundraiser
The Club combined their installation of officers with a casino night fundraiser, which included a catered buffet-style dinner, non-monetary casino games, a silent auction and entertainment. The event was held at the Club President’s house and many local organizations donated items for the auction. The goal was to plan a fundraiser that would most benefit the youth of the community, attract the largest number of participants and be a lot of fun. Costs included food, beverages, casino equipment rental, invitation and flyer printing, mailing, decorations and entertainment. Non-Member friends were asked to participate as dealers for the casino games. The Club received exposure in the community and raised funds for their “youth fund” so they could contribute to various local youth organizations.

Project Contact: Barbara Roos
42600 Sutters Mill Road
Palm Desert, CA 92260
(760) 341-1313

Optimist Club of Colonial Heights (11070) - Tennessee District
Cody Shanks Benefit
Members of the Colonial Heights Club recognized there was a great need to help a local family pay the medical bills for their son, who was seriously injured in an automobile crash. It was decided that the Club would sponsor an event for the community and general public to participate in and enjoy. A semi-pro football game was chosen as the best option, with concession sales and public giving used to assist the family. A local high school donated the use of their football field. The owners of two semi-pro football teams were invited to a Club meeting and an agreement was reached for their teams to participate. Event information was e-mailed to numerous people, articles were run in the local newspaper and posters were displayed around the community. Tickets were sold and more than $4,000 was raised during the event to assist the Shanks family.

Project Contact: John Hurt
313 Lakecrest Drive
Kingsport, Tennessee 37663
(423) 239-9650

Optimist Club of Rolla (30370) - East Missouri District
Old Bagger's Day
The Club scheduled a day with the local grocery store for Members to bag groceries for tips. Posters displaying Optimist activities were posted at the store entrance and Optimist greeters handed shoppers a cart and a flyer that stated tips would be appreciated by the Optimist baggers. Members wore aprons advertising the Optimist Club and donation canisters were placed in the store. Several Members assisted customers by bagging their purchases and carrying them to their vehicles. Customers left tips or donations in appreciation of the assistance. The Club has had “honorary baggers” assist with this annual fundraiser, including teachers, school board members and local law enforcement officers. The fundraiser was publicized through the local newspaper, radio stations and television stations.

Project Contact: Ron Warren
10910 Wildwood Lane
Rolla, MO 65401
(573) 364-2241

Akron Optimist Club (24000) - Ohio District
Ads for the OIJGC Program
Tee/green signs and advertisements in the OIJGC program were sold to local merchants and suppliers. The face-to-face approach worked best for the Club in their efforts to find advertisers. Ads and flyers asking for participation had a low rate of return. Programs were given to every golfer and parent. Copies of the program with photos were mailed to all advertisers. The businesses that advertised received exposure and the community gained a better understanding of what the Optimist Clubs do for local youth.

Project Contact: Bill O’Neil
233 Broken Fence Drive
Medina, OH 44256
(330) 722-7071

Elkhart Luncheon Optimist Club (04180) - Indiana North District
Bowl For Kids Sake for Big Brothers/Big Sisters
The Big Brothers Big Sisters organization used “Bowl for Kids Sake” as their yearly fundraiser. The Club created two teams of bowlers and each bowler solicited donations from friends, family members and businesses. The teams bowled two games, which were sponsored free of charge by the participating bowling alley. The Club received information about the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and was also able to spread the word about Optimism.

Project Contact: Ann Hughes
2105 S. Main
Goshen, IN 46526
(574) 533-8945

Lewis and Clark Optimist Club (35211) - Dakotas—Manitoba—Minnesota District
Yankton Riverboat Days – Temporary Tattoos
The Club purchased high-quality temporary tattoos from an online vendor. A booth was set up during an annual community celebration and Members sold and applied tattoos. A nominal fee based on the size of the tattoo was charged to keep the event affordable for families. Club materials were distributed to interested individuals and Members chatted with the adults and children who visited the booth. 789 tattoos were applied by the end of the event! Costs to the Club included the tattoos and supplies for applying them, such as cotton balls and rubbing alcohol. The Club received exposure in the community and was asked by the community celebration officials to participate the following year.

Project Contact: Lee Gass
2703 Lakeview Drive
Yankton, SD 57078
(605) 664-1531

Optimist Club of Marshall (36260) - West Missouri District
Christmas Gourmet Popcorn
Planning for the event begins about a month before the popping begins. The Club contacts suppliers and makes orders of everything needed for the project. Members contact other Clubs that may want to participate and use the popcorn as a fundraiser. Popping teams are recruited and a popping schedule is established. Fifteen flavors of popcorn are made from scratch and sold in three sizes of cans. Local merchants are contacted to see if popcorn can be sold in their stores. Posters, brochures and order forms are given to Club Members and distributed throughout the community and to the media. Production begins on November 1 and all Members are involved in sales. The income generated from the sale of the popcorn enables the Club to provide free or low-cost activities to the youth in their community.

Project Contact: Gary Grote
1001 S. Grant
Marshall, MO 65340
(660) 886-2880

Optimist Club of Rose Tree-Media (02263) - Atlantic Central
Laxapaloosa at "The Linc"
The Rose Tree-Media Club decided to make the most of the NCAA Collegiate Lacrosse Finals being held at Lincoln Financial Field (“The Linc”) in Philadelphia. They purchased a block of tickets to the event and donated some of the tickets to a coach dealing with cancer and an inner-city lacrosse program. The rest of the tickets were sold to fund the Club event. The Club hosted a three-day tailgate event showcasing their lacrosse programs. A large Club banner was prominently displayed. Members sold special T-shirts and handed out Optimist lacrosse wristbands. Food and beverages were sold. Graduates of the lacrosse program assisted with the event. The tailgate raised funds and provided exposure for the Club’s lacrosse program. This same type of activity could be sponsored in another area but would need to be tailored to fit the area’s national/regional sporting event or other type of event.

Project Contact: Jeff Pettit
731 Farnum Road
Media, PA 19063
(610) 565-2532

Ottawa Optimist Club (37166) - Kansas District
Ottawa Optimist Childhood Cancer Motorcycle Poker Run
The Ottawa Optimist Club sponsored a 110-mile charity motorcycle poker ride. The event was publicized on Kansas event websites, radio, posters, newspaper articles and through cable TV ads of local event listings. Information was also given to local motorcycle clubs, organizations, dealers and suppliers. There were five stops along the route where riders selected a card for their poker hand. At the end of the ride, the best hand won $100 and the lowest hand won $50. A silent auction was conducted and chili and hotdogs were served to participants. Patches, pins and event T-shirts were available for purchase. The money raised went to help local childhood cancer patients and their families. The Club gained new Members and also gained recognition for its support of children with cancer.

Project Contact: Mike Detwiler
1425 S. Main
Ottawa, KS 66067
(285) 242-7863

New Mexico-West Texas District (6 Clubs)
Wreaths of Hope
Each participating Club or Member decorated a 24-inch Christmas wreath. Each wreath had to have a theme and be named. An entry fee of $25 per wreath was charged to cover the costs of the plain wreaths, stands and other project expenses. The wreaths were displayed for the public at several church bazaars and a craft fair at the local mall.

E-mails with pictures and bid information were sent out to local businesses and community leaders with a request for bids and a request to forward the information on to others. The public made bids on each wreath and bidders were notified as the bids rose to solicit an increase in their bids. The highest bidder for each wreath was notified on November 25 and the wreath was delivered to them. “Wreaths of Hope” raised funds for the children’s oncology department at the Children’s Hospital at Providence.

Project Contact: Dick Sears
10301 Luella Ave.
El Paso, TX 79925
(915) 591-2449
Fax: (915) 598-3155

Iowa District (3 Clubs)
Avenue of Flags
The purpose of this project was to promote citizenship, patriotism and neighborhood unification. This is a year-round activity and requires the efforts of almost all of the Members of the participating Clubs. The flags, steel poles, clips and other materials are purchased from retailers and Club Members meet to assemble the flags. Flag committees made up of a team captain, committee chairperson and the Club President are assembled to oversee the project and assign duties. Letters of subscription are mailed to residents of the areas in which flags are delivered. Records of current subscribers, payment, names of current residents and past subscriptions must be kept. All Club Members are assigned to a flag delivery team that commits to delivering the flags on five holidays: Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Veteran’s Day. In some areas, youth organizations assist with the deliveries. All proceeds are donated to youth organizations that promote the goals of Optimist International.

Project Contact: John Newman
5375 Surrey Drive
Bettendorf, IA 52722
(563) 332-0597

Optimist Club of New Hamburg (46133) - Midwestern Ontario District
Moparfest – Car Draw
The Optimist Club of New Hamburg raises money for Club projects by raffling off tickets on a vintage car at the annual Mopar Car Show. A knowledgeable committee works on finding a suitable car for the drawing. Tickets go on sale eight months before the draw date. Members attend car shows and auctions as well as visit malls and flea markets to sell tickets. Brochures are mailed and advertisements are placed in car magazines. Meetings with the Mopar Club take place monthly to work on the promotion of the two-day show and the car draw. The Club is responsible for keeping the car in good working order, storing and transporting, manning booths wherever the car is being promoted and replying to mail-in orders for tickets.

Project Contact: Warren Bechthold
1921 Snyder’s Road E. RR 2
Petersburg, ON N0B 2H0 Canada
(519) 634-8925

Multiple Club CPA entry - Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana and Northern Wyoming (5 Clubs)
Cures for Kids Radio-thon
The radio-thon was formed with the objective of raising funds for three Central Alberta children’s cancer groups. One Club approached local radio stations and asked them to partner with the Clubs to hold a 24-hour radio-thon. Two tables and 12 telephones were set up with Club banners and membership forms displayed. During the radio-thon, the DJs promoted the Childhood Cancer Campaign and asked businesses and individuals to make pledges. Staff of the childhood cancer groups made heartfelt pleas for donations. A significant amount of money was raised for childhood cancer.

Project Contact: Edna Coulter
P.O. Box 358
Blackfalds, AB T0M 0J0 Canada
(403) 885-5793

Nebraska District
The Un-Run
Get ready … set … recline! Welcome to the greatest race you’ll never run. Based on the same design as participating in a walk or run to raise money for a cause, the Nebraska District hosted a team event where each registered team was required to raise a minimum level of money through sponsorship and fundraising events, with all proceeds going to childhood cancer projects. Once the teams gathered their money and/or sponsors, they came together on the day of the big event … and partied! No running, just plenty of fun and fellowship for a good cause. For information check out the project website at www.optimist-un-run.org. More than $30,000 was raised in 2004. The goal for 2005 was $60,000!

Project Contact: Connie Mansfield
2503 E. Chandler Road
Bellevue, NE 68005-4105
(402) 734-0270

Norfolk Panther Octagon Club (B1845) - Nebraska District
Battle of the Sixes
Penny Wars
Teen Dance

The Norfolk, Nebraska, Octagon Club has conducted several fundraisers for cancer-related projects or to benefit a family that has been affected by childhood cancer. The “Battle of the Sixes” consisted of distributing CCC coin banks to classrooms for the sixth period of the school day for four consecutive days, to see what could be raised. “The Penny Wars” pits students against school staff to see who can raise the most pennies or change for the cause.

Project Contact: Mark Claussen, Adviser
Norfolk Panther JOOI Clubs
504 Emerald Drive
Norfolk, NE 68701-5475
(402) 644-2507