Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Future Dates   

3/23 Sat. Bowling for Big Brothers Big Sisters

3/27 Wed. Dave Hoffert / Chief Academic Officer

3/27 Wed. Our election of officers

3/27 Wed. delivery of Spring Break Skate passes

4/1 – 5 Spring Break Skate

4/3 Wed. Olon Dotson / Ball State

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

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

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

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

9/11 Wed. Dave Anson / Athletic Director WCHS


Wednesday, March 20, 2013 


87 Optimists & 6 guests attended our meeting.  Laurie Schotz, Rebecca Bazoni, & Amanda Zambrano were the guests of Trina Hoy; Michele Bickel was the guest of Everett Nifong; David Benning was the guest of Fred Nieter; & Brenda Edling was the guest of Jason Matthews.

Door Greeters:  John Sullivan. 

Prayer:  Alan Grossnickle led us in prayer.

Pledge was given to the American flag. 

Promise yourself was said in unison. 

Martin Becker led us as we sang “Hail to Optimism.”

Birthday Honorees:  Ron Henry, Tyler Miller, Makayla Leamon, Mr. Donahoe.  Martin Becker led us in the birthday song with good results.


          >>>> INFORMATION

Prayer Requests:  Marv Miller’s continued recovery.  He is doing better at home.

Praise:  Ron Henry is back from surgery.


Membership:  Past President Jeff Owens read Michele Bickel’s, Mike Cox’s,Amanda Zambrano’s, & Laurie Schotz’s applications.  Lt. Gov. John Sullivan inducted Rob Edling.  Jason Matthews is sponsoring Rob, President ElectEverett Nifong is sponsoring MicheleRick Kerlin is sponsoring Mike, & Trina Hoy is sponsoring Amanda and Laurie


Sheriff of Attendance Bill Landrigan is looking for Andy Swihart after his busy season. 


Troy Akers introduced us to our Students of the Week:  Alondra AraujoAna HamrickKendra HouselHaylei KaufmanMakayla LeamonArmando LopezJoseph Marshall, and Chance Parker.


Trace Hansen is looking for volunteers to help distribute Spring Break Skatepasses next week.


Board Member Trina Hoy presented Rebecca Bazzoni a $650 check forJacob’s Ladder for equipment to help the kids develop strength & balance.  Rebecca invited us to a business after hours today at 4:30 p.m. at 3540 Commerce Dr.


Rick Kerlin thanked those who helped Kosciusko County Riley Kid’s FundRadio-a-thon.  The Radio-A-Thon raised $52k last week. 


Vice President Angie Tom is passing around a directory.  Please check your information for accuracy.  Make any changes or mark it as OK so we know we have all the needed changes.



Past President John Elliott announced he will not be as mobile as usual at our 4th Annual Breakfast Optimist Club City of Lakes Cruise In to Downtown Warsaw on Sunday, May 19, 2013.  We are used to John carrying a lot of the load.  We need to be responsive to the need for volunteers.  Sign up on the sheets at your table.

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 Golf Outing will be June 13, 2013. 


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.


Our nominating committee of:  Lt. Gov. John Sullivan, Past President Joel Wihebrink, and Past Lt. Gov. Sam Whitaker announced our election will be held Wed. March 27.  Our nominees are for President:  Rick Kerlin; for Vice President:  Angie Tom, Past President George Brennan, and Tracy Horrell; and for our Board:  Roland KramerChad ZauchaLuke BecknellKellie MalcolmDon ReinholtGina VoelzBruce HansenAdam TurnerLarry Bishop, and Brooke Hamstra.


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.



Please pray for our Troops and Families:   Lcdr Jack Galle – Navy – VA Chaplain


Sergeants-at-Arms:  John ElliottJoel Wihebrink, and Everett Nifongentertained us.

Troy Akers thanked those who participated in last night’s Quiz Bowl that raised money for education. 

Michele Bickel thanked President Elect Everett Nifong for his leadership as Chairman of this year’s United Way campaign that raised over $2 million.

Oratorical Judge Ron Chambers adjudicated that Past President Jeff Owensate Past President John Elliott’s cookie at the Oratorical Contest.  In Jeff’s defense, the cookies were delicious!  Also, Jeff noted the cookies did not “belong” to anyone.  They were not serfs but free.

Sheriff of Attendance Bill Landrigan noted that at the recent MDA phone-a-thon, his cellmate, Ken Zortman was a top fundraiser.  Bill attested to Ken’s superior technique while putting the squeeze on people.

Bill Katip is happy Coach Jim Kessler’s Grace College Lancers made it to the Final Four.

Ann Sweet sat on the bench with Kobe Bryant at a recent Lakers game.  Mike Gavin led us in our “cheer.”

It was noted that Josh Gordon was at the checkbook service club doing some banking business.

Merl Heckaman acclaimed Don Reinholt as a great friend as he presented him with a $500 check.  It must be payment for a special outdoor recliner for hunting trips.  We wonder if the recoil forces the chair open.  The first shot is at an elk, the follow up shots are at ducks.



Past President Jeff Owens introduced us to our winners of our Oratorical Contest:  Gianna Hochstetler and Owen Donahoe.  

Jeff thanked those who worked our contest and Zimmer for letting us use their beautiful Corporate Headquarters.  Major prizes were provided by the Esther Pfleiderer Charitable TrustLake City Bank and Orthopediatrics.  



Gianna Hochstetler told us why her voice is important.  She told us our voice has two forms.  One is what we say, the other is what we do.  Both are important and have to work together. 

We remember Mother Teresa for what she did.  Mother Teresa said that the good she did may have been a drop in the ocean, but that the ocean would be less without it.

We remember Martin Luther King, Jr. for his “I have a dream” speech.  However what he did gave him the opportunity to give that speech.  Together what he did and said changed the world.

Gianna’s dream is to be a missionary.  She said our convictions, dreams, actions, and words contribute to our voice.  The ocean of humanity will be the better for Gianna’s drops in the ocean. 


Owen Donahoe told us why his voice is important.  He reminded us of the young people who committed suicide recently.  Suicide is the ultimate in hopelessness.  Our voice is important as we strive to give hope, a will to never give up, and the belief in a brighter future to others. 

Owen recalled his recent decision to bleach his hair and then shave his head in solidarity with his swim teammates while he was on the sidelines. 

When Owen started middle school the prior chess club had disbanded.  He restarted the club, got a grant and bought supplies.  The chess club grew from 16 to 28 members.  Now that he is in high school, he still attends as many middle school chess club meetings as possible to cheer them on.

Owen is using his voice to say never give up and to say well done to those around him.  Owen is using his voice to instill hope in those around him.


We gave each of them a well deserved standing ovation.