Annual Easter Egg Hunt

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Happy spring season (despite the snow on the ground)! The Optimist Club would like to take this time to say thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, March 18. We had a wonderful time with the children in helping them to find Easter Eggs and introducing them to the Easter Bunny. We hope that the fun has continued with the well-deserved treats that were handed out and that we helped to welcome the spring season!

The Annual Easter Egg Hunt

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It’s time to kick off the spring season with the annual Easter Egg Hunt! The UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club is excited to host the event on Sunday, March 18, from 2:00pm-3:00pm at the Whitewater Middle School. The Easter Egg Hunt will happen rain, snow, or shine, so mark your calendars! Children of the Whitewater community, who are 5th grade and younger, don’t only get to collect Easter eggs, but they also have the chance to meet the Easter Bunny and McGruff the Crime Dog!

We encourage that they bring a basket or bag to hold all of the eggs that they find. The plastic eggs found by the children can be exchanged for a small bag of treats. Some of the Easter eggs are “Special”, and can be traded in for a larger basket of treats.

For more detailed information, please see the Easter Egg Hunt 2018 Press Release for reference.

We look forward to seeing you!

Trivia Night is Almost Here!

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The UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club and the UW-Whitewater Student Optimist Club are excited to be hosting the 5th Annual Optimist Trivia Night on Friday, February 16, starting at 6pm in the Hamilton Room of the University Center. We hope you will be willing to help promote the event, take photos of the activities, and/or possibly put together a team to attend the evening’s festivities. We are aiming for 31 teams again this year, and all proceeds that we raise will be invested in youth projects in our community. Please read the 2018 Trivia Night Press Release for more detailed information.  It’s hard to believe that this is already our 5th annual event!  Hope to see you there.

Successful Optimist Holiday Activities

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During our meeting on December 13, 2017, we discussed the successes of Breakfast with Santa–which included serving 760 participants, in addition to 40-50 volunteers. An anonymous donor paid for all of the children’s meals at the event, and additional donations were collected at the door.

The Mitten Tree was also presented to representatives from the Whitewater Unified School District. This year, the Mitten Tree had a special donation from an anonymous donor, who found out about the Mitten Tree a year ago. She made a commitment to carefully hand knit 38 unique items for children. She was determined to contribute to the community as a way of giving back from what she experienced as a child.  She was once a child who did not have a hat and mittens of her own.  The Mitten Tree also received 600 items from the UW-Whitewater University Center staff and students, as well as from local businesses, Club members, and participants at Breakfast with Santa.

Lastly, Club co-presidents Dave and Janay presented a $1,000 check to representatives of the Whitewater Unified School District (WUSD).  The donation was allocated for the WUSD Family Emergency Fund.  Pupil Services Coordinator Lanora Heim gave a brief recap of how some of the funds are used for families and how they work hard to stretch the money as far as they can. The need is great, and their team is grateful for the significant contribution.

 

Welcome new members Brian and Keith!

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The UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club would like to introduce our two new club members, Dr. Brian Huels, and Dr. Keith Zukas! Both are new faculty at UW-Whitewater and are eager to bring optimism to the Club, the campus, and the community.

Brain Huels is an Assistant Professor of Accounting and met Kim Adams 20 years ago when he was attending UW-Whitewater as an undergraduate student. Kim introduced the Club to Brian in August when he returned to campus as a faculty member. Brian is excited about joining the Club because he believes in optimism and is enjoying sharing that philosophy with his students.

Keith Zukas is journalism professor for the College of Arts and Communication. Kate Ksobiech persuaded Keith to join the Optimist Club because she wanted to introduce him to the community. Keith is excited about joining the Club because he wants to know more about UW-Whitewater and the community. We welcome our new club members and are very happy to have some new faculty join our organization!

Fall Intern Accomplishments

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As the fall semester wraps up, we spent a few minutes reflecting back on the achievements our fall interns completed during their time with us. Katie Gaulrapp and Olivia Woyak began their internships back in late August and since then have done many things to help out the Club. Both worked hard on blog posts, flyers, Facebook posts, going to meetings, assisting with events, etc. They have dedicated a lot of time and energy over the course of the semester. Katie will be graduating this December, and will be getting married this summer. Olivia is set to graduate in May and will also be getting married this summer! Thanks for all the hard work from our interns!

Breakfast with Santa 2017

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Whitewater Leads Has Optimism About Dolly Parton Imagination Library

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On Wednesday, October 18, the UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club heard from our guest speaker Larry Kachel regarding the “Whitewater Leads” program. Larry discussed the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. The goal of the organization is to help children around the nation receive books in the mail and help to improve children’s learning and reading skills.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library gives out 1.2 billion books per month, and works with about 16,000 communities. The program begins as soon as a child is born, and goes until their 5th birthday. During these years, each child who is enrolled in the program gets their own book in the mail every month. The books that are sent to the children are free, as this organization runs on donations and funds that are provided by the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Whitewater Leads’ goal is to get about $25 per year, per child (through donations from various organizations). Whitewater Leads has already seen just how great this program is by looking at students test results and seeing how children have been placed in reading levels.

The goal for Whitewater is to greatly increase literacy and get everyone reading books, and the organization hopes that there will be a great improvement in this in about two years of running this book service. To learn more or to donate, check out their website at Whitewater-leads.org.

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