The "Manhattan Optimist Club Bulletin" #52: 9-27-23

Posted September 30, 2023

VOLUME 2023          September 27, 2023         NUMBER 52

President Thad Hall welcomed the membership, followed by the Flag Salute.

Program Introduction: Thad Hall: Outgoing Presidential Address

President Thad Hall's Outgoing Presidential Address
Thad learned a lot this year including everyone’s name and it was great to get to know everyone in the Club.  He learned the Club does more to support the youth of the community than he had imagined; the Club has so many great programs.  He learned there are about 50 members involved in the day-to-day operation of the Optimist Club.  Between T-Ball, Fast Pitch Softball, and Little League there are 25 teams, approximately 250 youths, practicing at Optimist Park all summer long.

Thad’s main goal for this past year was to ensure the long-term viability of the Club.  Covid caused us to change, become highly efficient and have good processes in place.  Now we are in a good position for the future.  We have maintained our experienced members and recruited some younger members, some who are taking leadership roles in the club.  We are the largest Optimist Club in Kansas.  We made some big changes last year, but he prefers to say, “We adapted to our environment.”  The Club will continue to make changes in the future to adapt to our future environment and be prepared to try new things.  We now have procedures for about everything we do and have a good handle on all of our projects.   

We also do a better job welcoming our guests and integrating our new members into the Club with activities, such as the new member dinner.  We also tried to get everyone information on everything we have been doing with our programs and activities and members feel more involved with the extra effort.  We have also been working on a long-term plan for Optimist Park which is a large asset to the Club and what a big project it is to maintain.  We are working on a plan to financially pay for the park for years to come, which will be a challenge going forward.  The park is very expensive to maintain, and we have some great volunteers who maintain it and will be asking for more volunteers to help. 

We did a better job this year with the website and social media platforms and keeping it up to date.  We have implemented a membership diversity plan to grow our membership in demographic areas where we are lacking, such as younger members, and we have made some good strides to do that as well.  We formed a finance committee and grants committee which has helped with organizing and keeping track of financial decisions.  We also restarted the Interpersonal Skills Class essay contest this year.  The Club became the charter organization for two boy scout troupes and raised $9,300 in contributions and Grow Green match contributions.  The Club donated over $20,000 to youth activities.  Plans are in progress to bring back Optimist Field at Optimist Park to a usable condition from past flooding. 

Thad was excited about the future of the club and expressed confidence in the leadership coming up, with Bill Wisdom as President and Greg McCune and Kelly Karl as future presidents.  Thad left us with this statement: “What we do today for the Club will determine the success of the Club long after we are gone.”

President Hall’s Recognition of Member’s Contributions:

President Hall noted there were 50 or more people in the Club he could give a plaque to, but he decided not to do that; there are so many people who help the Club out.  He did mention some who do specific things for the Club and noted he would probably miss a few.

He wanted to thank the Board and the Advisory Board: Ashley Urban, Bill Wisdom, Bruce Bidwell, Clyde Scott, Greg McKune, Heather Peterson, Jim Franke, Jim Blanton, Kelly Karl, Lisa Brummett , Mike Fincham, Bob Seymour, Steve Havenstein, and Tom Hintz.  

President Hall went on to recognize specific people:

Bruce Bidwell: who does so much for the club, Park maintenance, guest check in, tree lot, weekly meeting setup

Jim Franke: Spaghetti Dinner, Tree Lot, weekly meeting set up, and many other things

Steve Boeckman: park maintenance, financial statement preparation

Mike Fincham: Program Chairman, Diversity Committee leadership

Bill Wisdom: membership drive, covering for the president when he was on vacation,

Greg McKune: New Member Spotlight as well as other activities

Clyde Scott: long time Club Treasurer, sells many tickets to our fund raisers

Sharon Fincham: Youth of the Month Chairperson

Steve Havenstein: helps with financial statement, budget, meeting setup

Bob Seymour and Lisa Brummett: writing and publishing the Optimist Bulletin online

Shawn Dryden: New Boston Creative Group, does the Club’s website and online ticket sales

Ed Klimek: Hoop, Holler, ‘N Shoot, Student of the Month, and all the Club’s advertising

Todd Chyba: Grow Green and help with Trust Company and with the budget

Heather Peterson: recruiting efforts with our younger members, Just Try It

Ashley Urban: recruiting efforts

Gerry Banaka: recruiting efforts

Jim Morrison: Early Expressions Art Contest

Doug Jardine: Kansas Optimist Governor

Jim Blanton: Pictures of Optimist meetings and activities

President Hall again mentioned there are probably 50 individuals to be recognized and thanked everyone who helped make this a great year.  Instead of handing out plaques, he announced that on October 11th, a noon meeting, lunch will be on Thad Hall.

Incoming President Bill Wisdom & Outgoing President Thad Hall
Bill Wisdom shared the Club’s appreciation to Thad Hall and presented a memento of appreciation.

Installation of Officers and Board by Tom Hintz
New Officers and Board members were sworn in and installed by Tom Hintz.

Optimist Officers 2023-2024
Office Name Term End
PRESIDENT Bill Wisdom 09/30/2024
1ST VP Greg McCune 09/30/2024
2ND VP Kelly Karl 09/30/2024
SECRETARY Lisa Brummett * NA
TREASURER Clyde Scott * NA

* Lisa Brummett and Clyde Scott were absent and will be sworn in at a later date.


Optimist Board Members 2023-2024
Position Name Term Ends
PAST PRESIDENT Thad Hall 09/30/2024
DIRECTOR Heather Peterson 09/30/2025
DIRECTOR Brady Lundeen 09/30/2025
DIRECTOR Bruce Spellman 09/30/2025
DIRECTOR Steve Boeckman 09/30/2025
DIRECTOR Joey Purpura 09/30/2025
DIRECTOR Jim Franke 09/30/2024
DIRECTOR Ashley Urban 09/30/2024
DIRECTOR Robert Seymour 09/30/2024

Member Spotlight: No member Spotlight this week.

Guests:  Mark Locke introduced Brandon Rutherford, his Grandson, who is a Captain in the US Army’s 89th Battalion at Fort Cavazos, the former Fort Hood, in Texas.

Club Stuff/Announcements:

Greg McCune noted the Marathon Fundraiser for October 7th and sign up is complete.

Bill Wisdom announced the vouchers for the Chili Crawl on October 14th are available for sale.

Thad Hall announced there is still a five-way tie for the member who brings in the most members by September 30th among Ed Klimek, Gerry Banaka, Clyde Scott, Craig Cox, and Heather Peterson.

Tom Claman and Ed Klimek reminded the group that Bewitching in Westloop will take place on October 31st, 4:00to 6:00 pm.  Volunteers are needed to hand out treats to the approximately 1,500 children and about as many parents.

At the September 26, 2023 meeting of the Manhattan Optimist Club Board of Directors (BOD), the decision was made to increase member annual dues from $120 to $135 for Regular members and from $90 to $105 for Life members, effective 10/01/2023.

Optimist International increased annual Club dues by $15/member effective 10/01/2022.  At that time, the MOC BOD decided NOT to increase Manhattan Optimist Club member dues.

The new dues structure for Regular members is:

$  82.58 goes to Optimist International

$  13.00 goes to KS District

$  39.42 goes to Manhattan Optimist Club

$135.00 Total

The new dues structure for Life members is:

$  41.29 goes to Optimist International

$  13.00 goes to KS District

$  50.71 goes to Manhattan Optimist Club

$105.00 Total

DUES ARE DUE starting October 1, 2023. Give them to Clyde at the Wednesday meetings or mail to:

    Manhattan Optimist Club

    PO Box 623

    Manhattan, KS 66505-0623

Adjourned with the Optimist Creed

Next Weeks’s Meeting:

October 4th 7:00 AM Meeting: Program – Bill Wisdom: New Presidential Address “New Optimist Year 2023-24.”

October Meeting Schedule:

October 11th Noon Meeting: Program - MHS Student of the Month and Jordan McKnight with A & H Farms “A&H Farm Operation.”

October 18th 7:00 AM Meeting: Program - Vivienne Leyva with Riley County Public Works Department “Computer Scams.”

September Birthdays

October Birthdays