South Dundas Optimists raising awareness of organization aimed at supporting youth

For about two years, the Optimist Club of South Dundas has been working towards the mission of Optimist International.

The Optimist mission: By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in kids.

The service organization, which calls itself a friend of youth, has 2,600 clubs around the world, including one in South Dundas.

The club which meets monthly at the Dixon’s Corners Community Centre (the building which formerly housed the public school).

Club representatives, Hugo Desrochers (president), Audrey Ortwein and Ben Luimes, spoke about their club and some of the work they have been doing, after a recent donation made at Iroquois Public School.

“Optimists are friends of youth, and work to help bring out the best of youth,” said Desrochers. 

They have about 30 members, who meet regularly on the last Monday of the month. Although the club is relatively new, they have already been involved in many activities in the community and plan to be involved in many more.

“We are a fairly young club,” said Desrochers.

The South Dundas Optimists organized a bike rodeo last year and Dixon’s Corners, and this year will host another, this time in Morrisburg. 

They support two youth groups weekly, with an average of about 20 kids in total attending weekly. The older members of those two groups are building a fishing shack at the community centre that will be sold as a fund raiser.

This year, the Optimists are working to raise awareness of their organization in the community.

Last week, they donated almost $500 to Iroquois Public School for books. February 17, they are hosting a Family Day Skate at the Dundela outdoor rink, where they will serve hotdogs and hot chocolate from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. They also plan to particpate in summer festivities.

Adult volunteers join Optimist Clubs to conduct positive service projects in their communities aimed at providing a helping hand to youth. 

Each club determines the needs of people in its community and conducts programs to meet those needs.

The South Dundas Optimists are always interested in welcoming new members to the club. Anyone interested can contact Desrochers by email (hdesrochers@live.ca).

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