Category Archives: Guest Speaker

Canine Copper

On September 20th our club was privileged to have as our guest speaker Officer Mark Beach from the Emmett Township Police Department. He presented with his well-trained canine friend “Copper” and informed our club about the history of Copper and his “dog duties”. Copper is relatively new to the department, but has already proved very valuable in assisting officers with numerous drug arrests. Our club helped financially with the purchase of Copper. Pictured below is Officer Beach, club member Craig Miller and Copper.2018-09-OptimistProgramCopper

City Manager presents program

Rebecca Fleury, Battle Creek’s new city manager, presented an informative program to our club during our first general meeting in 2015. The meeting was well attended by club members considering the cold and snowy weather. Rebecca was chosen by the city commissioners among over 40 who applied for the position. She is very qualified for the position and is particularly motivated in building workable relationships with all those involved with moving our city in a positive future direction. She is pictured below holding the Optimist Creek coaster with club president Chad Kyger.



Baseball Stories

Our club was honored to have former Professional Major League Baseball umpire, Mike Reilly, present a program during our weekly meeting on October 16th. Mike is native to Battle Creek and even given the nickname “Corn Flakes Reilly” by the late longtime Detroit Tiger baseball broadcaster, Ernie Harwell. Mike umpired in the major leagues from 1977 until his retirement in 2011. Just prior to his retirement, he became Major League Baseball’s senior umpire; his 4,362 career games ranked ninth in major league history. He umpired in 4 World Series, including the winning Detroit Tigers series in 1984, plus 4 mid-season All-Star games.

Mike entertained a well-attended meeting, which included youth from the local community, with numerous baseball stories and answered many questions those in attendance had about baseball and his life experiences relative to the profession. After the meeting he conversed with club members and signed baseballs for the youth.

Pictured below are Mike presenting to our club and his signing of baseballs to Jason and Sarah Kushion.2014-10-OptimistReilly1

C. R. I. Program

The program for our club on March 20th was presented by Ted Nichols. We learned about a youth and young adult self-improvement program, which was initiated in Battle Creek and now has its message spread nationwide. The originator and spokesmen for the program, Ted Nichols, is a Harper Creek High School graduate and has many ties to the local community. He came from a rather large family and encountered many tribulations as a youth; his ability to persevere with the assistance of a few loved family members and supportive community leaders reveals a heart-warming story. Throughout his life he has experienced many diversified business and social environmental experiences and has shared them in a book he has written: The Book of Knowledge and Self Improvement for Today’s Youth.

The acronym CRI stands for character, respect and integrity. The message in his book and what is expressed in his motivational talks is inspiring and definitely of value for today’s youth. The book is also a good read for adults. Our club was honored to have Mr. Nichols convey is message to our club. For more information on the C.R.I. program go to the following website:

Pictured below is guest speaker Ted Nichols with Harper Creek Optimist President Craig Miller to his right and club member Gary Gymer to his left. Mr. Nichols is also pictured reciting the Optimist International Pledge.

2014-03-OptimistProgramMeNicholsGymer 2014-03-OptimistProgramNichols

Mayor Walters Presents Program

During our weekly club meeting on March 7th, our club was honored and members in attendance were treated with a very informative and from the heart presentation from Dave Walters, the newly voted in by the City Commissioners – Mayor of Battle Creek. Dave spoke on a number of controversial community matters that have recently caused some general public confusion. His insight and handling of the issues easily convinced our club that we have a great trailblazer and ambassador for our community. Picture below is club Vice-President and Program Chairman Jeromy Meyers wearing his Optimist badge and Mayor Dave Walters.


Youth Burn Camp Program

Shaun Abbey, a local high school graduate, who now resides with his family in Kentwood, Michigan, presented a very uplifting program during our weekly meeting on October 24th. Shaun is a Captain at his local Fire Department and an Executive Board Member on the Great Lakes Burn Camp.

There is an annual summer and winter week-long camp in Michigan available for burn injured children aged 6 to 17. These camps are run by a non-profit volunteer organization. The camps provide a fun and caring environment for children who have suffered from burn trauma. The camp atmosphere encourages children to laugh, play, heal, grow and just “be a kid” while joined with other burn-injured children from across the United States and Canada. The youth can share their stories and bond with each other without intrusive stares from other kids and adults. What a worth-while program! For more information on the program go to: Pictured is Shaun and the last slide from his PowerPoint presentation.2013-10-OptimistBurnCamp