Late last year, the McPherson Optimist Club announced it would provide a scholorchip opportunity in the form of an essay contest for high school age students with a $250 award going to the winner. Ericka Shook, a teacher at MHS, agreed to administer the contest. Three students from MHS took on the challenge and submitted their essays for judging. Students were required to write an essay on thie topic of "Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges" of no less than 700 words and no more than 800 words. Three judges were selected to review the essays and choose a winner based on the contest rules.
At our club meeting on February 21st Ericka and the three contestants were our guests to announce the winner and read the winning essay. The contestants were Alayna Wallace, Elisabeth Evans, and Thomas Smith. Alayna Wallace was anounced as the winner and read her essay to our club members. A big thank you to Ericka, Alayna, Elisabeth, and Thomas for the hard work.
Alayna's essay will now be submitted to a district level contest with an opportunity to win a $2,500 scholorship from Optimist International. Good Luck Alayna and thank you for your Optimism.
(pictured below from left to right: Alayna, Elisabeth, Thomas, Ericka, and Brad Miller-Optimist President)
The largest fund-raising event of the year for the McPherson Optimist Club is the Mid America Classic basketball tournament. There are many individuals and organizations that make up the success of this tournament. One of those organiations that we would like to recognize is the McPherson County Sheriff Reserves. For as many years as I can recall the Sheriff Reserves have provided security for the tournament. The McPherson Optimist Club extends our appreciation to Sheriff Jerry Montagne and his team of officers today by presenting him with a $400 donation. Thank you Sheriff for all you and your deputies do for our tournament !!!
In the January board meeting the McPherson Optimist Club voted to pledge $2,000 toward the completion of a new jump pit at the McPherson Middle School. In the fall of 2016 TJ Jackson, a teacher and track coach at MMS, submitted a request for funds to the Optimist club to assist with the project. TJ sighted safety, sanitation, and access issues with the current jump pit and commented that each year kids would get hurt because of the hard, bumpy ground that makes up the current jump pit. TJ had raised about 1/3 of the dollars needed for his project at the time of his request. Following the McPherrson Optimist Club pledge, TJ pushed ahead and obtained the remaining funds needed within a few short weeks. We asked TJ to come to our regular January 31st club meeting and accept a $2,000 check for the club. We look forward to seeing the completion of this project and are glad we could be a part of helping kids at MMS for years to come.
A portion of this GIFT was provided through the John Watkins Memorial Fund managed by the McPherson County Community Foundation.
After a somewhat 'one-sided' beginning Thursday, January 26th, to the 22nd annual Mid America Classic (MAC), the competition tightened up over the next two days. The tournament finished up Saturday evening with the Olathe South Falcons overtaking another 6A powerhouse, the Manhattan Indians, 50-38, to secure their 5th Classic title in as many tries.
The McPherson Bullpups garnered 3rd place, defeating the Valley Center Hornets 51-34, after succumbing to a devastating third quarter in the late game on Friday night with the Falcons to end up on the short end of 46-37 score. The Pups easily defeated Andale 66-18 in their Thursday night opener. Other two game winners in the tournament were Hays (57-36 vs Wichita SE); (28-25 vs Dodge City) for 5th place, Manhattan (83-37 vs Wichita SE); (56-29 vs Valley Center) for 2nd place.
Picking up one win each were Andale (61-48 vs Wichita SE) for 7th place and Dodge City defeating those same Andale Indians on Friday night, 41-32. The Valley Center Hornets secured their only win on Thursday afternoon over Hays, 49-42. Coach LaToya Randle's Wichita Southeast Buffaloes played some inspired, fast-paced basketball but couldn't secure a win in their third appearance in the MAC.
Special thanks to Danny Glidewell, the 'new' guy this year, in a Co-Director role. Kudos to all the committee chairs for a sharp, well-run tourney. Many folks, including coaches, players, administrators and officials, expressed their appreciation to this co-director over the course of the three days.
Thinking (not too hard) about the 23rd...
Jerry Fithian, on behalf of Kendall Shaw and the 'new' guy...
Thanks for all your hard work and
The 2016 GIFT program is underway. Many volunteer opportunitues are available. This is one of the most impactful activities the McPherson Optimist Club does each year. Please click on the Sign Up link in the left-hand menu and choose some times you can volunteer to help make a great holday for the youth in our community.
To Sign Up to volunteer - Sign up to Volunteer for an Event
To learn more about the GIFT program - Gifts Intended for Teens (GIFT)
Don't put away your golf clubs just yet! You have another chance to have your name put on the Optimist Club Golf Trophy. We will play on Saturday, November 19, at Turkey Creek beginning at 11 am. The entry fee is $10 per player, and you pay your own fees. We usually share carts. Please make plans to join us.
Please help us in congratulating Jerry and Carol Fithin. They were honored with the 2016 Optimist of the year award. Jerry and Carol are true Optimists. Jerry and Carol both have been involved in club leadership, Jerry has taken on a leadership role with the MAC Classic, and they generally get involved in about every club project. Thank you Jerry and Carol for all of your dedication to the youth of our community.
Please see the Thank You leter we received from Circles of McPherson County.