Fort Wayne's Southside Optimist Club (SSOC) celebrated their 2013 Christmas Awards Banquet on Wednesday night at Don Hall's Guesthouse. During the dinner, the club recognized 3 generation members, Jim Imel joined in 1965, Ron Perkins (Jim's son in-law) joined in 1991, and Jon Perkins, (Ron's son) joined in 2010. The evening events included awarding donations to Study Elementary School-Christmas Family Outreach Program, The Cancer Foundation, Tim White's outreach programs, Fort Wayne Lifetime Sports Academy and the Barry Shaw Star Award. Donations for the night totaled just under $4000.
Master of Ceremonies, Jim Lambert and Club President Steve Paske also awarded SSOC's "Optimist of the Year Award" to Jon Perkins for his outstanding work and leadership in the club. Joe Crozier, past club president and current Indiana State Optimist Lt. Governor, did the swearing in of the 2013/2014 SSOC officers: Steve Paske-President, Jon Perkins-Vice President, Carol Patterson-Secretary, Jim Lambert-Treasure, and Ron Perkins -Sargent at Arms. The night's events also included the swearing in of new members: Barbara Lambert, Ryan Reckor and Scott Warren. New members not present: Brian Schaper and Miranda Krider. Other organizations the club donates to throughout the year are: Charis House, Rescue Mission, Eagles Nest/Fighting Angels, Elmhurst Little League, Stillwater Retreat, Woodburn Children's Home, Matthew 25 and S.A.V.E, among others.
SSOC meets at Atz's Restaurant on Tillman Road every Tuesday morning at 7am for an hour long breakfast and meeting. Each Tuesday, they have different speakers from local organizations talking about their group and how they serve the community and the local youth. SSOC's motto "Friends of Youth" focuses on local non-profit groups that have the same passion for the community and youth. The Club generates around $30,000 each year, which goes directly into our Fort Wayne area businesses and Non-profit programs. If you would like to find out more about the Southside Optimist Club or would like to attend one of their breakfast meetings, you can contact Jim Lambert @ 747-7907 or Ron Perkins @ 341-4597, they will be happy to talk to you about the Fort Wayne Southside Optimist Club.