Optimist Club celebrating 50th city year

The Optimist Club of Red Deer is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The Optimist Club of Red Deer is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

A dinner at the Black Knight Inn on Saturday, May 29, is “going to be an evening of recognizing long-term charter members, and reminiscing, and an opportunity to blow our horn of what Optimist is,” says past president Les Trevor, who is helping organize the event.

Trevor is particularly keen on the fact that a charter member, Glenn Turple, and charter president, Thomas Chapman, will be at the event.

Turple still helps organize and sells tickets at the club’s annual salute to youth dinner and Chapman is lending a hand with the 50th anniversary event.

“They’re not just names — that’s the really neat thing about it,” said Trevor. “They come out to just about every meeting and are very much involved.”

The Optimist Club of Red Deer was founded in May 1960. Since its founding, it has raised “well over one million dollars” for youth programs, according to a history of the club.

One of the earliest philanthropic gestures the club made was establishing the Red Deer Opti-corps, a 40-piece trumpet and drum marching band with instructors from the RCAF at Penhold. More recently, the club committed $50,000 to the public library component of the renovated G.H. Dawe Community Centre.

Anyone who wants to attend the event, which will also feature guest speaker Michael Dawe, is welcome. Cocktails are at 6 p.m. and dinner is at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased by contacting Norm at 403-342-5372 or Ken at 403-347-4285, or by email at galnorc@shaw.ca