Letter to the Editor:
As service organization clubs and membership appear to be in decline worldwide, the Surrey Langley area is no different. But what if another organization wanted to assist in reversing this trend? Member clubs of the Optimist International organization, formed in 1919, are known to partner with their fellow service groups in their community. The Optimists are 72,000 strong with 2,600 member clubs.
A small core group of Optimists have been quietly poring over input on “Needs Assessment” sheets that were given to prospective members of a new Optimist Club forming in Cloverdale. To start, they have identified needs for Youth at Risk; Feed the Homeless and Youth Sport Development.
Without going into detail, there are some service opportunities here that seem to be being partially met by the Cloverdale BIA and the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce. Is this really where our BIA and CoC members should be investing their efforts?
What if these two business interests were to turn the community service tasks over to the local community service clubs? What about partnerships among the services such as the Legion, Lions, Rotary, Knights of Columbus and the Optimists, for example?
While the business of tourism is well served by the Cloverdale Rodeo, what about the Christmas Parade, the bicycle fair and the Halloween party?
These are children’s and special events put on to serve our community and not to expand business or tourism. I believe that Surrey and Langley Tourism organizations are doing an excellent job commercially but what about the special needs of the youngsters in our community?
We would like to meet some of the champions who are already addressing and meeting these needs. We would like to discuss ways and means and partnerships with an Optimist Club information meeting on March 25, upstairs Cloverdale Curling Rink at 6 p.m.
We would especially like to meet with those champions out there who have not yet found their niche in serving their community but would like to work hard on a worthy and rewarding fundraiser or new service project.
Al KerseyZone 1 Lt. Governor, Pacific Northwest District, Optimist International