New Optimist Club looking for members

Mt. Pleasant chapter of Optimist International will focus on projects to benefit youth

By David Hotle, GTNS News

Wanted — people who are optimistic about the future of young people of southeastern Iowa to help raise funds for a variety of projects.

With a strong desire to help the youth of the area, about 30 people are working to organize themselves into the Mt. Pleasant chapter of Optimist International. Once formed. the club joins more than 3,000 clubs worldwide with over 80,000 members. Right now potential members of the club are visiting nearby Optimist Clubs to learn more about how to run the club.

“We are so new we haven’t decided how often we will meet,” organizer Paul Katsion said.

The group will hold either an organizational meeting or a pre-organizational meeting, depending on the number of people who attend, at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 21 in Jerry’s Restaurant. People interested in joining can attend.

Katsion said at least 15 people have to attend and contribute $20 in dues to start a new Optimist Club. The state club also will contribute some funding to the fledgling club to help it grow. If 25 people attend, the amount of funding the state Optimist Club contributes to the growth of the club will double.

The club will offer three levels of membership which include the members who attend on a regular basis; the Optimist Board, who decide the beneficiaries for the group’s fundraising activities; and the Friends of Optimists, who make contribution but don’t attend regular meetings.

Katsion explained the idea of forming a club in Mt. Pleasant started when Ankeny Optimist and current state Optimist governor Mark Feilmann began exploring creating a chapter. He and Katsion met late last year and began planning to begin a club between the existing clubs in Burlington and Washington. The pair began meeting people in the area to see if there was interest in beginning the club.

The Optimist Club, Katsion explained, focus their projects to benefit young people. He said existing service clubs donate funds to schools, but the Optimists focus specifically on youth organizations.

People interested in joining the club but not able to make it to the meeting can contact Katsion at 641-799-9631 or stop at Sanity Coffee House and speak with Chivonne Anderson.