Optimists celebrate 30th anniversary

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Cape Girardeau Noon Optimist Club celebrated its 30th anniversary Wednesday. Members gathered for lunch and speeches. Dr. Charles Wiles, club founder, spoke to members and charter members like Jim Ham, Dr. Robert Fox, Kevin Gerlach, Mike Blechle and Club President Bill Humphries. The Optimist motto is "Friend of the Youth," and it has sponsored local projects and groups with funds totaling more than $500,000 during the past 30 years. Through fundraisers like the annual Chili Day, the club funds indoor soccer leagues, a student oratorical contest and playgrounds and other projects. It recently donated $100,000 to Melaina's Magical Playland, an all-access playground in the works for Cape County Park North.

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