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Blind Optimist Essay Contest

Phather Phil’s Prayer

Prayer comes in many forms. Sometimes we need a reminder of who we are and why we need to be thankful. Today I have a story that I feel will give you a reminder.

The Legend of The Cherokee Indian Right of Passage

His father takes his son into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blind fold until the rays of the morning sun shines through. He can not cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a man. He can not tell the other boys of this experience, because each boy must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Even some humans might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and the earth shook the stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night, the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then he discovered his father sitting on a stump next to him. He had been on watch the entire time protecting him from harm. Like the Cherokee youth, we too , are never alone. Even when we don’t know it. 

God is watching over us, sitting on a stump beside us.

Just because we can’t see God
Doesn’t mean He isn’t there
For we walk by faith, not by sight…

All Photos from the Meeting are Here

Today’s Guests

GuestGuest Of
Caren DiMarioDebe Dockins
Wendy HattanRobin Golden
Georgia MerglerLiz Fultz
Kelly PlateDebe Dockins
Laura RoeschSpeaker
Christina StavaSarah Umbreit
Julie TaylorDebe Dockins
Laura ThimonsDebe Dockins
Amy WangPatrick Arehart



Myron Rheaume handed out several awards that he collected at a recent district meeting of Optimist International for the year ending 9/30/2017. This was the year Larry Lynde was president. Larry received the Friend of Youth award and a $30 award because the club donated over $30/member to Optimist International. Bill Stone received his Dime a Day pin, a framed optimist painting for his donation of $500 or more last year and his Silver Benefactor pin for his lifetime giving.

Today’s Speaker

Debe Dockins introduced today’s speaker, Laura Roesch, the CEO of the Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley for the past 9 years. “Providing Help. Creating Hope. Changing Lives” is the motto of Catholic Social Services.  Laura has been with them for a total of 29 years.

Catholic Social Services, established in 1921, helps kids and adults with need in a 10 county area around us. Most of their clients are from Montgomery County. They offer assistance regardless of religion, ethnic background or socioeconomic condition. Established in 1921.

Some of the things they help with:

1.Child attachment disorder

2.Marriage counseling

3.Unplanned pregnancies

4.Mental health counseling

5.Refugee Resettlement


They have a special relationship with the area Food Bank, serving 16,500 meals last year.

They strive to be good neighbors with local governments and other charitable organizations. They want to do what is best overall for our area. This helps reduce overlap and to efficiently use resources.

They have 110 counselors, social workers and other professionals. There are 350 regular volunteers. They serve 23,000 people per year.

The demographics of their clients related to abuse has changed. It used to be a lot more issues with males, now it is half male, half female and many more issues are related to addiction.

Laura spoke mostly about services that have an impact in the Centerville/Washington Township area. She would need several hours to go over all of the services Catholic Social Services provides.

Volunteer opportunities 937-223-7217 ext 1141.


Aaron CampbellFebruary 28
Joan CordonnierFebruary 28
Rachel GoetzMarch 02
Tim ClemmerMarch 02
Tim StullMarch 02
Greg FayMarch 03
Ryan FayMarch 04

Membership Anniversaries

MemberMonthDayJoined# Years
Charla RheaumeFebruary2702/27/20144
Jane FiehrerFebruary2702/27/199820
Judy DeMarcoFebruary2702/27/199820
Scott RheaumeFebruary2702/27/20144
Kelly StoneFebruary2802/28/200117
Richard StevensFebruary2802/28/200117
Joseph WillhoiteMarch103/01/198929
Mark KingseedMarch103/01/200117

New Member Readings and Inductions

NameSponsor1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Amy WangPatrick Arehart1st Reading

Sergeants at Arms

Everyone at one tableOne table with only women was fined
Everyone at two tablesTwo tables with only men were fined

Happy Bucks!

Bill StoneWedding anniversary with Kelly.
Beth DuncanDon Massie is walking on his own.
Jesse GaitherDaughter got straight A’s and made the JV softball team.
Bob CollinsCenterville Forte a cappella group taking 1st place at state.
Bob Collins54th Wedding anniversary with Karen.
Karen SirmansCourtney Sirmans, her daughter just became the women’s soccer head coach at Miami University.
Myron RheaumeDayton Stealth hockey team is the 2018 Buckeye Travel Hockey League Pee Wee A Bronze Champions.
Joe MaddenHappy the all-women table was on the other side of the room.



Essay Contest


The topic for the 2017-18 Optimist Essay Contest is:


 “Can Society Function Without Respect?


The Optimist International Essay Contest was first sponsored in 1983. Club winners advance to the District contest. Essays must contain at least 700 words but no more than 800 words. The contest is open to students under age 18 as of 10/1/2017 who have not yet graduated from high school or the equivalent. Students must enter in the District in which they reside. The District Winner is awarded a $2,500 scholarship, furnished by the Optimist International Foundation. All Club winning Essays are due to the District Chair by February 28, 2018. Individual Club deadlines vary, however, most Club deadlines are on or about January 31, 2018.

To enter the contest, please complete and submit the following application to the District Essay Contest Chair who will assign you to a Club Contest near your community.


Application for 2017-2018 Optimist International Essay Contest