Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Future Dates   

1/22 Wed. Warsaw Community Schools Symphony

1/24&25 Fri. Sat. District meeting

1/29 Wed. Warsaw Community High School Boys Swim & Dive / Nate Long

2/5 Wed. Warsaw Community High School Boys Basketball / Doug Ogle

2/9 Sun. Tri-Star Basketball

2/12 Wed. KCH / Affordable Care Act

2/12 Wed. Student of the Week

2/16 Sun. Tri-Star Basketball Regional

2/19 Wed. Kosciusko County Cancer Care Fund / Sandy Green

2/19 Wed. Student of the Week

2/26 Wed. Warsaw Police Chief Scott Whitaker

2/26 Wed. Student of the Week

3/5 Wed. WCHS Poetry Contest Winners

3/5 Wed. Student of the Week

3/7 Fri. Oratorical Contest

3/12 Wed. Warsaw Schools Band

3/12 Wed. Student of the Week

3/14 Fri. BYC Madness

3/19 Wed. Oratorical Contest Winners

3/22 Sat. Bowling for Kids / Big Brothers Big Sisters @ The Bowling Alley

3/26 Wed. Warsaw Community Schools Chief Academic Officer David Hoffert

4/16 Wed. DARE / Lt Joel Beam

4/30 Wed. Josh Wildman CEO of Wildman Business Group

5/7 Wed. Splash Pad / Erin Porter

5/14 Wed. Sheriff Rocky Goshert

6/25 Wed. Registration Packets for Triathlon

6/28 Sat. Triathlon


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

President Everett Nifong led our meeting.


98 Optimists & 7 guests attended our meeting.  Robert Bishop was the guest of Sam Whitaker; David Cates was the guest of Jim Layne, Dr. Mitch Reinholt was the guest of Mayor Dr. Joe Thallemer, Ted Westerhof was the guest of Jason Zaugg, Brenda Hiner was the guest of Jim Bricker, Darla McCammon was the guest of Trina Hoy, & Michelle Bormet was the guest of Ann Sweet.   

Door Greeters:  Jenna Secrist and Rick Kerlin.

Prayer:  Greg Binkerd led us in prayer.

Pledge was given to the American flag. 

Promise yourself was said in unison. 

Martin Becker led us in singing Hail to Optimism.

Birthday Honorees:  Ken Anderson, Jim Layne, & John Teevan.  Martin Becker led us in the birthday song with great results.


            >>>> INFORMATION

Prayer Requests:

Jerry Titus’ family at the passing of his mother, Maryon.

Mary Ann Gradeless’ family at her passing.


Membership:  President Everett Nifong read Kristin Farwell’s, Robert Bishop’s, Ted Westerhof’s, & Dr, Mitch Reinholt’s applications.  KrisRobTed & Mitch are sponsored by Akash JainSam WhitakerJason Zaugg & Mayor Dr. Joe Thallemer


We collected $205 for our scholarship fund in memory of Mary Ann Gradeless this morning. Our board has agreed to bring that up to $500.  We miss Mary Annand her quite determination.  It was such a blessing to see her every week after Mary Ellen’s accident.  


President Everett Nifong presented Pam Vosler and Jenny Ransbottom with a $250 check for Eisenhower Elementary School’s Eating Eagles weekend food backpack program. 


Board Member Chris Wiggins presented Dr. Jon Lippe and Matt Deeds with a $300 check for Lakeview Middle School’s Positive Behavior Intervention Support program.  As they recognize kids’ positive behaviors the negative behaviors become fewer.  They have achieved a 40 to 1 positive to negative ratio.


Treasurer Andy Swihart presented our new member champion Trina Hoy with a $500 check for Big Brothers Big Sisters of North East Indiana.  Trina is the new Community Development Director for Kosciusko County.  She can be reached at or (574) 551-6386.  Trina reminded us that BBBS provides positive role models for children in need.  She said 70% of the children are boys.  They are looking for more Bigs to match with kids.  There are 189 matches already in our county.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Community Development Director for Kosciusko County Trina Hoy challenged us to provide at least 4 teams of 5 bowlers for BBBS’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake at The Bowling Alley, by Tokens N Tickets N. Detroit Street, Saturday, March 22.  There are openings at 11 a.m.1:30 p.m., and 4 p.m.  Each bowler is asked to secure pledges of $100 or more.  All of the money raised goes to support matches of Bigs and kids.  You can register online at www.bbbsnei.orgor with the registration forms Trina has by our badge box.


We are missing a couple of things from the Santa House.  There used to be numerous snapshots of our elves with Santa that were placed in the molding on the walls of the Santa House.  Also we used to have rubber chalks that were used to stop the wheels of the Santa House from moving when it was parked.  If anyone knows where any of these things are, please tell Art Gakstatter. 


Past Gov. Ron Donkers & Lt. Gov. John Sullivan reminded us of Optimist International Foundation’s Dime-A-Day fundraising program.  Some of the overhead for things like the Oratorical and Essay contests at the district and higher levels are in need of funding.  The higher level Oratorical Contest winner receives $2,500 and the higher level Essay Contest winner receives $500.  As a larger club, we need to cover a large part of these costs.  The Dime-A Day program is a great way to do this.  Please send your $36.50 to Optimist International Foundation, Dime-A-Day Campaign, P.O. Box 952126, St. Louis, MO 63195.  Make sure you put “club # 04555” in the memo section of your check. An even better way to do this is to use a form Ron has to have your card charged $3.05 per month on an ongoing basis.  The forms are by the badge box.  


Christmas Tree Chairman Harry Gigous thanked Past Lt. Gov. Ot Schroeder and his son for taking down the Owens Christmas Tree lot.  Owens has been very generous to give us $5 for every tree they sell.       


Past President Jeff Owens announced our Oratorical Contest will be March 7th at Zimmer’s Headquarters at 7 p.m.  The topic is “How My Passions Impact the World.”  There are 3 prizes.  Prize sponsors are Esther Pfleiderer Charitable Trust at 1st Source Bank  and Lake City Bank.  Other sponsors are needed.


Past Gov. and Triathlon Chairman Ron Donkers reported our Triathlon is open.  We already have customers.  Save Saturday, June 28 on your calendar.


Past Lt. Gov. Dr. David Haines provided our first post to our Year in Review series.  It is featured on the front page of our website.  Here is a direct link .


Song Director Martin Becker invited us to join our Optimist Singers.  They practice from 6am to 7am Wednesday mornings.  I think we heard them practicing some Doo-Wop this morning.


President Everett Nifong reported the Northern Indiana District meeting will be Friday & Saturday, January 24 and 25 in Wabash


TriStar Basketball Chairman Chris Wiggins is looking for 20+ helpers to put on our local Tri-Star Basketball Competition Sunday, February 9th at Baker Youth Club, 765 W Market St, Warsaw, IN 46580.  Registration is at 1:30 p.m. and the event starts at 2:00 p.m.  It is for boys and girls ages 8 to 13.  The contest is on dribbling: dribble through comes for time, passing: chest pass and bounce pass at targets, and shooting: free throws and shots from the block.  It is FREE and all participants are automatically entered into a raffle to win an iPad mini to be given out that day.  Winner must be present to win.  The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each age group are awarded with trophies (girls and boys divisions).  If you need more information call Chris Wiggins at 574-265-8610.


The Tri-Star regional will be at the same place and time on Sunday, February 16.




Past President Tracy Furnivall invited us to Baker Youth Club’s 2nd annual BYC Madness on Friday, March 14 at 5:30pm at the Wagon Wheel.


Sergeants-at-Arms:  Trace Hansen entertained us.

Coach Jim Kessler was reminded of Grace’s win over Saint Francis last week.

John Kirkpatrick was celebrating IUs win over Wisconsin.  He suggested Coach Jim Kessler try benching his best players.

Mitch Goon’s meat pen rabbit was a grand champion years ago.

It was agreed that Deputy Harry Gigous needs to drive a little faster.

It was noted that both past Lt. Gov. Dennis Reeve and Merl Heckaman were listed in the Salvation Army Bell Ringing as being from the Noon Optimist Club.

Past Lt. Gov. Dr. David Haines is celebrating his 20th grandchild.

Trina Hoy was in the paper with her new job at Big Brothers Big Sisiters.

Judge Joe Sutton is celebrating a new grandson.

Kelsi Griffith is learning about our orthopedic industry though the Kosciusko Leadership Academy.

Dr. Steve Hollar is proud of his daughter, Meredith Hollar, for making 1st Team All American in Soccer.

Bill Landrigan enjoyed hisfour 10 year old grandchildren last week in Michigan.

Bruce Hansen is glad that Merl Heckaman is doing an expert job on his snowblower.

Ed Nordstrom enjoyed having his son’s family here for New Years.  Ed is celebrating having the grandkids an extra 5 days thanks to the storm.

Legendary Storyteller Fred Nieter told us the one about the young couple who adopted a baby from Russia.  On the way back from the adoption ceremony they stopped by the University and enrolled in Russian classes.  When asked why they enrolled, they explained they just adopted a Russian baby & wanted to know what he was saying when he learned to talk.




Darla McCammon from the Lakeland Art Association and Michelle Bormet from the City of Warsaw told us about the Walk-n-Wander Warsaw Seward Johnsonexhibit coming to downtown Warsaw next summer.  Seward Johnson makes life-size and lifelike bronze sculptures depicting people doing regular things. 

The kickoff will be First Friday, June 6, 2014, the 70th of D-Day.  The Veterans of Foreign Warsaw and American Legion will take part in that event.  The sculptures will stay in downtown Warsaw until September, 2014.    

These sculptures will create a consistent reputation for Warsaw as a “cultural center” and an attractive place to live, work and play.  We will have a free “outdoor gallery” in a family oriented atmosphere for families and friends to spend time outside and socialize.  Both residents and visitors will eat and shop in our community.   

In addition to the Lakeland Art Association, the Wagon Wheel Theatre, Grace College Art Department and Theater Arts, High School Art Department and Theater Arts, Kosciusko County Recycling Depot, Warsaw Public Library, and Kosciusko Literacy Services will help coordinate and participate in special events through the summer. 

Fifteen sculptures are already sponsored.  Each sculpture costs $3,000 to sponsor.  Master Sponsors donate $3,000 or more.  Arts Partners donate $1,000 to $2,999.  Arts Patrons donate $500 to $999.  Arts Friends donate $250 to $499.  To donate send your checks made payable to Lakeland Art Association to PO Box 364, Pierceton, IN 46562.  Lakeland Art Association is a non-profit 501(c)3.

For more information contact Darla McCammon at or Michelle Bormet at