February’s Del Mar – Solana Beach Optimist Club Zoom evening session was held on February 17th and was a jam packed, fast moving affair. Club Vice President Judy Trendel presided over the session as the “Zoom Host” controlling the gateway and the flow of the evening’s events. We are finally kind of figuring out how to have a fun, yet productive time using the Zoom platform. “Seeing” fellow Optimists, unmasked, having fun and enjoying each other’s company that is ALMOST, but not quite, like being together in person with real, not ‘virtual’ hugs. Hopefully, we will all be able to meet again in-person soon.
We were pleased to welcome new Club Member, Caryn McCall, who comes to us originally from South Africa, by way of several years in England, before landing in sunny San Diego! Caryn has four children, three born in England, one in the United States, all are under twelve years old. Caryn’s oldest has been in Scouts for many years and has therefore caused Caryn to be involved in Den and Pack activities. Caryn is now taking over as the Club’s Liaison to our Club-sponsored Cub Scout Pack 734 and will periodically report the status of the Pack and its activities and on the disposition of Club funding. Caryn discussed some of the possible Scout activities that may be pursued in the near future, pandemic conditions providing for their safe pursuit. She mentioned several opportunities/organizations including; ‘92130 CARES’, which is an effort to connect local families who have fallen on hard times due to the pandemic with other local families who are in a position to help, and ‘Fill-A-Belly’, an organization which promotes relationships with the homeless and the hungry by sharing a meal, having conversations, playing games for entertainment, all with the ultimate goal of fulfillment and encouraging living life to the fullest. Caryn shared that Pack 734 Scouts had received a ‘guided tour’ of the US Marines Helicopter Museum located on the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), Miramar, which they reportedly thoroughly enjoyed! Thank you Caryn, we know our Scout Pack 734 is in good hands with you there to guide and assist.
Gary Wilson shared with us that he met earlier in the day on Wednesday with 19 members/applicants to the Junior Optimist International (JOI) Club that he advises at the Carmel Valley Middle School (CVMS). The CVMS JOI Club members/applicants met in-person with Gary in a designated classroom at the school, remained socially distanced and masked, and discussed possible projects like beach cleanups, garage sales, bake sales, and the like that they can pursue once pandemic conditions permit. Gary is receiving completed applications and will be officially adding members to the CVMS JOI Club roster soon. Four of our other Club-sponsored Junior Optimist Clubs are meeting variously via Zoom and/or in-person to conduct planning meetings and are safely performing community service projects including; recognizing First Responders, cheering Assisted Living Facility Residents, feeding the homeless and hungry, caring for horses and shelter puppies, cleaning up local parks and trails, and planting trees. They’re all busy and safely enjoying each other’s company!
Club Essay Contest Chairperson, Janis LaVigne, provided an update on the Club’s Optimist International Essay Scholarship Contest. All entries received by the January 31st deadline were submitted to the outside judging entity on February 5th and are currently being judged. The Club’s contest winners are scheduled to receive awards and medallions following the completion of judging. The 1st Place winning essay will be submitted as the Club’s entry into the District level contest.
The Club’s Optimist International Oratorical Scholarship Contest is currently underway with Club Oratorical Contest Chairman, John Murphy, working with applicants to complete the video recordings of their speeches and get them to him for processing and judging. The Club level Oratorical Scholarship Contest is scheduled for completion during March. Top placing speakers will receive awards and medallions. The very top winners’ videos will be submitted as the Club’s entries into the Zone One level contest.
Zone winners compete in the District level contest.
Judy briefly overviewed the planning discussed at February’s Club Board of Directors meeting for an on-line fundraiser auction the Club will conduct in the not too distant future. More on this as the planning progresses. Judy additionally announced Club Member Birthdays occurring during February. In her role as the Club’s Optimist International Foundation Representative, Judy announced that she will be contacting everyone to solicit their participation in this year’s 50th Anniversary Dime-A-Day Drive.
Club President Don LaVigne recited the ‘Optimist Creed’ to close the Zoom session. The next regularly scheduled Zoom session will have a Saint Patrick’s Day theme and will be, appropriately, held via Zoom at 6:00 PM on Saint Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, March 17, 2021.
Secretary, Del Mar – Solana Beach Optimist Club