Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Upcoming Events:


7/16 Wed. Mayor Dr. Joe Thallemer / State of the City

7/23 Wed. Warsaw Area Career Center / Ronna Kawsky

7/23 Wed. Cheerleaders

7/30 Wed. Paragon


8/1 Fri. Penguin Point and Optimist Big Wheel Race

8/6 Wed. Boys Soccer

8/8 Fri. Indiana North District Golf Outing

8/8 & 9 Fri. & Sat. Indiana North District Convention at Warsaw

8/13 Wed. Boys Cross Country

8/20 Wed. Boys Tennis


9/3 Wed. Girls Soccer

9/10 Wed. Girls Golf

9/10 Wed. WCHS Athletics / Dave Anson

9/17 Wed. Crystal Heckaman / Rachel’s Challenge – Friends of Rachel


President Everett Nifong led our meeting.

75 Optimists & 4 guests:

  • Joe Wood-Guest of Art Gakstatter.
  • Chris Gabryluk-Guest of Art Gakstatter.
  • Will Thrasher-Guest of Doug Ogle.
  • Brooke Hamstra-Guest of Rick Kerlin.

Door Greeters: Troy Tom and Ralph Turner.

Prayer: Ed Nordstrom.

Pledge was given to the American flag.

Promise yourself was said in unison.

Hail to Optimism was sung in unison.

Birthday Honorees: Jerry Clevenger.


Mebership Chair Kellie Malcolm conducted:

Initiation by George Brennan:

  • Brooke Hamstra sponsored by Rick Kerlin.

2nd Reading:

  • Will Thrasher-Sponsored by Doug Ogle.
  • Joe Wood-Sponsored by Fred Neiter.

Committee Reports:

  • 21st Annual TriathlonIt was a success! Ron Donkers wanted to thank everyone who helped this year. We had 455 registered participants in the race. Ron wanted to personally thank, Trina Hoy for all of her efforts this year and helping to design the t-shirts for the race. He also thanked Jim Hayes for all of his work on the registration process. Kelsi Griffith offered to help Ron complete a mail merge for 45 thank you letters to send out. It was a great event this year and Ron encouraged all of us to consider training this year to participate in the event next year!


  • We are approved for the 50/50 Drawing and will start that up again next week!
  • Special thanks to Mike and Dan Metzger for donating a trailer to Optimist for storage and also to Art Gakstatter for storing it.
  • Board Meeting Monday, July 14th at 5:30pm.
  • Indiana North District Convention will be held in Warsaw, Friday & Saturday, August 8th & 9th. Get with Michele Bickel today as registration for the District meeting will end July 15th.


Dan Metzger received a check from our club in the amount of $500 which was presented by Luke Becknell, for the Winona Lakke Park Department.

Sergeants-at-Arms:Luke Becknell and Trace Hansen entertained us:

  • $1 Charge-
    • Merl Heckaman gave our newest member, Scott Reust, a gift of a baseball cap labled, “Big Ass Fans.” For his induction speech two weeks ago and charged him $1.
    • Merl also commented to Joe Wood that Merl was also a high school wrestler back in the day.
    • Gina Voelz, Jenna Secrist & Kellie Malcome were all charged $1 for being the “crazy girls” at the Triathlon.
    • Jeff Owens was charged for sending Luke Becknell his business card with a picture of Jeff from 20 years ago.
    • Marty Becker was charged for having been in the paper 10 years ago, in an article for the Lakes Area Community Bank playing in a concert which he directed.
    • Art Gakstatter was charged for the trailer that was donated by the Metzger family.
    • Jerry Clevenger was charged for having the best Birthday Song ever sang to him this morning.
    • Rob Edling was charged for having an article in the paper about his business.
  • Happy $1-
    • Trace Hansen for being able to relax this July, since last July he was very busy with the rink renovation.
    • Jason Rich for raising $5,000 from the Home Brew Club at the Triathlon and also received 4 compliments from 4 different clients that our Triathlon is the best ran race they have ever participated in.
    • Bill Landrigan gave a dollar saying that the Optimist meeting last week (no meeting) was the best meeting he has ever attended.
    • Troy Tom was happy to announce his 12 year old daughter has gotten straight A’s every year in school so far.


Christon Clark presented about Habitat for Humanity in Kosciusko County. Habitat has built 18 homes and helped 25 families in our county. Those homeowners paid over $7k in property taxes last year. They purchased a property on Market Street through two grants with Community Foundation and K21. They have future plans to develop the area and build 4-6 Habitat homes there. Habitat is unique in that they hold homes and is the mortgager for the families they help. Recently, Habitat has partnered with Lake City Bank to handle the process. It has been a great partnership! Two board members, Diana Creech and Lori Donahoe also spoke on behalf of the organization. They are looking for churches, businesses, and individuals to volunteer, donate, and pray for the families they are helping. Habitat is in the process of raising money ($75,000) to help a local family in North Webster. They are a family of 7 currently living in a 3 bedroom home and one of their children has Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism). He is excelling in the North Webster school system, so it is imperative for him to remain in his environment. This will be the largest Habitat Home Build in our county, with a house of 1,400 square feet. Habitat offers not only a home, but hope to families in need!

For more information contact:

Habitat for Humanity of Kosciusko County

1702 E Center Street

Warsaw, IN 46580

(574) 269-4104