Senoia Optimists busy this spring
Since the Oratorical Contest the first week in March, Senoia Optimist Club continued to have a busy spring.
The club held its annual fingerprinting project March 9, opening day at the Senoia athletic complex. A large number of children were fingerprinted and the information was given to their parents/guardians for safekeeping in the event of an emergency. Coweta County Sheriff’s Department provided the fingerprint kits and other materials, and Senoia Police Department Officer Michelle Worden assisted with doing the fingerprinting with the children.
The Senoia Optimists welcomed Essay Contest participants to the club’s March 2 meeting. This year’s contest theme throughout Optimist International was “How Can I Help My Friends Realize Their Value?” Participants were from Coweta Charter School, East Coweta High School, and Northgate High School. Senoia Optimist Maureen Schuyler was chair of this year’s contest, assisted by judges Amanda Schuyler and Optimist Gail Noble.
One of the club’s fundraisers that has also become a significant community event is the Optimist Club’s barbecue that was held on March 23 at Senoia Masonic Lodge. Visitors to the town, long-time residents, and folks from other areas helped to contribute to a sold-out event with delicious food and great fellowship, said club member Hal Sewell. Proceeds from the spring barbecue were donated to the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to fund childhood cancer research.
The “Taste of Senoia” was held at The Veranda Historic Inn April 21. The event featured samples of food from area restaurants and a multitude of raffle prizes donated by local merchants. In addition, noted local author and historian Herb Bridges was on hand with several items from his “Gone With The Wind” collection. “The wonderful food, the lovely venue, and the beautiful weather helped to combine for a tremendous day,” said Sewell.
Several Optimists helped to cheer on participants at the April 24 Special Olympics track and field event held at Drake Stadium in Newnan. In addition, assistance was also provided at the May 10 Special Olympics bowling at Junction Lanes.
The busy civic club hosted its annual Youth Appreciation banquet at the Senoia community center on Howard Road May 2. Students from East Coweta High School and Northgate High School were selected by their school administrators in light of the students’ accomplishments – sometimes by overcoming difficult situations – during the past school year. Guest speaker Heath Bennett, student and family pastor at Southside Church, reminded each student that “you are not alone.”
The Senoia Area Blood Drive, sponsored by the Senoia Optimists, was held May 6 at Senoia United Methodist Church. The goal set by the American Red Cross was exceeded — with 45 pints of life-saving blood collected. Blood drives are held quarterly by the Senoia Club, and the next drive is scheduled on Aug. 5 in the same location.
Senoia Optimist Club President Tony Bell presented special awards to deserving students at East Coweta Middle School May 17. He also presented a scholarship from the club to Geremy Walton at East Coweta High School and to Haley Potter at Northgate High School. Also on May 17, several Optimists participated in the “Stop Hunger Now” meal packing event held at East Coweta Middle School. More than 20,000 meals were packed for shipment to children in need by the sixth grade students at the school along with adult volunteers.
The Senoia Club participated in the annual Senoia Memorial Day parade May 27. Since the motto of Optimist International is “Friend of Youth” and most of the club’s outreach is to help young people, several youth were also on the Optimists’ float along with club members, including veterans who were dressed in their military outfits.
In addition to the recent special activities, club members also assist on most weeks with the Backpack Buddies program and with food packing for the Sow Good Center. Both of these outreach programs provide food for those in need.
The Senoia Optimist Club meets first Thursdays at Matt’s Smalltown Pizza and on third Thursdays at Maguire’s Irish Pub.
To learn more about Optimist International, visit the organization’s website at www.optimist.org. If you would like more information regarding the Senoia Optimist Club, visit the club’s website at www.senoiaoptimistclub.org. Details regarding the club are often posted on its Facebook page (“Senoia Optimist Club”). If interested in attending a meeting, contact President Tony Bell at 770-599-3981 or 770-632-9052 or contact any other member of the Senoia club.