Published Saturday, November 17, 2012

Senoia Optimists honor Optimist of the Year; new officers, members installed

From Staff Reports

Senoia Optimist Club recently honored their Optimist of the Year and installed officers for the 2012-2013 administrative year which began Oct. 1.

Officers for the new year installed at the meeting Oct. 4 are Tony Bell, president; Pat Veneziani, vice-president; Marnie Copeland, secretary; and Linda Martin, treasurer.

Lt. Governor Vaughn Yarbrough, of the Georgia District of Optimist International, was on hand at the Senoia meeting to install the incoming officers, and he charged them all with the responsibilities of their particular positions.

Bell announced the selection of the “Optimist of the Year” for the 2011-2012 year that concluded Sept. 30. Ivie Bowman was chosen by the club members for this prestigious award.

In addition to other responsibilities, Bowman served during the past year as secretary of the Senoia civic organization while also heading up the quarterly blood drives for the Senoia area and volunteering countless hours in a number of other areas.

Three new members of the Senoia club were installed: Beth Clifton, sponsored by Ivie Bowman; Jean Cotton, sponsored by Hal Sewell; and Laura Reynolds, sponsored by Tony Bell.

Bell welcomed each of the new members.

East Coweta Middle School Principal Schwanda Jackson announced the HOPE program that has been embraced by the local school.

"Helping Others Prosper Everyday" (HOPE) provides assistance and real hope to those students whose families may not have the resources to provide adequate food.

“This is not just a job or vocation for our faculty,” explained Jackson. “We have more than 750 kids at our school, and our staff treats them like their very own.” It was further explained that a large percentage of the youngsters live in poverty.

Another local program, Backpack Buddies, provides food to those students below poverty level in the elementary school grades, but does not address students in middle school. HOPE assists those students needing help at East Coweta Middle School.

As was reinforced by ECMS Assistant Principal Yovandra Matthews-Curtis and teacher/ HOPE contact person Jill Scoggins, the goal of HOPE is to send food home for students in need on every school extended holiday.

Those interested in assisting with HOPE at ECMS are encouraged to contact Scoggins at or by calling the school at 770-599-6607.

To learn more about Optimist International, visit the organization’s website at . If you would like more information regarding the Senoia Optimist Club, visit the club’s website at .

The Senoia Club meets on the first Thursday of each month at Matt’s Smalltown Pizza and on the third Thursday at Maguire’s Irish Pub. Meetings start at 6 p.m. Those interested in attending a meeting are invited to call Bell at 770-599-3981 or 770-632-9052 or contact any other member of the Senoia club.

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