Optimist Club of Coronado

Coronado High School Youth Appreciation

Today, our meeting was at full capacity at the Coronado Community Center.  It was Youth Appreciation for Coronado High School students.  Students were chosen by the teachers based on the embodiment of the Optimist Creed.

Principal Karl Mueller and Vice Principal Jenny Moore introduced their wonderful band of young people who, along with proud parents. Lynz Arendsee in her brightest green handed gifts to the teens as they were announced. Freshmen Jaclyn Bunker & Matt Gillingham, Sophomores Baylie Zimmerman & Justin Meek, Juniors Mary Grace Braun & Willis Taylor, and Seniors Kyana Van Houten & Patrick Erskin were picked out by their teachers as living the Optimist Creed in their school life.  Kevin Nicholls, Principal of the Palm Academy, brought faculty member Kim Strassburger to introduce Aubrey Brewer and Jacob Dawley who were the awardees from that side of D Ave.

Both Karl and Kevin spoke nice words about the relationship between the school and our yellow clad members. We thanked the parents for sending us their fine children, and then, before we knew it, they were off to school.  Congratulations to all these incredible young people, and their parents and educators, too!

Here are the Left to right identification with grade levels: Back row: CHS Principal Karl Mueller,Jaclyn Bunker(9), Baylie Zimmerman (10), Mary Grace Braun (11), Kyana Van Houten (12), VP Jenny Moore. Front row: Matt Gillingham (9), Justin Meek (10), Willis Taylor (11), Patrick Erskine (12)
Palm Academy Principal Kevin Nichols, Jacob Dawley, Aubrey Brewer, and Faculty Member Kim Strassburger.

Optimist Youth Leaders Putting Ideas Into Action

The optimism and creative spirit of both the CHS Octagon and the CMS Jr. Optimist clubs are outstanding.  Fellow members have experienced the satisfaction that results from volunteering time and talent to worthwhile projects.  Successful projects require planning, promotion and work; the planning and promotion result from good leadership by students who lead in a variety of capacities; the work requires cheerful participation by all members.

In addition to superb student leaders, the Octagon and Jr. Optimist clubs are most fortunate to have excellent adult supervisors.  Supporting the Octagon Club are Teacher/Advisor Ian Silverman and Optimist Liaison Laura Lynn Meek . Teacher/Advisor Jennifer Landry supports the Jr. Optimist Club. Laura Lynn and Jennifer are also members of the Optimist Club.  The Coronado Optimists are proud to sponsor these outstanding clubs and salute their good works.

Coronado Scout Leaders Recognized by Optimist Club

April 12, 2012

Photo (L-R): Optimist President Dick Madouse, Girl Scouts of Coronado Chairperson Debbie McBride, Assistant Cub Master of Pack 122 Jason Bickner, Committee Chairman of Boy Scouts Troop 806 Bill Speer, Optimist Scout Program Coordinator Ted Krohne (father of an Eagle Scout)

Since its founding over 41 years ago, the Optimist Club of Coronado has provided financial and volunteer support to continuous outstanding Scout programs in Coronado.  The achievements of the generations of cub, boy and girl scouts of Coronado add considerable luster to the history of our fair city.   Former Coronado scouts are currently serving communities across the USA in a variety of leadership positions.

Great scout programs are the result of leaders who willingly give of their time and energy to the scouts under their care.  The checks provided by the Optimist Club in the photo above are helpful but cannot compare to the countless hours volunteered by the leaders.  To Debbie, Jason, Bill and all the other adult leaders – the Optimists thank you.

Optimist Essay Contest

Photo (L-R):   Winners Andrew Morris & Claire Purvis, Optimist Sally Wilson  (Luke McCue not avail for photo)

The Optimist Essay Contest, under the leadership of Sally Wilson, again produced outstanding essays from students in Coronado. The essay topic was: “How My Positive Outlook Benefits My Community”. Winners this year were: 1st Place: Claire Purvis; 2nd Place: Luke McCue; 3rdPlace: Andrew Morris.

Claire wrote about how her life-long health problems have inspired her to work toward easing the burdens of other children with similar difficulties. She and a friend, who also suffers in her young age, have several projects to give hope to children at the hospital where they have been treated. Claire wrote that she has missed out on many things, but she has not been let down. Her love enhances the lives of other whose problems Claire well understands.

Luke McCue wrote about how being part of a military family and having the opportunity to visit 16 countries has made him realize he is a citizen of the world.  It has taught him he can help make a difference by bringing people together to accomplish things for the greater good.  Last summer he had the opportunity to be a member of a team that built an elementary school from the ground up in Ghana.  Through this experience as well as others he has had in other countries, and with his role as an elected member of his student body association, he brings people together, gets them enthusiastic about working together and accomplishes tasks none of them could have completed alone.

Andrew wrote about using his talent on the piano to ease the loneliness of older folks in an assisted living home, many who suffer with dementia and severe health problems. Andrew brightens their days with his songs. He wrote that, as his music floats down and around the corners of the halls of the home, people have their nurses wheel them to the sound of music in the room where he plays. Older people sing or hum songs they remember. He enjoys making their day a little brighter.

The three winners represented not only themselves but also all the students who entered the contest, teachers and families who provide support and encouragement.  The Optimist Club thanks you all!

Optimist Oratorical Contest

March 28, 2012 - A record number of 14 contestants participated in this year’s Optimist Oratorical Contest.  The topic addressed was; “How Optimism Helps Me to Overcome Obstacles”.  Student orators were from Coronado Middle School and Sacred Heart Parish School.

Each speech was graded for poise, delivery and effectiveness and was 4 to 5 minutes long.  In attendance were students, parents, teachers, school administrators and Optimists.  The judges this year were Mayor Casey Tanaka and Optimists Bill Perry, Mike Lavin and Molly McKay.  Optimist Claudia Ludlow, General Manager of the Glorietta Bay Inn, was contest coordinator.

All of the orators spoke of the importance of being optimistic.  Phrases such as; hang in there, press on, never give up, learn from mistakes, can’t change life--only how we live it, were but a sample.  The importance of optimism in developing self-confidence was mentioned in several speeches.  One contestant said, “I never gave a speech before, but I’m doing it!”

The boy winners were Alex Gutierrez (1st), Dante Gutierrez (2nd) and Jaime Caballero (3rd).  Girl winners were Lorea Mediguren (1st), Carolina Salomire (2nd) and Andrea Gutierrez (3rd).  The first place winners will continue on to the next level of competition. If successful, the final level of competition will be at the Cal-South District, where winners receive $2500 scholarships.

The Optimists thank all that made the contest successful – especially the orators, judges, teachers and parents!

Alan Aegerter Serving as Optimist CalSouth District Lt. Governor

Coronado resident Al Aegerter has served the youth in our community for many years.  Active in the Optimist Club since joining, he chaired several youth projects, served as board member, and was chosen by the membership as President for the year 2000-2001.

Known as a ‘go to person’, he was asked and agreed to serve in the Optimist California-South District as Lt. Governor.  In this capacity he supports, counsels and guides clubs that not only includes the renown Coronado Optimists but also several other clubs in the district.  It is great to have citizens in Coronado like Al, willing to serve others and the youth they support.

Optimists Support Lambs Players’ Youth Education Project

Photo: Lambs Players’ Youth Education Cast Members

Kids love percussion and what kids love was demonstrated at a recent Optimist Club meeting by members of the Lambs Players’ Youth Education Project cast.  It is amazing what talented performers can do with common plastic buckets used as drums.  The cast visits schools in the area, presenting important messages through drama and music. Most important, the kids love it.

Character development is the goal of the performances.  Making literature fun, encouraging physical education, respecting others and conflict resolution are but a few examples of what the performances highlight.  Letters of thanks from kids, from teachers and from parents were passionate with praise. One youngster wrote to say, "I had lost my imagination, but you brought it back."

We are fortunate to have a local theater company with such a positive outreach and remarkable talent.   The Optimist Club is proud to support their efforts.

CHS Octagon Club Reading Events

The Coronado High School Octagon Club will be kicking off the (Jr. Optimist Octagon International) JOOI of Reading event in February. Their goal is to inspire the community to continue reading for fun!

Octagon Club members will take the time throughout the month of February to read to children, senior citizens, and neighbors around the community.

They will also be having a gently used book drive where people can drop donated books in decorated donation boxes at the CHS library, the Coronado Public Library, and Bay Books.

Finally, they will be promoting reading at our school by decorating the school library with the Dr. Seuss theme of "Oh, The Places You'll Go." Students will be given tickets for returning and checking out books for a chance to have their name pulled  out of a raffle. A student of each grade level (freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior) will be drawn from the raffle to win their homeroom a prize of gift baskets.

The Octagon Club along with the CMS Jr. Optimist Club are part of the Jr. Optimist Octagon International (JOOI) organization of students, supported by the Optimist Club of Coronado, but the leadership and energy of these excellent clubs are the result of the students themselves.

CMS Advanced Performing Arts Program

We had a whole bunch of young guests from the Coronado Middle School Advance Performing Arts who were accompanied by parents and Teacher Linda Coleman. The kids are putting on "Bugsy Malone" in a single performance on Friday, February 17. If the preview they put on for us is an indication, you won't want to be left out.

The youngsters were charming, singing and dancing with all gusto of seasoned vets. Don't miss it.

The group will be taking the show to LA as part of a Musical Theater Competition next month.  Good luck!

New Optimist President is Installed

Photo (L-R) Optimist President Dick Madouse receives President’s Pin from Immediate Past President Irish Flynn

In 1970 at the La Avenida Restaurant, twenty-five charter members founded the club that has developed into one of the premier clubs within Optimist International. Leadership and participation at all levels within the club has been the hallmark of the Coronado Optimists. The beneficiaries have been the youth of Coronado -- students at all of the schools in our village, a variety of youth organizations and individual students who have asked and received assistance for specific individual projects.

Richard ‘Dick’ Madouse is the 42nd President of the club and will serve in that capacity from October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012. His leadership team includes; Irish Flynn- Immediate Past President, Charlie Ahern– President Elect, Vice Presidents Mark Blumenthal and Jennifer Landry, Directors Lyndsey Arendsee, Clint Coneway, Dennis Dorman, Ted Khrone, Mike Napolitano,  Bernie Roeder, Secretary Charles Helsper, and Treasurer Brennan Hovland.

One of the Optimists’ annual highlights is the selection of two individuals to receive very special awards: the Optimist of the Year and Life Member Awards. The two Optimists who received the awards this year are: Don Crawford, Optimist of the Year; and Jack Larison, Life Member. Their contributions to the club and commitment to the Optimist Creed are evident in all they do.

The Optimists salute the leaders and award-winners, thank them for their willingness to serve the club and the youth of Coronado. Each is indeed a ‘Friend of Youth’, the Optimist Motto.

Helping Wounded Warriors

Photo: Betty Michalewicz and Stan Searfus

It began when an injured Army soldier who lost an arm and a leg said, “I’d like to go surfing again.”  From that moment, Betty Michalewicz, Director of the Rehabilitation Through Sports Program at the Naval Medical Center SD, decided to add surfing to the sports activities she led.  It was in the surfing project that she met Stan Searfus, Coronado Optimist Club member, avid surfer, and coach of the CMS Surf Club.  This resulted in the Thursday morning surfing rehabilitation activities led by these two remarkable individuals.

Betty reported that between 35-40 surfers take part in the Thursday morning rehab sessions that she calls, “Ocean Therapy”.   The strenuous exercise can be exhausting and that promotes nightly sleep, also very important.  She emphasized that this form of exercise is physically, emotionally and spiritually healing and that these attributes occur automatically during the exercise.

This program is so important that the Navy Hospital recognizes this by giving sports rehab activities the same priority as medical appointments for the injured warriors.  We salute Betty and Stan and wounded warriors that have served and continue to serve our nation.

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