The "Manhattan Optimist Club Bulletin": Vol. 2024 #5: 11-1-23

Posted November 4, 2023

                                       VOLUME 2024            NOVEMBER 1         NUMBER 5

President Bill Wisdom, welcomed everyone, gave a morning reflection and we all joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.  

ACHES & PAINS:  Be thankful for all your blessings!!!

PROGRAM:  Sharon Fincham introduced our Youth of the Month school administrators joining us: Principal Sheila Henke from Marlatt Elementary and Haley Lawson from Frank Bergman Elementary.  This morning we recognized 2 students from both schools. 

Dane J. Youth Of the Month, Frank Bergman School
First up from Frank Bergman Elementary, Sharon Fincham introduced us to 3rd grader, Dane J.  Dane was nominated by his teacher Allie Evans and this is what she had to say: “Dane is a joy to have in class and is a constant example of how a leader should act.  He has a lot of grit, whether it is completing his work or trying his best even when his work is challenging.  Dane is always eager to share his ideas in class or help a friend in need.  He is always striving to follow the Dolphin Way and exemplifies how a Bergman Dolphin should act.”   In speaking with his mother, Dane is a middle child, 1 of 4 boys, he is an extremely hard worker at home.  He will do yard work and empty the dishwasher, he initiates offers.  He is very kind and considerate fi his friends and a good judge of character.  He likes baseball and golf and enjoys going outside to play with his brothers.  Dane is an animal lover; they have a golden retriever named Lucy.  He also enjoys video games, coding, reading, board games and he even played T-ball. Congratulations Dane!

Next, Sharon brought up Trevaugn M, a 1st grader from Frank Bergman Elementary.

Trevaugn M. Youth of the Month, Frank Bergman
His Teacher Dana Batt had the following to say: “Trevaugn makes us proud every day!  He has many strengths, especially in kindness towards the members of our class family.  He is like the big brother for a special girl with no siblings of her own who needs extra assistance and motivation.  He seeks no recognition for the great things he does for her and the rest of his class family.  He learns everything quickly, loves reading and math and thrives on being challenged academically.  Trevaugn has a tender heart, a brilliant mind and a contagious smile that brings joy to his teacher each and every day.  It’s exciting to honor and celebrate him.”  We also learned that Trevaugn (sometimes Tre or Bubbs) likes transformers, has a hedgehog named none other than “Sonic” and likes dinosaurs and sharks.  He has an older brother and sister as well as 3 younger siblings.   Congratulations Trevaugn!


E’lijah M. Youth of the Month Marlatt Elementary
Greg McCune stepped in and introduced us to Marlatt Elementary 5th grader, E’lijah M.  Principal, Sheila Henke nominated E’lijah and shared this: “E’lijah is a remarkable student who has made significant positive changes since coming to Malatt last year.  Over the past year, E’lijah has made remarkable progress in various aspects of his school life and has become an asset in the classroom.  He often shares positive and encouraging words with his classmates and has become a role model for peers, demonstrating the importance of determination and a positive attitude.  He is an empathetic and compassionate individual who is always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.  He has a natural ability to motivate and inspire others.  E’lijah’s journey from having escalating and eloping behaviors to being a confident, dedicated, and compassionate young individual is truly inspiring.  His determination and commitment to    self-improvement makes him a shining example of positive change.  E’lijah’s transformation is a testament to the incredible potential that lies within every student, given the right support and determination.  We are proud to have him as a member of the Marlatt School community and we are excited to see the positive impact he will continue to make in his future.”  His mother added, E’lijah loves sports, video games, coloring, drawing and Lego’s.  He is a good athlete and very competitive and he is also a comedian – a hilarious person.  He has several pets, but his favorite is his dog named Raja, who is his registered emotional support animal.   Congratulations E’lijah!

Gage H. Youth of the Month, Marlatt Elementary
Lastly, Greg introduced us to Marlatt Elementary 4th grader, Gage H. Teacher Serena Marquez had the following to say about her student: “Gage is a successful student who does the “right things”.  He is a leader for his peers and teachers and was “hired” in his classroom as the date and calendar guy.  (he oversees changing the dates and writing the new date on the whiteboard) His classmates can count on him for help and he’s very respectful to all the students.  Classmates also appreciate the laughs and smiles Gage brings to our room as he has a stellar sense of humor.  Gage is a smart young man who is responsible, he is driven on independent assignments and projects, stays on task and is a good listener to instruction.  He is a positive 4th grader who I can count on to do the right thing, even when I’m not looking.  Gage is chasing greatness!”  We learned that Gage is also funny, sweet, kind and compassionate (many of the words his teacher used) He likes sports and art, he even used to build whole cities from the blocks his father made for him.  He also has a Golden Retriever named Jack Jack who he loves.  Congratulations Gage!

We Optimist’s wish all four of you students the best there is, we are so proud of your accomplishments and know there are many more to come.  Good luck as you continue reaching for the stars!  Congratulations and keep up the great work!

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT:  Today, Greg McCune recognized our newest member, Margaret Haden.   Margaret grew up in Clay Center and attended K-State University, Graduating in 2012 with a BS in Marketing and a secondary major in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and a minor in Agricultural Economics.  She went to grad school at Utica University in New York State and got an MS in Data Science. 

She manages the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Manhattan, Topeka, and Lawrence, utilizing her sales, project management and data skills.  Margaret was living in Kansas City when she met her husband, Brett.  They have been married for four years.  He missed the farm, outside of Green Ks, near Clay Center, she told him “I don’t want to live anywhere that doesn’t have at least one TARGET”, so they compromised and live in Manhattan.  They have a cat named Waldo.

Brett is a Design Engineer for Mountain LTD, a farmer and a Real Estate agent for Homestead Real Estate.  Margaret enjoys the excellent eating and drinking establishments around Manhattan, traveling anywhere with mountains and occasionally just being a couch potato! 

She joined Optimist because of the chance to continue giving back to the next generation.  For them to understand the importance of community, we have to show them what a community is, how it helps and how it continues to grow. 


Hoop, Holler and Shoot: there have been a few changes but we’re moving right along, please sign up to help if you can.   The shoots have already started at the schools!  Boys Semis Nov 10 and Girls Semis Dec 1, both at Manhattan Christian College at 7:00pm games.  A number of workers are needed.  Times and Dates Of Hoop, Holler, 'N Shoot. Contact Thad Hall to sign up.
Christmas Tree Lot: sign up sheets are out on tables, be sure to sign up for your shift.  The first weekend is when the most trees are sold.  Please check your schedules and help when you can!

Please email Jim Franke at with your availability and questions.

Unloading Trees       Unpack Trees & Setup Lot       Special Schedule       Regular Schedule

Annual Dues are DUE!!!  Please get your payments to Clyde Scott. 

GUESTS: Welcome teachers, administrators, students and families of Frank Bergman and Marlatt Elementary Schools.          

Meeting adjourned with the OPTIMIST CREED.

                NOVEMBER PROGRAMS:  PROGRAM CHAIRS – Sharon Fincham, Jerry Banaka, Jim Franke,

                                                                                                               Bruce Bidwell, Mike Fincham

                November 8:                      Student of the Month Presentation

                NOON MEETING              Mike Dodson – Veterans Day Recognition

                                                                Jerry Banaka

                November 15:                   What’s happening with the Christmas Tree Lot?

                MORNING MEETING      Jim Franke

                November 22:                   Working the Christmas Tree Lot!!!

                10:00AM MEETING         LUNCH CATERED!!

                                                                Jim Franke/Bruce Bidwell

                November 29:                   Business Meeting

                MORNING MEETING      Bill Wisdom