McPherson Optimist Club

PO Box 293, McPherson, KS

McPherson Optimist Club History


The McPherson Optimist Club was chartered on February 27th, 1973 with 38 members. The Hutchinson Optimist Club was the sponsoring club.

From the beginning, the club has fulfilled the Optimist motto "Friend of Youth" by its support of local programs. The earliest youth programs were the midget football leagues, Oratorical Contests, lawn mower clinics, Easter egg hunts, Toys for Tots, and the Junior Olympic track meets. The McPherson Optimist Club participated in the Wall Park development committee, the organization of Big Brothers - Big Sisters program and the Striker soccer leagues.

The club has historically strong fundraising projects to support these youth programs. The first fund raising projects were light bulb sales, dunk tanks, and stadium cushion sales. Christmas tree sales became the largest fund raiser for the club in the 1980s and 1990's.

A list of previous club presidents and optimists of the year in the order of their presidency is as follows:

1973-74 Larry Thompson  
1974-75 Jim Kramer  
1975-76 Larry Swensen  
1976-77 Galen Ferguson  
1977-78 Sid Johnson  
1978-79 Leroy Schmidt  
1979-80 John Holthus  
1980-81 LaVon Ediger  
1981-82 Rick Wilborn  
1982-83 Fred Bohnenblust  
1983-84 Larry Shotts  
1984-85 Joe Johnston  
1985-86 Irv Greer  
1986-87 David Chartier  
1987-88 Don Norton  
1988-89 Gary Klaassen  
1989-90 John Klenda  
1990-91 Brad Hollingsworth  
1991-92 Alan Balsick  
1992-93 Ken Hagen  
1993-94 Bob Baldwin  
1994-95 John Watkins  
1995-96 Bonnie Hoffman  
1996-97 Steve Hilgers  
1997-98 Jim Cooprider Evan Stout 
1998-99 Evan Stout Fred Bohnenblust 
1999-00 Steve Lies Irv Greer 
2000-01 Steve Bahr Jay Pavlik / Bruce White
2001-02 Chad Clark Joe Johnston / Jack Rader
2002-03 Jerry Meng John Watkins
2003-04 Jack Rader Jay Pavlik
2004-05 Chad Alexander Chad Alexander
2005-06 Rick Stein Keith Janzen
2006-07 Brady Wilborn Jack Rader
2007-08 Bill Parker Brad Miller
2008-09 Pete Brubaker Doug Curtright
2009-10 Jerry Fithian Bill Parker
2010-11 Doug Curtright Rick Stien 
2011-12 Monty Koehn Don Glahn
2012-13 Jay Pavlik Ardie Streit
2013-14 Dennis Shaw Neil Colle
2014-15 Jake Strecker Cindy Kinnamon
2015-16 Cyril Russell Jerry and Carol Fithian
2016-17 Brad Miller  Jay Pavlik
2017-18 James Melland