The Farmington/Farmington Hills Optimist Club this month launched its 35th year of supporting local youth with the installation of new officers and honors given to long-time members.
Farmington Hills resident Ken Wasmer will serve as president for the coming year. He and incoming board members Carol Ahmed, Barrie Armstrong (past President), Diane Bauman, Richard Burrous, Anna Durham, Roxanne Fitzpatrick, Bruce Fowler, Cathy Neal, Tom Neal, Phyllis Pheeney, and Laura Stewart were installed during a September 12 meeting held at Greek Island Bar and Grille, located in the Farmington Hills Golf Course club house.
Roxanne Fitzpatrick, Michigan District Optimist Lt. Governor, presided over the Swearing In Ceremony.
The club organizes or sponsors 37 events during the year, said Armstrong, who was chosen for the Optimist of the Year award by past club presidents. A highlight of his year, he said, was the August 7 Optimist Club Golf Outing, which raised $18,000.
“It’s the thing we work so hard at all year long,” he said. “It’s our only fundraising event of any magnitude.”
Armstrong said the group got involved for the first time this year in the Optimists Walk for Childhood Cancer. The first-time fundraiser pulled in more than $2,000.
“Our club lead the whole state,” Armstrong said, adding that next year’s walk may be held in the Farmington area as a result.
While grateful for the honor, Armstrong said he took a “team approach” during his year in office, with everyone pitching in.
“Everything we do is for the kids of Farmington and Farmington Hills,” he said, “and it shows.”
Club activities include Jr. Optimist Clubs in local schools, Essay and Oratorical Contests for local students, and support of PTAs and the Farmington/Farmington Hills Education Foundation; a Kids Fishing Day; community service projects; and special events to honor local school administrators, police and firefighters.
Other club awards presented during the installation dinner included:
- Life Member – Laura Stewart
- President’s Award – Anna Durham
- Years of Service: Gerry Wasen, 30 years, Diane Bauman, 20 years, and Richard Lerner, 10 years
The Farmington/Farmington Hills Optimists meet Wednesdays, 7:30 a.m., at John Cowley and Sons Pub in downtown Farmington. Each meeting includes a speaker and breakfast. Guests are welcome to attend and learn more about how to get involved in helping the community and especially local youth.
To learn more, visit f2hoptimists.org.