The Optimist Club
of Grand Prairie was first organized as the Northeast Optimist Club in 1996
with a mission to help the youth in the Northeast area of our city.
During the early years, the club started an after school
program to help tutor the children and supply a light snack in one of the elementary
schools. This project was taken over by the YMCA. Next, the Northeast
Optimist Club initiated a Summer Reading and Lunch Program located first in
a neighborhood Police Office and later moved to a local Church in the city.
The club members worked in conjunction with the county to provide a lunch
for children who came to read and play games. The membership was recognized
and honored with awards for their efforts on behalf of the city's children.
After 5-6 years, the Summer Reading and Lunch Program was
turned over to one of the new elementary schools to oversee. During that
same timeframe, the club renovated a local park and a mural was painted to
help discourage graffiti. In addition to these community service works, The
Northeast Optimist Club was instrumental in persuading the City of Grand
Prairie to open a new state-of-the-art recreational facility with a pool,
game room and branch library in the neighborhood.
With the growth in membership and experience, the club
decided to expand their outreach efforts to youth throughout the entire
city. About that same time it was decided to rename the club "The
Optimist Club of Grand Prairie".
First attempts at fundraising came with the purchase of a
snow cone machine. The club attended city events and stationed themselves
at parking lots raising money, a few dollars at a time. Ten years ago,
the Optimist Club of Grand Prairie organized a fishing tournament at the
city's premier lake, Joe Pool Lake. The Big Bass Bonanza Open Tournament is
held in May of each year. Due to the success of the event, scholarships to
graduating seniors from all three high schools are awarded each spring.
The Optimist Club of Grand Prairie is always looking for
new, enthusiastic, civic-minded members. Couples are encouraged to join and
meetings are a great time of fellowship and fun for all in attendance.
President Elect: Janice Harshaw
Vice President :
Secretary: Candy Babina
Past President: Charles Smith
Director 1 Year: Sandra Hutto
Director 2 Years: Gwen Vandenheuvel
Please come join us! Click here
to download our membership application.
Optimist Club of Grand
P. O. Box 531078
Grand Prairie, Texas 75053