Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Future Dates   


4/1 – 5 Spring Break Skate

4/10 Wed. Suzie Light / Kosciusko County Community Foundation

4/12 Fri.  Grace College Community Wind Ensemble Spring Concert

4/17 Wed. Warsaw High School Band

4/24 Wed. Ann Zydek / Warsaw Community Public Library + WCHS Poetry Winners

5/1 Wed. Randy Polston / Grace Applied Learning

5/8 Wed. Nate Bosch / Kosciusko Lakes and Streams

5/15 Wed. Tracy Furnivall / Baker Youth Clubs

5/19 Sun. Car Show

5/22 Wed.  Optimist Singers Memorial Day

5/29 Wed. Dr. Craig Hintz / Warsaw Community Schools

6/5 Wed. Jay Tate / Safe Assured ID demo

6/12 Wed. Beaman Home

6/13 Thur. Optimist Golf Outing

6/19 Wed. Ashlynn Fawley / Red Cross

6/26 Wed. Assemble Triathlon bags

6/29 Sat. Triathlon bags

7/3 Wed. Optimist Scholarship Recipients

7/10 Wed. no meeting / County Fair

7/17 Wed. Jane Wear / Cardinal Center

7/24 Wed. Ronna Kawsky / Warsaw Area Career Center

7/31 Wed. Angie Wood / Heartline

8/2 Fri. Big Wheel Race

8/14 Wed. Rich Haddad / K21 Health Foundation

8/21 Wed. Lorinda Kline / Professional Learning Community Coach

8/28 Wed. Family Safety Day

9/4 Wed. Greenways / Tim Dombrosky & Staci Young

9/11 Wed. Dave Anson / Athletic Director WCHS

9/18 Wed. Laurie Schotz / WCHS PAC


Wednesday, April 3, 2013


72 Optimists & 6 guests attended our meeting.  Laurie Schotz & Amanda Zambrano were the guests of Trina Hoy; David Benning was the guest of Fred Nieter; Chelsea Alcorn was the guest of Larry Bishop; Ian Wihebrink was the guest of Joel Wihebrink; & Gregg Palmer was the guest of Ron Donkers.

Door Greeters:  Trina Hoy. 

Prayer:  Bill Katip led us in prayer.

Pledge was given to the American flag. 

Promise yourself was said in unison. 

Birthday Honorees:  Trina Hoy, Don Kenipe, & Ian Wihebrink.  Dr. David Haines led us in the birthday song with pretty good results.

         >>>> INFORMATION

Prayer Requests: 

Kamden Tom’s recovery. 

Marv Miller’s continued recovery.  He is getting out some.

Mike Cox’s brother’s recovery from a car accident.

Larry Bishop’s grandson’s recovery from as broken leg.

Gene Groninger’s family at the passing of his wife, Maxine.   Burial will be at a later date in Oakwood Cemetery, Warsaw. Wilson MILLER Funeral Home, Midland, Mich., is in charge of arrangements.  Condolences may be sent


Membership:  Past President Jeff Owens’ assistant Michele Bickel readMike Cox’s, Amanda Zambrano’s, Laurie Schotz’s & David Benning’s applications.  Past Gov. Ron Donkers inducted Michele Bickel.  President Elect Everett Nifong is sponsoring MicheleRick Kerlin is sponsoring Mike,Trina Hoy is sponsoring Amanda and Laurie, & Fred Nieter is sponsoringDavid


Sheriff & Deputy of Attendance Harry Gigous greated Dr. Jason Rich &Tom Kline.


Spring Break Skate:  Trace Hansen thanked Ann Sweet for making the tickets and those who delivered them to the schools.  There have been over 200 kids attend already. 



Art Gakstatter reminded us we are looking for sponsors for our 4th AnnualBreakfast Optimist Club City of Lakes Cruise In to Downtown Warsaw onSunday, May 19, 2013.  We also need people to work the event.  Sign up on the sheets at your table.

Co-chair Art Gakstatter reported we are behind on our fundraising compared to last year at this time.  We need to invite corporate sponsors using our blue form.  John Elliott has lists of past sponsors we can call.  See John to get some names.  We need to raise money to support the good we do for the kids in our community. 

Kelsi GriffithAngie Tom, & Jay Tate have worked up a list of past car show participants and are mailing our post cards to them.

ML Motorsports is displaying their car.  The Studebaker Museum and the Michiana Studebaker Car Club are bringing a car or two.  The Oscar Meyer “Hot-Dog” Mobile is invited.  Purdue President Mitch Daniels has been personally invited to ride his motorcycle and be the Grand Marshall of our escorted Cruise to The Village of Winona Lake.

Our goal is to host 250 cars, trucks, and motorcycles; have some fun; and make $15,000 to support the youth activities of our Club.

As Club members, we are being asked to commit to three things to help make this event successful:

1)    Clear the date so that we can help with the event

2)    Be a $25 Trophy Sponsor

3)    Secure one additional sponsor of the event at the $500, $200, or $100 level.

Please turn in your Trophy Sponsor Form to John Teevan along with your check.  The $25 Trophy Sponsorships are for members of our Club.  We are asking others to support at the $100, $200, or $500 levels.

For more information on how you can help, contact Co-Chairmen Art Gakstatter or John Elliott.



President Elect Everett Nifong announced our 6th Annual Golf Outing will be June 13, 2013 at Stonehenge.  Florida scramble cost is $425 per foursome, including golf, cart, lunch, and driving range.  Tee sponsorship is $100.  A foursome and tee sponsorship is $500.  Gold sponsorships are $1,000.  For more information: or call 574-551-9145.  You can also donate door prizes or goody bag gifts.


Past Gov. Ron Donkers announced people are signing up for our Triathlon. The date has been changed to the Saturday JUST BEFORE the 4th of July. It will be Saturday, June 29, 2013.  Also this year in addition to a short swim after the traditional participants, there will be kid’s races for kid’s who are 11 to 12 or 13 to 14.


Director Martin Becker invited us to the Grace College Community Wind Ensemble Kaleidoscope of Sound Spring Concert April 12th at 7:30 p.m. at Rodeheaver.


Video Editor Jim Hayes showed us 2 videos:  One was of some April Fools announcements.  The other was of a magical store clerk who worked with dehydrated chickens.    


Please pray for our Troops and Families:   Cpt John Jacobsen – Army – Chaplain


Sergeants-at-Arms:  Joel Wihebrink, and Everett Nifong entertained us.

Fred Nieter asked Kelli Malcolm what he should do with all the tickets he has been dutifully saving.  After all they say “Keep this coupon.”

Lyle Enyeart pretended to be Fred as he read the story of a famous politician’s ancestor who was a horse thief, train robber, prison inmate, & who was hung in 1889.  The politician was able to describe all these things as if he was a pillar of the community.    

Fred Nieter then remembered the one about the lady of a certain age who did not want to tell a census worker her age.  Finally she told him she was as old as the Hill sisters down the street.  He then documented that she was as “old as the hills.”

David Benning reminded us that an Optimist believes this is the best world possible and a pessimist is afraid that it is true.

Don Reinholt reported that in 2000 there were 2600 people who were 100 years old.  In 2010 there were 66,000. 

Mike Gavin reported that the YMCA building project is coming along fine.

Some of our more accomplished members inside of Optimism were recognized:  Past Governor Ron Donkers, Past Lt. Gov., Past Distinguished District Optimist, Past District Humanitarian Dr. David Haines, & Past Lt. Gov., Past Distinguished District Optimist Jerry Titus.



Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County Executive Director Christon Clark, Kelsi Griffith, and Kelie Malcolm introduced Ball State Associate Professor of Architecture Olon Dotson.  Professor Dotson showed us several public housing projects that actually work. 

His genius is using sociology in the design of housing projects.  He specializes in projects that help instill a mutual sense of ownership.  With this sense of ownership residents maintain the housing much better than high rise units.  In high rise developments, if a resident see someone spraying graffiti, they think it is terrible but do nothing.  If a resident in housing that they have a sense of ownership of saw someone spraying graffiti on their front porch, they act immediately to stop it. 

Several of the style features that help instill this sense of ownership and community are having single family houses or quad-plexes that have a Victorian look to them. Another feature that instills a sense of community is front porches.  After several years the developments still look like new.  After the same length of time, high rise units usually look pretty beat up. 

Several projects Professor Dotson has worked on include:  Concord Village, Indianapolis; Fall Creek Place, just east of Meridian, south of Fall Creek in Indianapolis; Millennium Place, Muncie, and a project in Norfolk, VA.  

Yours truly was amazed to see the results of the Falls Creek project.  I have worked in that neighborhood a few times over the years.  It was amazing the difference this project has made to that neighborhood.