This Riverside club is helping young people

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By Erin Murphy

Optimist Club president Jim Thornell presides over a meeting at the Canyon Crest Country Club. (Khai Le)

By Erin Murphy

When it comes to bettering the community what better attitude to have than being optimistic?

That is the exact approach that the Riverside Optimist Club takes on its mission to improve the Riverside community.

The Riverside Optimist Club was formed 61 years ago to develop optimism as a philosophy of life.

It is one branch of International Optimist that have spread nation wide since 1919.

There are over 3,200 clubs and over 105,000 individual members to date.

The club focuses on the youth of local Riverside communities. The club does this in ways such as scholarships, adopting schools, golf tournaments, bicycle safety and respect for the law week, pancake breakfasts and many other events.

In 1987 the club adopted its first school, Woodcrest Elementary. Since then three other schools have been added to the list Castle View, Fremont and Emerson Elementary.

These participating schools are provided with special programs that are unique to each schools student body.

The club is made mostly of retired individuals that have a strong drive to better their communities and themselves.

There is a weekly luncheon where all upcoming events and club priorities are discussed, and local individuals, such as the president of Riverside City College, make speeches.

“I was brought into this club by a dear friend about six years ago,” Frank Whitman, treasurer of the Riverside Optimist Club said. “I feel like such a good person when I think of all the ways I aid to bettering the young people.”

The next event is an annual golf tournament. It will be held on June 4 at Canyon Crest Country Club.

The money raised by the golf tournament will go to things like scholarships which have provided local area students approximately $50,000 for college. Anyone is encouraged to become a member of the Optimist Club.

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