Senoia Optimist Club honored by Special Olympics
by Celia Shortt
The Senoia Optimist Club has been honored by Special Olympics Georgia for its work with Coweta Special Olympics. The local club was named as the first recipient of the Outstanding Organization Award for 2014.
“Our program is a success because of organizations such as the Senoia Optimist,” said Kelly Abercrombie, coordinator for Coweta Special Olympics. “They give their time and energy freely to provide wonderful opportunities for all of our athletes. I am thrilled Special Olympics Georgia recognized the [Senoia Optimist Club] for all they do, not only on a local level, but for our region as well.”
Senoia Optimist Club is part of Optimist International. A larger program created to provide meaningful projects, create identity in the community, and help fulfill a need in the lives of youth and adults.
The Senoia club supports Coweta County Special Olympics by recruiting volunteers and sponsors for events, as well as sponsoring events themselves.
“Anytime Kelly asks us, we are there,” said Tony Bell, a member of Senoia Optimist Club and the Optimist district treasurer. “We are very honored to be recognized for the work we did for Coweta County.”
In addition to the Special Olympics, Senoia Optimist Club sponsors four main programs for the community – an essay contest for students, an oratorical contest, Respect for Law for those in public safety, and youth appreciation.
The club also sponsors scholarships for students at the county’s public high schools, the Youth Fingerprint Project, Backpack Buddies, Georgia Sheriffs Youth Ranch, Ferst Foundation for childhood literacy, provides donations to needy families at Christmas, and does fundraising for cancer research.
For Bell, being a part of the Senoia Optimist Club allows him to fulfill his passion of helping people. He’s been a member since 2008. He is also a retired US Army colonel, and since retiring, has opened an Edward Jones office in Senoia.
“It’s an honor to win this award, but it’s more of an honor to work with a great organization like the Special Olympics, and to help kids and the community,” said Bell.