Category Archives: Youth Project

Attention: Young Essayists

Our club is again sponsoring the Optimist International Essay Contest. If you do not turn 19 years of age by October 1, 2017 and are interested in winning the local writing contest for $300 (2nd place $200 and 3rd place $100) plus potentially the District contest for $2,500, here’s your chance to step up. This year’s topic is “Can Society Function Without Respect”. You must adhere to the rules of the contest. For specific information and an official entry form, please download the entry form: Essay Application & Rules 2018  The contest is open to all local youth and the deadline to enter your essay for judging is Friday, February 16th. Please submit your essay and entry form via email to camod@comcast.net or in hard copy to 4275 Capital Avenue SW, Battle Creek 49015 (an Optometry office). Harper Creek students can turn their essays in to Harper Creek Counselor, Stacey DeMoss. The entry form is a .pdf file fill-in form. The Sponsoring Optimist Club Name is Harper Creek Optimist Club and The Sponsoring Optimist Club Number is 17200. Please direct questions to 269-979-1561 and ask for Dr. Miller. On the website Menu click on Essay Contest under Youth Service Projects to view information and read the winning essays from previous years.

 

All-City Girls Golf

On October 3rd the Harper Creek Optimist Club sponsored their 19th All-City Girls Golf Meet on the nine-hole Preserve Course at Battle Creek’s Binder Park Golf Course. Harper Creek and Lakeview are the only city schools that now have a girl’s golf team and the meet was won by Lakeview 191 to 228. Our club again provided pizza, beverages, medals, the title trophy and t-shirts to all the participants. Special thanks to club member and founder of the event, John Peruzze and club member Richard Peternel for organizing the event.

Pictured below are the winning Lakeview team and the runner-up Harper Creek squad. The pictures were provided by Will Kowalski, Sports Editor of the Battle Creek Shopper. 2017-10-OptimistGirlsGolf12017-10-OptimistGirlsGolf2

Lakeview’s McKenna Evans was the medalist of the event with a round of 46.2017-10-OptimistGirlsGolf3

 

Cross Country Invitational 2017

On Saturday, August 26 the Harper Creek Optimist Club held their annual Cross Country Invitational. A beautiful warm sunny morning was very accommodating versus last year when the event was rained out after one race. Ten High Schools participated from as far away as Niles for the boys’ and girls’ running event. Our club was again a gracious host serving free refreshments for all those in attendance. Six hundred fifty hot dogs were served along with chips, cookies, candy, apples, bottled water, fruit drink and coffee. A special thanks goes out to club member Dr. Gary Gymer for again chairing the event and to the numerous club members who volunteered their Saturday morning to offer assistance. For a sports summary of the event and to view pictures click on Cross Country Invitational under Youth Service Projects on the above menu.

Pictured below is the start of the Boys’ Junior-Senior race, the Optimist food stand and hungry runners being served refreshments.2017-08-OptimistXCRace22017-08-OptimistXCFoodStand                         2017-08-OptimistXCEaters2                  2017-08-OptimistXCEaters1

2017 Harper Creek Optimist Open Tennis Classic

The date for this year’s Harper Creek Optimist Open Tennis Classic is August 4 through August 6. It will be held at the Harper Creek High School Tennis Complex and the general tennis format will be the same: youth are encouraged to play singles and there are regular and mixed doubles for adults. Youth and adults may enter not more than two tournaments and youth may also play doubles. Please click on the following link for all relative tournament information and to obtain an entry form:

2017 HARPER CREEK OPTIMIST TENNIS

Pictured below from last year’s tournament are youth and adults in action plus Men’s B Doubles Division winners accepting their awards. To view pictures and results from previous tournaments click on Tennis Tournament under Youth Service Projects on the Home Page of this site.2016-07-OptimistTennisMason22016-07-OptimistTennisWisserJared2016-07-OptimistTennisLinkeJoshRayRandy2

 

 

Rocket Day

On May 26th the Harper Creek Optimist Club again sponsored Rocket Day. Our club extents a special thanks to long-time “Rocket Chairperson” Dick Wagner and Rich Peternel for making this another successful club program for the youth of our community. We also thank club member Mike Rio and his students for the excellent video production of the event. Please check it out…..

The participating students were very appreciative of our support.2017-05-OptimistRockets

 

 

Student of the Month

Our club’s general meeting at Moonraker West on April 27th honored Harper Creek High School Students of the Month. The meeting was brought to order by club President Dustin King; the students and their accompanying family members were greeted. Harper Creek High School Principal Dennis Anthony introduced the honored students and each gave a brief talk about their high school involvements and future academic plans. Students of the Month are selected monthly from the senior class by Harper Creek High School teachers relative to their superior academics and extra-curricular activities. One student is chosen for each of the 10 school calendar months, but due to the busy upcoming end of the school year, the May and June honored students have been designated in advance. A meal was provided by our club for the students and their families. The meeting adjourned with a group reciting of the Optimist International Pledge.

Pictured below (L-R) are Students of the Month holding the plaque our club issues designating their selected month of recognition: Emily Vahs, March 2017; Marissa Wilkerson, May 2017; Katie Wade, June 2017; Paige Dredge, April 2017 and Hannah Berning, February 2017.2017-04-OptimistStudentOf Month

The February Student of the Month, Hannah Berning, was accompanied to the meeting by her parents Gary and Laurie Berning.2017-04-OptimistStudentOf MonthBerning

The March Student of the Month, Emily Vahs, was accompanied to the meeting by her parents Doug and Anna Vahs.2017-04-OptimistStudentOf MonthVahs

The April Student of the Month, Paige Dredge, was accompanied to the meeting by her parents Dan and Brenda Dredge.2017-04-OptimistStudentOf MonthDredge

The May Student of the Month, Marissa Wilkerson, was accompanied to the meeting by her parents Michael and Jennifer Wilkerson.2017-04-OptimistStudentOf MonthWilkerson

The June Student of the Month, Katie Wade, was accompanied to the meeting by her parents Bob and Lynette Wade.2017-04-OptimistStudentOf MonthWade

 

Oratorical Contest Results

The Harper Creek Optimist Club hosted the Optimist International Oratorical Contest at the Harper Creek High School library on April 20th. This was the first time in a number of years that our club hosted the event and six local students participated. The club chairperson for the event was Stacey DeMoss. Judges for the contest were Hilary Anthony, Bruce Skaggs and Rita Wooten. The time keeper was club member Joe Sobieralski.

The topic for this year’s speech was “What the World Gains from Optimism”. Each speech based on the topic was to be at least 4 minutes in length, but not more than 5 minutes without being penalized. Winning the contest and receiving a check for $300 from the Harper Creek Optimist Club was Harper Creek High School Freshman, Alara Longnecker. Placing in second place and receiving $200 was Lakeview High School Senior, James George. The third place finisher and receiving a check for $100 was Harper Creek High School Freshman, Allison Graham. Receiving $50 participation awards granted by the Harper Creek Optimist Club were Danieolle Stewart, Brendan Peck and Julian Warner. Alara will move on to the District level contest on May 20th and have a chance to win a $2,500 Scholarship.

Pictured below (L-R) holding their participation certificates and club awarded checks are winning speaker Alara Longnecker, third place finisher Allison Graham and runner-up James George.2017-04-OptimistOratoricalWinners

Judges for the event seated (L-R) are Bruce Skaggs, Rita Wooten and Hilary Anthony. Standing behind them is the Harper Creek Optimist Club chairperson for the event, Stacey DeMoss.2017-04-OptimistOratoricalJudges

To view a video presentation of the Harper Creek Optimist Oratorical Contest click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsbXNlzCiCw&feature=youtu.be  or to view a video presentation of the complete event:

 

 

Oratorical Contest

The Harper Creek Optimist Club will host the Optimist International Oratorical Contest at the club level on April 20. The event will be held at the Harper Creek High School library.  This is the first time in a number of years that our club has hosted the event and we express a special thanks to new club member Stacey DeMoss for chairing the project.

The topic for this year’s speech is “What the World Gains from Optimism”. The contest is limited to 20 contestants and there are still a few openings available. Contestants must not be older than 18 years of age during the Optimist calendar year, which ends Sept 30. The speech should be between 4 and 5 minutes and for more information on the specific details of the speech and judging criteria, please download the entry form: Optimist International Oratorical Application 2017 The sponsoring Optimist Club is Battle Creek Harper Creek Optimist Club and our club number is 17200.

The deadline to enter your application is April 17th. A copy of the speech and a birth certificate will only be necessary for our club winner and may be provided after the contest results. The downloaded application form may be emailed to demosss@harpercreek.net or presented to Stacey DeMoss at Harper Creek High School. Our club will be issuing a monetary prize of $300 for the winner, $200 for second place and $100 for third place. At the District level (May 20th) our club level winner will have a chance to win a $2,500 scholarship.

Essay Contest Results

Jillian Slocum was the winner of this year’s annual Harper Creek Optimist Club Essay Contest and was awarded with a $300 check for her accomplishments. On February 23rd, she along with the second place finisher Alyssa Cutter ($200 award) and third place finisher Kristen Manke ($100 award) read their essays to our club. Each student was accompanied to the meeting by their family and meals were provided by our club. This year’s topic was “Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges”. Thirty essays were turned in by the deadline and the difficult job of judging all the essays was completed by club members Dr. Craig Miller, Al Miller and John Peruzze. New club member and Harper Creek High School Counselor Stacy DeMoss was a very helpful liaison with the school in promoting the project and attaining some many entries. Jillian’s essay has been turned over to the Optimist District Contest where she will have a chance to win a $2,500 college scholarship.

Pictured below (L-R) and holding their checks are First Place Winner – Jillian Slocum, Third Place Finisher – Kristen Manke, Second Place Finisher – Alyssa Cutter plus the Optimist Chairperson for the event – Dr. Craig A. Miller.2017-02-OptimistEssay2

To read the winning essays (in Microsoft Word format), click on the links below:

Essay – Jillian Slocum

Essay – Alyssa Cutter

Essay – Kristen Manke

 

 

Student of the Month – Youth Appreciation

Our club’s general meeting on February 9th honored Harper Creek High School Students of the Month and also Harper Creek High School students that participated in our club’s Youth Appreciation program. The meeting was brought to order by club President Dustin King. After the Pledge of Allegiance, led by club member John Peruzze and the blessing delivered by club member Craig Miller, Dustin elaborated to the group on the history of the Harper Creek Optimist Club and the numerous services the club provides to the community. In particular, there was information about the club’s upcoming Fundraising Cash Raffle event and the sponsoring of the upcoming student essay and oratorical contests.

Students of the Month are selected monthly from the senior class by Harper Creek High School teachers relative to their superior academics and extra-curricular activities. Harper Creek High School Principal Dennis Anthony introduced the honored students and each gave a brief talk about their high school involvements and future plans. The Youth Appreciation program was administered by Principal Anthony; in this program selected students “job shadow” a particular individual in the Harper Creek Schools administration for a day. Each participant gave a brief talk about their experience. Meals were provided for the students and their family members present. The meeting adjourned with a group reciting of the Optimist International Pledge, which was led by club member Rich Peternel.

Pictured below (L-R) with Club President Dustin King are Students of the Month and their designated month of recognition: Jackson Maurer, December 2016; Morgan Seeberger, January 2017; Charley Andrews, October  2016; Nicolas Grable, November 2016 and Connor Gilbert, September 2016.2017-02-OptimistStudentOfMonth

The September Student of the Month, Connor Gilbert, was accompanied to the meeting by his parents Mike and Kris Gilbert.2017-02-OptimistSOMGilbert

The October Student of the Month, Charley Andrews, was accompanied to the meeting by her parents Damian and Jenny Andrews.2017-02-OptimistSOMAndrews

The November Student of the Month, Nicolas Grable, was accompanied to the meeting by his parents Craig and Hope Grable.2017-02-OptimistSOMGrable

The December Student of the Month, Jackson Maurer, was accompanied to the meeting by his parents John and Carol Maurer and brother Josh.2017-02-OptimistSOMMauer

The January Student of the Month, Morgan Seeberger, was accompanied to the meeting by her parents Chuck and Heather Seeberger.2017-02-OptimistSOMSeeberger

Pictured below (L-R) and noted by the administrator they “job shadowed” are the students that participated in the Youth Appreciation Program: Nicolas Grable, Sonoma Elementary School Principal Cyndi Mead; John Nickolaou, Wattles Park Elementary Principal Brent Swan; Morgan Seeberger, Harper Creek Superintendent Rob Ridgeway; Matt Rauch, High School Principal Dennis Anthony; Alyssa Cutter, Middle School Principal Kim Thayer; Jackson Maurer, Assistant High School Principal Lisa Crawford; Connor Gilbert, Director of Facilities and Transportation Jim Robinson; Charley Andrews, Director of Curriculum Wendy VanGeison; Hannah Berning, Director of Technology Daniel Hubbell and Grace Eishen, Athletic Director Ed Greenman.2017-02-OptimistYouthAppreciatioin

Our club extends a special thanks to High School Principal Dennis Anthony and seated to his left Harper Creek Superintendent and club member Rob Ridgeway for their efforts in organizing this Optimist youth event.2017-02-OptimistAnthonyRidgeway