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 Mary Hatfield, EMO Governor; Jean Naeger, Immediate Past President & Club Foundation Representative; Mary McDowell, President; Phyllis Neff, President Elect; Peggy Scott, Secretary; Gerty O'Leary, Secretary Elect; Leisa Spiker, Treasurer; Sandy Mouser, Board Member; Shirley Coil, Board Member; Caryl Harness, Board Member; Debbie, Treasurer Elect; Marsha Greenstreet, Board Member, Carol Schanz, Board Member.
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