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Optimist Club forming in Iowa

Last Modified: Sunday, August 03, 2014 8:30 PM

By Doris Maricle / American Press

IOWA — The Optimist Club is seeking charter members for a club in Iowa.

“I’ve always wanted to see a club started in Iowa to serve the youth and community of Iowa,” said Lenor Cox, president of the Optimist Club of Jennings.

“The children need what the Optimist Club can offer. They are our leaders of tomorrow, and we need to mold them.”

The group’s goal is be to help children with scholarships, sports activities and safety. It also helps provide school supplies, promotes reading and sponsors a childhood cancer campaign.

“All in all, our programs bring out the best in children and teach them to give back to their communities,” Cox said. “It also gives the adults an opportunity to give back.”

An informational meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, in the Iowa Community Center to gauge interest, seek new members and inform the community about the Optimist Club.

“We hope to start off with at least 25 members,” Cox said.

“We are looking for people of all walks of life ... school teachers who know what the children need, retired teachers to help with after school tutoring, firemen and police officers who can tell us what we need to provide a safer environment for the children, parents who can help develop more sports activities for children, and grandparents who want to spend more time with their grandchildren.”

Fliers are available at Town Hall and at businesses throughout Iowa. The club is open to anyone age 18 and older. The cost for charter members is $35. Annual dues, along with meeting times and elected officers will be set once the club is formed.

The Optimist Club of Jennings has pledged to support the club for the first year, helping with programs and fundraisers. The program could be expanded in the future to include a junior club for children ages 9 and older with a focus on community service projects.

Cox, who has been a member of the Optimist Club for 20 years, said the organization has changed her outlook on life.

“I’ve gained a lot by being a member of the Optimist Club and have touched a lot of lives of children,” she said. “Seeing a smile on a child’s face at the end of a project makes it worthwhile just knowing that we’ve had an impact on their lives.”



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