Cash Raffle 2018

Again this year, our club invites you to a great fun evening and a chance to win $8,000 plus numerous other smaller monetary denominations. The Harper Creek Optimist Cash Raffle will be held at the Riverside Country Club on Saturday, March 3rd. The dinner with will commence at 6:30 PM and the drawing begins at 7:30 PM. Although you’ll miss out on the community camaraderie, you do not have to be present to obtain your winnings. On the Home Page, click on Cash Raffle 2018 to view or obtain an on-line ticket. All proceeds from our club’s main fundraiser are channeled back into youth community projects.

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 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.


Christmas Trees


The Harper Creek Optimist Club is again offering fresh-cut Christmas trees to the general public for a donation. They are available at Lakeview Ford located on 295 West Dickman Road in Battle Creek. Optimist members are working the project and are present to assist week days 4 to 8 PM and weekends Noon to 5 PM. This is a win win service project for the community and our club. The trees are donated to our club by Lakeview Ford and the money we receive for them is channeled back into the community to support youth projects. If desired, an Optimist club member will trim, warp and load your selected tree. A typical contribution is anywhere from $5 to $50. If you want a great looking “real” Christmas tree and want to support the youth of our community – stop by and our club will be sure you obtain the best Christmas tree ever!

Pictured below and ready to assist with your tree selection is Optimist club member Brad Morris, who is the club chairperson for the project.2017-12-OptimistXmasTreesBart


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