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4 • The Optimist
Optimists bring a sense of humor to everything they do and that was evident at a Celebrity Roast for Past Missouri District Governor, Larry Stobbs. He was honored by Members at a special dinner to beneft the Optimist International Foundation (OIF).
Participants were asked to donate to the Foundation before they were allowed to make comments. Many of the Past Governors of the West Missouri District eagerly participated. Each participant shared memories as they related stories about Larry and his pranks. Everyone spoke of the respect they had for him and the fun they had over the years at District Conferences when the District included the entire state of Missouri.
Not to be outdone, Larry had rebuttal remarks for everyone’s comments. Larry remembers everything people say and on several occasions, he corrected the speakers as to the real truth.
Larry was Governor of the Missouri District in 1976-1977, as well as the Mayor of the City of St. Joseph, Missouri for eight years. Larry continues to be an active Member of the East Hills Optimist Club of St. Joseph where he acts as the Foundation Representative. Larry has personally known many of the Past International Presidents and when they visited the District, it seemed they were always missing something Larry had appropriated from them. Larry spoke of the year he was Governor when he drove over 60,000 miles traveling throughout the District. At that time, he worked as a Missouri State Trooper and used his off-hours and vacation time to visit Clubs in the District.
Larry understood and promoted the importance of the Foundation. Without funds raised from Members and Clubs, children in our communities would not be helped. There were times when items in the District were auctioned off for amounts that far exceeded their value. Many times the items were given back and auctioned again as everyone knew the money raised was going to help kids.
Ever since Larry Stobbs became an Optimist, he has given support to the Optimist International Foundation and has served as the District Foundation Rep at least fve times. Larry’s past donations have earned him the Distinguished Benefactor level designation. He continues to support the Foundation monetarily and also through his ability to get others to join him in aiding OIF’s efforts.
Larry reminded each of us why we are Optimists. He indicated we need to bring back the excitement that has been lost over the years. “If we want to grow as an international organization, we need to bring back the fun, enthusiasm and excitement that our Members once felt. Once this is accomplished, I believe that our Members will show pride and excitement and share Optimism with their friends,” said Larry.
It was a privilege to honor this outstanding Optimist while enjoying a few good laughs and stories that brought tears to our eyes, while at the same time generating donations for the Optimist international Foundation.
for the Optimist International Foundation
By Jerry Jensen, West Missouri District Governor
Summer2014 Magazine.indd 4 5/27/14 6:00 PM