Truckee Optimist Club honors Bill Churchman, inducts new officers

Submitted to the Tribune
Longtime member Bill Churchman was honored on Oct. 13.

TRUCKEE, Calif. – On October 13 longtime local Bill Churchman was honored at his home in Sierra Meadows as one of the original Charter Members of the Truckee Optimist Club (established November 30, 1971). In attendance to present Churchman his wood grained clock/plaque were Truckee Optimist members Dan O’Gorman, Jim Conlin, Norm Justesen, Jane Loomis, Norm and Alice Nicholls.

Joining in the presentation were Churchman’s wife, Joanne, son and daughter-in-law Bret and Rhonda Churchman, Kaitlyn and Trevor York, and granddaughters Elizabeth and Olivia.

Longtime member Bill Churchman was honored on Oct. 13.

“Having Bill’s family join in the presentation made the event even more special,” said Norm Nicholls.

Besides his membership in the Optimist Club, Churchman has served the youth of Truckee for over 50 years, coaching and umpiring both high school and youth sports teams, serving on boards of directors of youth programs, and he was the voice of Truckee Wolverine football at home games for decades. He also had the distinction of coaching the Wolverine Baseball team to its first NIAA 2A State Championship in 1992.

The Truckee Optimist Club celebrates its 52nd Anniversary at the end of November. Over the years the club’s members have held dozens of fundraisers that have produced funds to support programs that have touched nearly every child in our community through program sponsorships, grants, and scholarships.

“Last year the club raised just over $100,000,” said Jim Conlin, Club President for 2022/23.

The club support included $32,000 towards scholarships for graduating Seniors; $20,000 towards education, sports, band, drama, field trips, and other programs at Truckee and Sierra High schools; $10,000 towards programs at the Elementary and Middle schools in Truckee; and $14,000 went towards sponsorships for Community Programs including youth sports teams, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, School of Music, Little League, AYSO Soccer, Swim Team, Skiing, Junior Horsemen, Scouts, Community Theater and more.

Additional monies were also granted to a number of groups and individuals with special requests that met the criteria of the Optimist Club in supporting the Youth of Truckee.

At the October club meeting the following Optimist Club members were installed as Officers for fiscal year 2023/24:

  • President: Anna Grahn-Nilsson
  • 1st VP: Barbara Wong
  • 2nd VP: Todd Wold
  • Secretary: Kathy Schegg
  • Treasurer: Pat McKechnie
  • Past President: Jim Conlin
  • Board Members: John Besio, Jane Miller, Cesar Lopez, Nina Krommenhoek, Paul Cardoza, Anthony Saraceno, and Dan Flores.

The next major fundraiser for the Optimist Club will be their Christmas Tree Lot at the corner of Deerfield Drive and Highway 89S (by Village Pizzeria). The lot will open for business on Saturday afternoon, November 25. Trees will be sold until December 22 or until the last tree is sold.

For more information about the Christmas Tree lot and the Truckee Optimist Club, go to www:// or call (530) 448-9875.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.