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.
Business meetings are on the 2nd Saturday morning at the Golden Corral Restaurant at 8:30 am.
Program meetings are on the 4th Thursday evening at the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce, 900 Conover Drive at 7pm.