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Community: Let your Optimism Ring True

Sep 10, 2012 03:08PM ● Published by Emma Dittmann

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By: Kevin Carnine

I have been an optimist my whole life.  Optimism is something you are born with; it is not easily learned and seldom taught.  It is hard to keep, something that needs to be nursed, massaged, and constantly fed, otherwise that nasty illness known as pessimism can come creeping in.  I was lucky when I moved to Beaver Dam six years ago. I found a group that thought like me and believed that optimism can be grown in adults, but is absolutely infectious in the youth of a community.  The Optimist Club of Beaver Dam is that group.

Started in 1983, the Optimist Club of Beaver Dam was created with the belief and goal that the youth of this community need support and activities that will feed the natural optimism that we all have as children.  A child is not born with the belief that they cannot do something or that things will never get better; those are things they learn from their surroundings.  The Optimist Club has always strived to be an example of what can be achieved if you believe and have faith.

The club recently held a new member orientation where we "showed off" our club to prospective members.  On one of the tables were scrapbooks with pictures and newspaper clippings dating back to the beginning of the club.  It is hard not to smile and feel pride about the club when you look at all of the amazing projects, ideas and support the club has been a part of over the years.  One of the first major projects took place at the Beaver Dam Mall and involved a mountain of pumpkins.  In 1984, the first pumpkin carving contest took place.  With carving knives in hand and pumpkin guts everywhere, dozens of children went home with a free pumpkin and a happy memory.  As an aside, the event was changed to pumpkin decorating in subsequent years, seven-year-olds with knives makes for a scary Saturday.

Paging through the scrapbooks, the projects and events that the club has tackled passed in front of me: Tri-Star Basketball, Just Say No Club, Optimist Golf Tournament, Middle School Writing Contest, College Scholarships, Bike Rodeo, Adopt-a-Highway, and thousands of poinsettias sold.  As the club's main fundraiser, the annual holiday poinsettia sale has made over $120,000 through the years.  Every dollar of that money has gone back to the community in sponsorship and support of organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, PAVE, Swan City Skaters, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts of America. 

My childhood memories are peppered with stories and events sponsored or run by organizations like these.  I shudder to think where our youth will be in the future without these organizations, and that is why I feel it is so important for the Optimist Club to continue to strive to help the youth of the community.

I turned the page of one of the scrapbooks and there was The Optimist Creed, a collection of statements recited at the beginning of each Optimist Club meeting.  You could say that it is our Ten Commandments, but instead of "Thou shall not," in true Optimist fashion the statements all start in the affirmative: "Promise yourself to..." 

Optimism is a way of life.  It takes effort and commitment to wake up every morning and face the world with a smile and a belief that you are going to make it a little better place.  The last line from the Optimist Creed sums it all up: "Promise yourself to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble." 

I love being an Optimist.  I love being a member of a club that believes in looking at the sunny side of everything.  I love that we have active members that have been with the club from the beginning, and I look to them as examples of what it means to be a true optimist.  I believe that things can and will be better, and the Optimist Club believes that too!

Community events optimism youth projects september october 2012
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    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Hospitality Training 101

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    07:30AM — 09:00AM

    Hospitality Training 101 Send your front line staff, receptionists, sales associates and other...


  • Mom's Unite Evening Meet Up

    10/24/2017
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/25/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Mom's Unite Morning Meet Up

    10/25/2017
    08:30AM — 09:30AM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Community Art Project Exhibit

    10/25/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Community Art Project is intended to raise awareness of the visual arts by reaching out to th...


  • Downtown Madison Family Halloween

    10/25/2017
    03:00PM — 06:00PM

    Join us for an afternoon of spooky fun at the Museum! Explore our haunted cabin, meet our hodag, ...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/26/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Mom's Unite Active Play Meet Up

    10/26/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Community Art Project Exhibit

    10/26/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Community Art Project is intended to raise awareness of the visual arts by reaching out to th...


  • A DBDI After-Hours Social and Update will take place on Thursday October 26th from 4:30 - 6:30 at...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/27/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Community Art Project Exhibit

    10/27/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Community Art Project is intended to raise awareness of the visual arts by reaching out to th...


  • Family Night

    10/27/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Sponsored by Tony Pochowski with Midwest Financial, this month's Family Night will consist of a D...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/28/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Grief Awareness Workshop

    10/28/2017
    08:30AM — 11:00AM

    Father Mike Erwin and Parish Nurse Ya-Fen Szczesny, of St. Katharine Drexel Paris...


  • Geocache Class & Hunt

    10/28/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Looking for an adventure? Want to explore your community? Join us in learning all the details you...


  • Purpose Workshop

    10/28/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Research shows that people who know their purpose and can clearly articulate it can add up to sev...


  • BDACT:Halloween Spooktacular Party

    10/28/2017
    08:00PM — 12:00AM

    Featuring an Escape Room, Music, Costume Contests, and showings of THE PIT (filmed in Beaver Dam)...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/29/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Trick or Treat in Beaver Dam

    10/29/2017
    04:00PM — 06:00PM

    The annual City of Beaver Dam "official" Trick or Treat event is always held the Sunday closest t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/30/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...



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