It was early in 1988 when three Optimist members from the Cape Girardeau, Missouri club came to the Festus/Crystal City area to "build" a new Optimist Club. Finding little interest and even being told by one community leader, "We don't need any more service clubs," they, being optimists, did not give up. Remembering that only recently Optimist International had begun admitting females as members, they forged ahead and began recruiting women. Very soon 63 women had expressed interest and, on May 10, 1988, the Charter Presentation Banquet was held. The club was off and running and, all these years later, continues the race with multitudes of youth service projects to benefit children and exemplify Optimist International mottos - "Friend of Youth" and "Bringing Out the Best in Kids".
Left to right: Phyllis Neff, President; Mary Kay Scott, President-Elect; Mary McDowell, Past President, Debbie Kettler, Treasurer; Patty Meyer, 2019-2021 Board Member; Gerty O'Leary, Secretary; Janet Mace, 2018-2020 Board Member; Pat Parsons, Treasurer-Elect; Cathy Elliot, Secretary-Elect; Caryl Harness, 2018-2020 Board Member; Megan Meyer, 2019-2021 Board Member; not pictured Shirley Coil, 2018-2020 Board Member; and Debbie Schumacher, 2019-2021 Board Member.
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