West Flint Optimist Newsletter –  9/21/17

President Peter Venos was setting up a new venue for our meeting when we arrived at IHOP on Miller Road this morning. Judge Joe Farah was there early to lead in the Pledge and Jack Proffitt spoke a brief prayer before we set to ordering from the “old folks’” menu and adjusting our mental compasses in light of the fact that “The Northerly Table” could not be fined today! Guest (of Phil Holmblade) and soon-to-be member Bill Reaves was charged with a fine for requesting that he be “carded” for the “55+” menu, “Chicken Man” Jeff Dennings bought the Crown for $1, Incoming President Crystufer Reed wanted to charge his fines to his credit card, and we heard an engaging tale of Jim Reigle’s “Bat Bidet” before John Losinski won the morning’s “50/50” contributions from the 17 members present.

Much of the discussion was focused around “What did you order?”, Where did you get an omelet?”, “what do you think of the room?, …ambience?, …size?,… sound?, …price?, …service?…, potential?” We discussed the pros and cons of relocating to Elms Road and of having next week’s gathering at Dan Crannie’s, but the developing consensus was that the food quality and access made IHOP a good option, so we will plan on the next regular meeting (9-28-17) being here again.


The evening’s Installation Banquet at Redwood Steakhouse began with repeat performances of Pledge and Prayer by Judge Joe Farah and Jack Proffitt, respectively (and respectfully), and were followed by very good meals, company, and conversation, A “recap” of the past Presidential year began with Peter Venos expressing gratitude to several – Board, Secretary (Jeff Dennings), Speaker Chair (Phil Holmblade), Greg Hilliker for newsletter work, Steve Schlott for social and program support – and then passing around a “Gold Sponsor” plaque received for 60 years of CANUSA participation. Recognition of Bill Hentgen for managing the $20K of club money proceeding to kids’ programs from the Club preceded the awarding of the “Ron Polsgrove (Optimist of the Year)” award to Jeff Dennings (leaving Jeff unusually truncated in his speech) and the “Charles Gafney (Presidential)” award to Jack Proffitt.

The newly-ensconced President Crystufer Reed stood still while Lt. Gov. Jeff Dennings recognized his new status and Peter Venos’ “Past Prez” status, and he introduced his new Board: VP Joe Farah, Treasurer Pat Naswell, Secretary Phil Holmblade, Past Prez Pete, Bill Hentgen, and Dan Crannie. After the swearing-in of the new administration, Crys presented his agenda foci for the coming year: Optimists in the Community, Budget clarity, Event Calendar and Communication, and “reigniting” the enthusiasm for Optimism and its youth mission.

Until next time, “Promise Yourself…