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Club Activities - Childhood Cancer

Projects that provide support to children and families suffering from childhood cancer, such as setting up an educational booth at a local health fair, adopting a family stricken with cancer and interacting with a local hospital or direct care provider.

Optimist Club of Northview – Kodak (11352) – Tennessee District
School Beautification and Cancer Memorial
When the Northview Club learned about a local girl in middle school receiving treatment for leukemia, they determined they wanted to conduct a project focused on assisting her family to meet their needs. The girl passed away within two months of beginning treatment. The Club decided to provide a living visual memorial at the girl’s school and contacted the family. A stone was purchased and the family selected a dogwood tree to be included in the memorial. The school principal decided to coordinate this work with an Eagle Scout project of school beautification that was scheduled during summer break. The project made the area aware of the service and work conducted by the Optimist Club.

Project Contact: Lloyd Miller
206 Grandview Drive
Kodak, TN 37764
(865) 933-4202 or (865) 659-4636

Optimist Club of Birmingham (29000) - Alabama-Mississippi District
Lunch for Kids at Camp Smile-A-Mile
The Club conducted this project to assist Camp Smile-A-Mile, a summer camp for young cancer patients from all over Alabama, by providing a hot lunch for campers, their families and camp counselors on two Saturdays. First, the Club contacted the Camp and discussed what they could do to assist them. Then they planned a menu and submitted it to the Camp Director. They purchased, prepared and served the food. Club Members ate lunch with the campers and their families. After the meal, they cleaned the kitchen area and donated the extra food to a local mission.

Project Contact: Jon Ryan
95 Heritage Drive
Springville, AL 35146

Optimist Club of Porterville (14678) - Pacific Southwest District
Camp Country Jamboree
This program was held to provide a three-day camp experience to children ages 5-14 who were dealing with cancer that would duplicate camp as experienced by “normal” children. The kids were taken on a ride in a horse-drawn covered wagon, so everyone could go horseback riding. They got to paddle canoes, practice roping skills and be entertained by a world-famous trick roper. There were campfires, games, a “weenie” roast and arts and crafts. Plenty of rest time was also scheduled for the kids and registered nurses and a nurse practitioner were on hand. The camp was a public relations bonanza for the Club, which received media attention, new Members and people asking to be called on to help out next year!

Project Contact: David Prestage
225 South Westwood
Porterville, CA 93257
(559) 784-7433

Optimist Club of Porterville (14678) - Pacific Southwest District
The Treasure Chest
A Member contacted the oncology/hematology clinic at their local children’s hospital and asked if they had any needs that the Club could fill. The hospital had a “treasure chest” that children are allowed to choose a toy from each time they are given a shot or blood test. The small gift helps to ease the child’s pain and anxiety. The Club committed themselves to raise $250 each month to stock the chest. The Club partnered with a women’s church group to provide handmade blankets and stuffed animals for children served by the hospital. Other Clubs in the hospital’s service area were contacted and encouraged to contribute directly to the hospital.

Project Contact: Gordon Osmus
1101 W. San Lucia
Porterville, CA 93257
(559) 781-2308

Optimist Club of New Orleans (39155) - Louisiana District
Girl Scout Day of Compassion with Zink the Zebra
The Girl Scouts contacted the Optimist Club and asked them to develop an educational program for their day. The Club chose to do the Zink the Zebra activities to help bring the girls from all areas together and educate them on the importance of accepting all people who might be different. Zink the Zebra is the story of a spotted zebra written by an 11-year-old girl just before she died of bone cancer. The girls learned about what types of diseases are contagious, what it would be like to have certain disabilities, the consequences of saying harmful things and the rewards of being kind to others. They also made “Thinking of You” cards that were sent to patients at the Ronald McDonald Hospital and to the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

Project Contact: Liz Garland
2010 Peniston St.
New Orleans, LA 70124
(504) 891-6802

Pacific Southeast and Pacific Southwest Districts (20 Clubs)
Festival of Hope
U.C.L.A. runs seven pediatric hematology and oncology clinics in an eight-county area that includes both the Pacific Southeast and the Pacific Southwest Districts. An Optimist committee was formed and they met with U.C.L.A. personnel to present the program, determine the limitations and special needs of the children and set the location, date and time. Clubs were asked to participate and provide donations. Outside businesses and organizations were contacted for donations. Club members set up the event, ran the game booths and provided food for all the children in attendance. A drawing to give away three bicycles was held and all children were able to choose a gift from two tables full of toys. The festival gave the children and their families an opportunity to interact with others going through the same experiences. This activity also allowed the Club to expose the Childhood Cancer Campaign to medical professionals and the community.

Project Contact: Beth Mills
15417 Idaho Lane
Apple Valley, CA 92307
(760) 242-2434

Other Club Activities
Community Improvement
Culture and Education
Health and Welfare
Joint Projects with a JOOI Club or Youth Organization
Sports and Recreation
Youth Appreciation