[ photo credit: In Harmony Pediatric Therapy ]
“This club does so much good for the community, especially for the children.” – Patti Yarbrough, Soleil Laurel Canyon Sales Director
The Optimist Club at Soleil Laurel Canyon is one of our most popular at our award-winning, 55+ community — and for a good reason. It’s members work hard to make children’s futures much brighter. They take part in a number of fulfilling activities that help bring out the best in both kids and their communities. If you’ve never heard of The Optimist Club before, here’s the scoop:
The Soleil Optimist Club is a local branch of Optimist International, which is a worldwide volunteer organization. Optimist International is made up of more than 2,500 active local clubs like ours. Its mission and vision are to bring out the best in youth and help them successfully develop into their full potential.
Typically, members of the Soleil Optimist Club meet twice a month, except for a few holidays. In addition to their regularly scheduled club meetings, members also spend time fundraising, supporting a food pantry, working with kids at schools, and much more. In all their efforts, their primary goal is to help the local kids of Cherokee County.
Some of the Soleil Optimist Club’s more popular events include their pancake breakfasts, “golden ticket” raffles, and their annual holiday home tours. Their most recent Soleil Holiday Tour of Homes was a huge success. The festive event helped the club to raise $8000, all donated to help foster children in our hometown of Canton, Georgia.
This year, the Optimist Club plans to conduct 22 raffles. The endeavor is a fun way to help boost fundraising efforts. The club sells tickets to people in and around the Soleil community, and then it holds a drawing each week for 22 weeks in a row. Each raffle winner receives an admirable sum of $200. Even better, each winning ticket goes back into the pot for the next drawing. It’s worthwhile because it effectively gives past victors the ability to win more than once. And whether a ticket is a winner or not, all who participate in the raffle “win” knowing that their tax-deductible purchase makes a positive difference in a child’s world.
The Optimist Club works closely with several area schools. The Ralph Bunche Preschool Center has benefitted with donations of reading, crafts, and educational materials, along with assistance in it’s reading and literature enrichment programs. The local R.M. Moore Elementary school has also received books and other educational materials for its Reading Buddies Program. Canton Elementary happily receives assistance from the Optimist Club in the form of book donations and help with their book fair, classroom libraries, summer Read-A-Way program, and more.
Another notable Optimist Club project is the “Shop With A Cop” program with the Canton Police Department. In it, officers pair up with children of less fortunate families, then shop together at local stores for toys or other items the kids would like for Christmas. It’s a heartwarming way of providing gifts for kids who wouldn’t ordinarily receive much, if anything, during the holiday season.
The Optimist Club also helps out several other local organizations, such as MUST Ministries with their Summer Lunch Program, holiday food baskets, and Cherokee Christmas Toy Shop; The Boys and Girls Club of Canton with their youth scholarships; the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department with their Christmas Joy Program; In Harmony Pediatric Therapy with their scholarships for physical, occupational, speech, and music therapy; Healing Hands Youth Ranch with scholarships for their Equine Mentoring Program; and The Reinhardt School of the Performing Arts with their scholarships for Musical Theatre camp. There are many more initiatives in addition to these. Our Optimist Club members work hard to assist each one. For them, “A child’s smile makes it all worthwhile.”
[ photo credit: Cherokee Sheriff’s Office ]
Being a part of the Optimist Club at Soleil is one small part of the many rewarding activities you can enjoy in our award-winning, active adult community. Those that live here have found that the Soleil lifestyle is both enriching and incredibly satisfying. Will you be next? Contact us today for more information or to schedule an exclusive tour.