Tracy Payton-Lester, our guest speaker for the morning, intorduced her program, “Ele’s Place, A Healing Center for Grieving Children & Teens”. The organization has 2 faces:

  • (A) a school-based program (now positioned at both Beecher Schools and Whaley Children’s Center in the Flint area) that provides onsite support, once per week, free of cost to participants, to individuals 3-24 years of age and their families dealing with death/loss issues (suicide, abandonment, murder, disease, etc.), and
  • (B) a new separate, self-contained facility at Holy Redeemer School (2nd floor) which will serve up to 150 youth, serving a pot-luck supper to them and their loved ones (grief support for adults is a part of this venture as well) on Tuesday nights (& eventually adding Thursday program as the need may warrant) for an average of 9-12 months (self-determined by participants). This part of the program will be opening in October.

Both of these are staffed by a combination of volunteers and at least 2 professional licensed staff who are provided training at no cost through the program. Program funds come through corporation and private donations, and opportunities for support and service are available for remodeling and painting of the Holy Redeemer site (tonight and tomorrow night 5-10 p.m., and all day Saturday); donations of furniture, carpeting, and wall art; volunteer training and service delivery; and an onsite “Wish List” as well as a promotional breakfast scheduled for November.

Before the speaker was introduced by Speaker Chair John Losinski, President Jack Proffitt called the meeting to a semblance of order, tapped Phil Holmblade for the Pledge of Allegiance, “Reverend Lynn” Eastman for the invocation, and Art Ridley as a stand-in for the absent Bob Hentgen for 50/50 ticket sales. After Ken Cullen bought the auctioned crown for $1.10, His Highness sought to make the most of this, leaving Greg Hilliker grieving and penniless. TailTwister Jack Medemar fined Jeff Dennings for false advertising on his egg sales, apparently linked to Jeff’s having to carry all his eggs in one basket from where he parked his car in Swartz Creek!

Comments were made regarding the “$5K Raffle” tickets, to be available for distribution and sale next week; for “Optimist of the Year” voting to occur in next week’s breakfast meeting; and for support of the annual “Nut Sale” with several offering concrete support for the fund-raiser.

Jim Carney, one of those young enough to remember or with eyesight sufficient to read, the Optimist Creed led us to wind down the meeting.

8/27/15                        Tonight’s Quesadillas and Board Meeting at Dave Crabill’s home (in lieu of “steak cookout”)
9/3/15                        “Optimist of the Year” voting and $5K Raffle ticket availability at Club meeting
9/24/15                        Installation Banquet at Ruggero’s (Please plan to attend with your significant other!)

Until next time,
“Promise Yourself…”