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


New Officers Installed plus Two Life Members Inducted

The Harper Creek Optimist club in conjunction with the Pennfield and Battle Creek clubs met at the Battle Creek Moonraker West on September 28th to install the new club officers for the upcoming Optimist year. Harper Creek President Dustin King presided over the meeting, which along with the meal and installation of officers, included numerous door prizes and the induction of two new Life Members to the Harper Creek Club. The imprecation of officers was performed by special guest, Michigan Optimist Lieutenant Governor, Nicole Ingersol.

Taking the oath of office for the Harper Creek Club being led by Lt. Gov. Ingersol (to the left) are Vice President, Richard Peternel; Trustee, John Peruzze; Vice President, Dr. Jeromy Myers; Trustee, Dr. Craig Miller; Trustee and Club Treasurer, Nate Smith; partially hidden Trustee, Jeffery Adams; Club Secretary, Dr. Gary Gymer and Club President for 2017-18, Dustin King. Trustees Al Miller and Rob Ridgeway were unable to attend the meeting.2017-09-OptimistOfficerInstallation

The Life Member induction committee was chaired by long-time club member Duncan Bailey (also a Life Member); his committee selected past presidents and active club members Howard King and Chad Kyger for the honor. Pictured below are Club President Dusting King, honored members Chad Kyger and Dustin’s father Howard King along with Duncan Bailey on the right.2017-09-OptimistLifeMember

Pictured below are Harper Creek Club members who attended the meeting.2017-09-OptimistMembers

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

Optimist Open Tennis Classic Results

The annual Harper Creek Optimist Open Tennis Classic was held at the Harper Creek High School Tennis Complex August 4-6. Numerous local adult tennis players participated in the doubles action, but the singles divisions for the youth was very limited. A number of youth did join with an adult for doubles action, which made for some very interesting matches. Due to rain showers on Friday and Saturday the event was moved to the Minges Creek Athletic Club and the Optimist Club is very grateful to Mark Harvey, a sponsor of the event and owner the facility, for enabling the tournament to continue indoors without interruption.

The Harper Creek Optimist Club, whose motto is “Friend of Youth”, would like to thank the local businesses who helped financially sponsor this year’s tournament: Behnke Transportation, Ray Yarger Fitness, Ridgewear Sports and Imprinting, Minges Creek Athletic Club, Wilcox Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Craig A. Miller Optometry, Myers Chiropractic, Duncan’s Hairlines, Groundwater Associates and CTI Mechanical Contractors. For tournament results and pictures from this year’s event under Youth Service Projects on the above menu, click on Tennis Tournament.



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:


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



Night of Magic

The Harper Creek Optimist Club will be sponsoring a “Night of Magic” on May 19th at the Harper Creek High School Auditorium. This is a first time event for our club; it will be a great show and we are anticipating it to be an excellent fundraiser. All proceeds will of course be channeled back into the local youth projects our club supports. Please click on the arrow on the underlying flyer to view a brief video presentation about the event. Harper Creek Optimist Club - Magic Night Flyers 155205


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:  or to view a video presentation of the complete event: