ABOUT THE FORT WORTH OPTIMIST CLUB
Members of the Optimist Club of Fort Worth are men, women, business owners, professionals, managers and executives of all ages. We are affiliated with Optimist International, an international service organization of similar goals. We are a hands-on club that rolls up its sleeves instead of sitting on the sidelines. We believe that, through young people, we can influence the future by encouraging good academics, citizenship, a love of sports and sportsmanship, and an optimistic view of life. As a club member, you will have lots of opportunities to make a real difference in a young person’s life. You might be a league sports coach, a scorekeeper or an announcer. Or, you might judge an essay contest. We finance our programs by selling Christmas trees, operating a concession stand, and other “fun” fund raising activities.
At the Optimist Club of Fort Worth we also strive to have fun in everything we do. Not only is it rewarding to give back to our community and make a difference in the youth's lives, but we also have great time doing it. We meet for lunch every Friday and do other community involved activities such as donating supplies to The Ronald McDonald House, teddy bears for children in the Hospital, and clothing and food drives for local shelters.
We look forward to seeing you and becoming part of our wonderful club.
Through the efforts of Solon Featherston, Governor of District 7, and the Optimist Club of Wichita Falls, a meeting was arranged at the Blackstone Hotel in downtown Fort Worth on April 4th, 1935 for the purpose of organizing a club.
The record reveals that among those present were Jesse E. Martin, Dr. Jerrell Bennet, and J. Warren Day.
It was decided by those present that an Optimist Club be organized and that application be made for a Charter. The Charter was granted, and was presented on May 15, 1935. There were 55 Charter Members.
When only three months it secured the Optimist International Convention for 1936. The Convention was a success, netting the Club a profit of $800.00. The boys work activity was begun in the fall of 1935, and has continued to date, with marvelous results.
THE OPTIMIST CREED
- To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
- To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
- To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
- To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
- To think only of the best, work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
- To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
- To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
- To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
- To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
- To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
MAKE TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS
The Optimist Club of Fort Worth is actually two different organizations under the Internal Revenue Code. The Optimist Club is organized under Section 501 (c) (4), which is tax-exempt, but to which contributions are not tax-deductible. The Optimist Club of Fort Worth Youth Fund Inc. is a charitable corporation under Section 501 (c) (3) that operates our charitable programs, and is eligible to receive charitable contributions.
The Optimist Club has operated in Fort Worth for over 80 years. It not only conducts our sports and scholarship programs, but it also holds weekly meetings with interesting speakers and engages in community service. In 2010, the Optimist Club created its sister organization that operates the programs, and is eligible to receive contributions under Section 501 (c) (3). We applied for 501(c)(3) status in December, 2010, and received a determination letter in April, 2013 confirming that contributions to the Youth Fund, Inc. are fully tax-deductible.
Since then, we have actively sought donations and have applied for grants to improve our sports programs and to increase the scope of our scholarship giving. Club members are liaisons with 14 Fort Worth ISD high schools and we receive nominees from those schools for our major scholarship programs.
OCFW OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2022-23
Front Row: Jeff Norman, Judi Janes, Rashad Alston | Row Two: Craig Verwers, Fred Antonini, Stephanie Sullivan, Ron Traver | Row Three: Larry Lewis, Steve McCoy | Row Four: Don Stegall, Jalen Moore | Row Five: Ron Gamill, Alex Clarke
2022-2023 CLUB OFFICERS
Chairman of the Board Rashad Alston
President Jeff Norman
President-Elect Fred Antonini
Executive Secretary Judi Janes
Treasurer Ron Gamill
P.O. Box 101163
Fort Worth, Texas 76185
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board Secretary Connie Alston
Youth Activity Chair Steve McCoy
Youth Activity Chair-Elect Jalen Moore
Program Chair Ron Traver
Fellowship/Membership/Attendance Chair Craig Verwers
Community Service Chair Stephanie Sullivan
Social Media Chair Alex Clarke
Chaplain Don Stegall
Sergeant-at-Arms Larry Lewis
Our luncheon meetings are held on Friday at noon on the Mezzanine level of 4055 International Plaza. This is located near Hulen Street and I-20, directly behind the Home Depot. It is also next to Arborlawn United Methodist Church. The building is readily recognizable-- an aluminum-clad building about eight stories tall, with a cylindrical tower. Take the stairs in the middle of the lobby to the first floor. The club meets in the activity room very near the top of the stairs, directly across from the cafeteria.
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