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Shawano Optimists Celebrate 40th Anniversary
The Shawano Optimist Club recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, holding its annual installation and awards banquet at Four Seasons restaurant in Shawano, during which officers and directors for the coming year were installed and special awards presented. Gary Cumberland, who is currently serving as the club’s vice president and director of fund raising, was named Shawano Optimist of the Year. And for her participation in nearly all club activities and outstanding leadership, Kay Bloomer received a life membership in Optimist International.
A special International President’s Citation was presented to Jim Leuenberger, the only remaining charter member who is still a member of the club. In the citation, OI president Dave Bruns said, “In the history of every club, there is one member said to embody the spirit and essence of Optimism, who has been the club’s inspiration and has contributed in an exceptional way to the advancement of Optimism in the club and the community. Jim Leuenberger has demonstrated an exceptional dedication, care and love of the Shawano Optimist club and its members as well as the district and Optimist International.”
Officers and directors for the 2016-2017 Optimist year were installed by WINUM District Lieutenant Governor Phil Simila, a member of the Green Bay Sunrise Optimist Club. The officers and directors are: President-Gail Moesch; Vice President and Director of Fund-raising-Gary Cumberland; Director of Youth Events – Jim Black; Secretary-Dawn Knope; Treasurer-Barb Schmid; Immediate Past President-Doug Erdman; and directors, Greg Parker, Ryan Koenig, Lorine Raddant, Troy Edwards, Mark Kohl and Diane Lohff. Simila urged the Shawano Optimists to make it their goal to be an Honor Club and work to continue to add more new members. He also congratulated the club on its 40th anniversary and said he was impressed with all the activities the club provides for the youth in the Shawano area.
Receiving awards for perfect attendance at club meetings during the 2015-2016 Optimist year were: Jim Leuenberger-39 years; Todd Raether-22 years; Michael Sleeper and Jim Black-18 years; Gail Moesch-17 years; Barb Schmid-16 years; Ron Schmalz-14 years; Troy Edwards-10 years; Ryan Alexander- 9 years; Diane Lohff- 7 years; Kay Bloomer and Gary Cumberland-5 years; Dawn Knope-3 years, Ryan Koenig-2 years, and Lorine Raddant – 1 year.
Incoming President Gail Moesch, who previously served as club president in 2002-03, told members in attendance that “the youth of our community are better off today because of your efforts. Over the past 40 years, we have positively affected literally hundreds, if not thousands, of young people in our community.” Moesch said among her goals for the upcoming year are to increase attendance at regular club meetings, to increase membership in the club and to increase member participation in youth activities. “I would also encourage all members to participate in our club’s fund-raising efforts so we can support even more organizations in the years ahead,” Moesch said.
The Shawano Optimist Club has been serving the Shawano area since 1976. Annual youth projects include a bike rodeo, Christmas movies for kids, Respect for Law activities, boys’ and girls’ basketball tournaments, the Mountain Bay Run, a Rose Day fund raiser, a Scholastic Awards Banquet, which has been recognized by Optimist International as one of the top service projects in the nation, as well as basketball and football skills competitions. The funds the Shawano Optimists raise each year are all returned to the Shawano community to support youth activities and more than 30 different organizations.
For information on becoming a member of the Shawano Optimist Club, contact President Gail Moesch or any Optimist Club member. The club holds its regular member meetings the first and third Wednesdays of each month at Angie’s in downtown Shawano at 6:45 a.m.
Optimist 1 (Photo by Jim Leuenberger)
2016-2017 Shawano Optimist Club Officers and Directors
Seated from left, immediate past president Doug Erdman, treasurer Barb Schmid, secretary Dawn Knope, president Gail Moesch, vice president and director of fund raising Gary Cumberland, and director of youth events Jim Black. Standing from left, directors Greg Parker, Diane Lohff, Ryan Koenig, Lorine Raddant, Troy Edwards and Mark Kohl.
Optimist 2 (Photo by Irene Leuenberger)
Receiving the Shawano Optimist Club’s top awards for the 2015-2016 Optimist Year were, from left, Kay Bloomer, who received a life membership in Optimist International, Gary Cumberland, who was named Shawano Optimist of the Year, and Jim Leuenberger, who received a special President’s Citation from Optimist International President Dave Bruns.
Shawano Optimist Club
P.O. Box 412
Shawano, WI 54166