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:
|YEAR||PRESIDENT||OPTIMIST OF THE YEAR|
|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|
|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|