Truckee Optimist Club to celebrate 50th anniversary
The Truckee Optimist Club has held their first “in person” dinner meeting since COVID restrictions were imposed last April. Approximately 30 members attended and enjoyed the camaraderie at last week’s Barbeque at the Truckee Regional Park River BBQ area.
“This is a special year for the Truckee Optimist Club as we are about to celebrate our 50th Anniversary in October,” said Stacey Justesen, current Club President.
During the club’s existence the Truckee Optimist Club has raised and distributed over $2 million to local youth and youth programs in the Truckee Community. The Club annually funds grants, sponsorships, and requests for educational, arts, music and drama programs, sports teams, school extracurricular activities, special educational programs, Scouts and more.
The Optimists also fund academic and vocational scholarships to Truckee youth annually.
“Last week the club presented $23,000 in scholarships to 10 Truckee High School students at the Evening of Excellence presentation,” said Dan O’Gorman, presenter for the club at the event.
“I am very proud of our club and how we continued to function during the past 14+ months, despite COVID,” said Justesen. “Although the club had to cancel last year’s Truckee Brew Fest, we were able to run a very successful ‘drive-through version’ Christmas Tree lot with COVID protocols in place, and the Truckee Tahoe Air Show Committee was able to raise monies from the substitute ‘Truckee Tahoe Honor Fly Over Event’ at the Truckee Airport last Fourth of July.”
Last year and year to date, the Optimist Club has been able to meet all budget commitments and monetary requests by youth organizations. The Club has funded donations of $58,850 plus the additional $23,000 in scholarship commitments.
This year’s Truckee Tahoe AirShow and Family Festival will be held on Sept. 11, 2021. The Optimist club is involved in the planning, manning, vendor, and food sales for the AirShow as a fundraiser.
The Club also hopes to have their Brew Fest in October (versus June) this year. Details and date will be announced later as the club receives commitments by breweries to participate. “This may be a scaled down event this year, but we are trying to resurrect it as a fun community event and fundraiser,” said Dave Lufi, Truckee Brew Fest Chair.
Currently there are 60 active members including 40 men and 20 women from all walks of life. The age range of current members range from people in their 20’s up to some members in their 70s and 80s.
A good number of the club members are people who received support from the club in the past (i.e. former students, educators, coaches, scholarship recipients, parents of youth who were supported by the Optimists and now wish to give back to today’s local youth!
“My father, Norm Justesen, joined the Optimist Club when I was a young girl…and now I am President,” said Stacey.” “This is a fun club, easy to belong to, no secret handshakes, nor fines. Our goal is to support the youth of our community for another 50 years or longer and to have fun doing it.”
“The Optimist Club is continuously reaching out for new members,” said Anna Grahn-Nilsson, Membership Chair. “Whether you are a new member of the community, or a long time local, we would like to discuss membership with you.” Anna can be reached at 530-414-0363 or go to http://www.truckeeoptimist.com for additional information.
Source: Truckee Optimist Club
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