Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Future Dates   

6/11 Wed. Mudlove Kyle Garberson

6/11 Wed. Review Cruise-In (after club meeting)

6/16 Mon. Boomerang Backpack Golf Outing

6/18 Wed. Guy Fisher / Goodwill Career Center

6/19 Thur. Optimist Golf Outing

6/25 Wed. Registration Packets for Triathlon

6/28 Sat. Triathlon

7/2 Wed. Rebecca Bazzoni / Jacobs Ladder

7/9 Wed. Christon Clark / Habitat for Humanity

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


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

President Everett Nifong led our meeting.


95 Optimists & 10 guests attended our meeting.  Dr. Sarah Masterson was the guest of Mike Cox; Kevin Sandberg was the guest of John Elliott; Scott Reust was the guest of Joel Wihebrink; Chris Gabryluk was the guest of Art Gakstatter; Bill Crane was the guest of John Kirkpatrick; Ian Wihebrink was the guest of Joel Wihebrink; Thomas Altruda was the guest of Kellie Malcolm; Neel Kishan was the guest of Dr KT Kishan; Naoma Clark was the guest of Ken Anderson; and Jessica Miller was the guest of Akash Jain.   

Door Greeters: Michele Bickel & Kelsi Griffith.

Prayer:  Max Mock led us in prayer.

Pledge was given to the American flag. 

Promise yourself was said in unison. 

Gina Voelz led us in singing Hail to Optimism.

Birthday Honorees:  Tracy Horrell, Jay Tate, Dr. Charles Hollar, James Nesbitt, & Bruce Hansen.  Dr. David Haines led us in the birthday song with pretty good results.

            >>>> INFORMATION

Prayer Requests:

Jim Walmer’s family at the passing of his father, Warren.

Rocky Goshert’s family at his father, Bill’s passing.

Larry Bishop’s continued recovery from ankle surgery. 

Coach Jim Kessler’s granddaughter, Claudia’s recovery from eye surgery.  She will have follow-up surgeries around early June and early July.  Pray for comfort and patience for Claudia this spring and summer.


Membership:  Membership Chair Kellie Malcolm read Scott Reust’s application.  Scott is sponsored by Past Pres. Joel Wihebrink


Thanks to Past Pres. Tracy Furnivall and Baker Youth Clubs for letting us use their projector.



President Everett Nifong reported that over and above providing a great breakfast, Golden Corral is donating 100 meals for our students we invite to our meetings.  Thanks to Golden Corral for their generosity!


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.



Craig Nayrocker is looking for someone to take over writing our Optibullette newsletter.  It has come to my attention there are 4 questions that may make people wary of expressing interest in doing our newsletter. 

First, some people may think they are not technical enough to do the newsletter.  What is involved is emailing your newsletter to Past President Jeff Owen’s technical solution.  Jeff has me covered on the technical stuff. 

Second, some people may think they do not know everyone in the club.  I sit in the Wayne Snider chair, because it is next to Steady Eddie Don Kenipe.  It has come to my attention, some people do not realize, Don knows EVERYONE in our club. 

Third, some people may feel that they cannot make it to every single meeting.  Actually once you see yourself as the newsletter person, you will find it natural to get up when your alarm goes off.  I myself miss when I am out of the area, or have a job related meeting.  My incredible backup was Past Lt. Gov. Mary Ellen Jordan.  When you start doing the newsletter, I intend to sit in the Mary Ellen Jordan chair.  I aspire to be as much like Mary Ellen as possible. 

 Fourth, some people may not be comfortable writing the way I do.  No problem.  Wayne Snider and his replacement, Jim Jordan were both writers; I am not.  My personal style is just to report the announcements.  If YOU are doing the newsletter, YOU are doing it YOUR way.  YOU will write it YOUR way.    See Craig to find out more. 



Happily Past Co-Chair John Elliott reported new Co-Chairs Dr. Jenny & Alan Lucht & Art Gakstatter are holding an important meeting after our June 11 club meeting.  We will review this year’s Cruise-In for possible tweaks next year.


Mike Cusick reminded us we need Door Prizes and Goody Bag items for 100 golfers for our Golf Outing that will be Thursday, June 19 at Stonehenge.  Registration begins at 11 a.m., lunch is at 11:30 a.m., and the Shotgun start is at 1 p.m.  Cost is $440 per foursome including golf, cart, lunch, and driving range use.  Chris Wiggins announced we need Tee Sponsorships of $100 each.  There will be a new special Tee Sponsorship available that will honor past Optimists on a sign at one tee station.  The cost per name is $50.  Please get Tee Sponsorship money and info in right away, so the signs can be made.   Brochures are here and on our website.  We have 22 to 25 teams signed up.


Triathlon Co-Chairman Past Gov. Ron Donkers reminded us we are in Triathlon preparation season.  We have 270 registered so far.  We are competing with other race opportunities.  He reminded us that we can compete to be the best race experience for our participants by having volunteers to make sure everything goes smoothly.  We have the potential to blow away our competition.

Triathlon continued:  Ron is looking for 2 people to step up to control around ten 11 & 12 year olds and around ten 13 & 14 year olds.  Ron has the “how to” information on these new positions.  These people will have energy to work with the kids for about 30 minutes at the beginning and end of the race.  This year we will have youth races (11 & 12 year olds and 13 & 14 year olds, 15 year olds are with the adults) in addition to our usual event.

Triathlon continued:  Co-Chair Luke Becknell highlighted some of the sub-chairs for our event.  Chris Wiggins’ group sets up our Transition Area.  He needs more help.  They start at the Optimist trailer at 3 p.m. on Friday.  They take it down around noon of race day.  Past President Bob Jackson’s group works the run route, showing the turns.  They need more help.  Mitch Goon’s group works the bike route.  They need help in Winona Lake and at Pierceton.  Judge Joe Sutton’s group cleans up at the end of the race, so the area is nice for the residents who we interrupted that morning.  We can all help Joe’s group after we finish our other tasks.  Also, as we do our jobs, we can pick up anything we see on the ground.  Kellie Malcolm’s Hygiene Station team hands out those great towels to our participants after they finish the race.  They reported they are where the real action is.  Gary Tanner’s group provides Security for the expensive bikes our participants use.  This gives our participants peace of mind as they swim and run.  Luke Becknell as our manpower chairman can connect anyone with a function that needs help. 

Remember we all need to work our Triathlon.  Our new members and our long term members all need to block off the last Saturday in June.  We need to keep that open every year.  This year it is June 28. 



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 .


President Everett Nifong asked us to keep an eye out for our 3rd quarter dues statements.  They went out by e-mail May 11.  Check your spam or junk file if it is not in your regular in-box.   


Eric Ohman reported the Warsaw Evangelical Presbyterian Church has 50 paid scholarships available to their Day Camp that runs from June 16 to 20.  He asked us to introduce this opportunity to any family who has kids between Kindergarten through 5th grade.


George Paton brought a supply of booklets with discounts at Martin’s Supermarket.  They are good through June of 2014.  If anyone knows anyone who would benefit from these can distribute them.


The Walk-N-Wander display of sixteen life-size bronze sculptures by Seward Johnson is from June 6 to September 28.


Trina Hoy invited all to The Big Ride for Kid’s Sake to benefit Kosciusko County kids.  It is August 2 with the proceeds go to Little Brothers & Little Sisters of our county.  Registration is at 10 a.m.  The cost is $20 per rider or $25 per rider and passenger.  The 100-mile ride starts at The Bowling Alley.  See Trina Hoy for more information.


Dave Meier announced our 34th Annual Big Wheel Race is Friday, August 1 at Center Lake Park.  Registration starts at 5:45 p.m.  Race is at 7 p.m.  Thanks to Penguin Point for sponsoring the bicycles, trophies, and gift certificates.


Past Gov. Ron Donkers reported our Indiana North District Convention will be in Warsaw, Friday & Saturday, August 8th and 9th.  There will be a fun Golf Outing on Friday the 8th.


Past Gov. Ron Donkers thanked Akash Jain for stepping up to help Jim Hayes with our database.


Troy Akers invited us to the 2nd Annual Boomerang Backpacks Golf Outing, Monday, June 16 at Tippecanoe Lake Country Club.  It will help feed students from Warsaw, Wawasee, & Tippy Valley on the weekends.  Cost is $400 for a foursome.  Sponsorship opportunities are available.  See Tracey Akers at .


Ralph Turner announced that Express Empoyment Professionals is collecting food at Combined Community Services on Saturday, June 14.  You can drop off donations at 2612 Sheldon between Mondays and Fridays from 7:30 to 5:30.  Go to for more information.


Tracy Furnivall invited us to Baker Youth Club’s Golf Outing on Friday, June 27 at Rozella Ford.  Cost for a foursome is $280 including golf, cart, and lunch.  Hole Sponsorships are $150.   For $400 covers both a foursome and hole sponsorship.


Sergeants-at-Arms:  Luke Becknell, Trace Hansen, and Lyle Enyeart entertained us.


Ian Wihebrink was recognized for being the MVP of the YMCA Sharks. 


It was noted the Lake City Skiers’ program shows a picture of how Juergen Voss gets into the boat.


Jim Walmer commended Mark Caruso on his work over the years introducing our kids to Rugby.  They just won the State Championship.


Youngster Jay Tate is celebrating his 50th birthday.  Those who are under 50 were asked to stand.  It is amazing who stood.


Judge and former teacher Joe Sutton listened as Lyle told a Fred Nieter education story.


Our Sergeants announced they will be taking pictures of our tables after our meeting.  Cluttered tables will be fined. 


Art Gakstatter and Angie Tom are celebrating Art’s mother and Angie’s grandmother, Thelma Steifler’s 100th birthday.


Art is also happy Chris & Gillian Gabryluk are filling out applications to join our club.


Dave Turner is celebrating his new grandchild.  He and Adam Turner are expecting another grandchild/child.


Dr. Jason Rich invited us and our Triathletes to his Kettlehead Home Brewer’s fundraiser for Combined Community Services at Cerulean at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 28.  Tickets are available for $20 at Cerulean. 





Air Service and Community Relations Manager Jessica Miller told us about Fort Wayne – Allen County Airport Authority (FWA).  She is the liaison between the airlines and the airport.  Her job is to connect with the community and make sure we have great destinations.  The airport is like a shopping mall.  The airlines, car rental companies, and parking lot company are like stores.

The airport has a two-fold challenge:  One, to get people to fly instead of driving.  Two, get people to fly from Fort Wayne instead of driving to Chicago to fly.

There are two shifts in the airline industry.  One is the capacity constraints.  Two is the retirement of 50 seat regional jets.  In July of 2000 there were 2.85 million available seats.  By July of 2012 there were 2.38 million available seats.  There are fewer empty seats.  Jessica encouraged us to book early because there are fewer seats available. 

FWA has a $323 million annual economic impact on the area and is responsible for over 1,000 jobs.  Each overnight traveler is estimated to spend $133 per day.  If 40% of FWA arrivals are overnight travelers then over 117,000 travelers would equal $15 million in economic activity.

FWA has had 4 consecutive years of growth.  Their drive to provide a good experience to us helps us decide to come back.  Some FWA distinctives are the free WI-FI, free recharging stations, free shuttle to and from the parking lot, free local gourmet cookie on arrival.   They listen to us.  They are moving the rental car parking lot closer to the baggage pick-up area.

The U.S. market is mature.  There is no material growth planned across the nation for the near future.  FWA has been successful in going upstream.  They have added 2 daily flights to Philadelphia and a daily flight to Charlotte.