Youth Appreciation Awards
Each spring three students from each middle and high school grade level are selected from nominations by Mason Public Schools faculty and staff to receive an Optimist Youth Appreciation Award. This award provides an opportunity to recognize those outstanding students who lead by example and emulate the principles of Optimism as a philosophy of life. In spring of the school year, the Mason Optimist Club honors one of its own by awarding the Mike O’Malley Scholarship to an FFA member who has contributed significantly to the program and is continuing his or her education after high school.
Mason Youth Baseball/Softball Program
For over a quarter century The Mason Optimist Club has made varied and significant contributions to our community. The most prolific program initiated by the club was the Mason “Little League” program. From humble beginnings rooted in a demand for organized youth activity, this program grew to over 55 teams involving in excess of 750 youth from our community. The annual budget for this activity reached approximately $35,000 per year. The club facilitated the formation of a permanent community organization dedicated solely to the Mason Youth Baseball/Softball program. The successful transition to a permanent community organization, preserved and protected the continuing excellence that this supervised program has brought to our youth.
An annual competition for elementary and middle school boys and girls which tests a variety of basketball skills. Local winners advance to the Michigan District state championships representing The Mason Optimist Club. In the past, the Mason Optimists hosted the State Finals of the Tri-Star Competition that saw over 150 finalists from around the State compete for 6 age bracket crowns. The club was assisted by their special guests – the MSU Women’s Basketball Team.
Jr. World Golf Championships
An annual competition for all youth conducted as a local qualifying event for the Michigan District state championships. Winners from each age bracket advance to the state competition representing The Mason Optimist Club. Winners at the state level advance to the International championships, a major junior golf championship that is typically telecast.
DNR Hunter Safety Program
Each year several members of The Mason Optimist Club conduct the DNR Hunter Safety program for the youth of our community. Lecture and hands-on demonstrations enhance the young hunter’s preparation for and enjoyment of the great Michigan outdoors.
The club partially sponsors the Mathematics Pentathlon program in the elementary and middle school buildings. This popular lunchtime and after-school program involves very large numbers of students, nearly 100 of which advance to state level competitions. This program develops critical thinking and logic skills, key for success in the new millennium.
Adopt A Highway Cleanup Program
Each Spring and Fall several members of The Mason Optimist Club participate in the Department of Transportation Adopt A Highway program. The club maintains a one-mile stretch of US-127 from Cedar Street to Kipp Road, including the two interchanges.
Salvation Army Christmas Bell Ringing
The Christmas season finds a large number of club members ringing the bells of the Salvation Army in support of their annual appeal. The Mason Optimist Club has produced an increase in collected donations each year of participation. In 2011, Mason Optimist Bell Ringers exceeded their goal of $2000.
Respect for Law Program
The Optimist International organization sets aside one week each year designated as Respect for Law week. Each local club conducts special events featuring local law enforcement or judicial officials. Guests and local students taking government classes are invited to share in the presentation at one of the Club’s weekly breakfast meetings. Often the club conducts a program honoring a local public servant.
One of the largest projects to be tackled by the Club is a joint project with the City of Mason. The Club’s primary responsibilities included research, conceptual design and presentation of the concept to the local government. The Club spearheaded the fundraising drive to help bring the $300,000 project to reality.
For Additional Mason Optimist Club Information, Please Contact Chris Knudstrup: email@example.com