Winterset Optimist Club

Serving the Community of Winterset since 1984

Optimist Club is a voluntary organization of civic-minded men and women working together toward progressive thought and action in community service.

Members are composed of people drawn from all walks of life, who are motivated by the desire to contribute to the community from which they and their families reside.

Winterset High School Post-Prom is one of the many various organization and projects we support in any given year

Winterset Optimist Club Goals

Optimist Club is dedicated to fulfilling the role of “FRIEND OF YOUTH”

We endeavor to encourage and assist our YOUTH to:

  • Develop OPTIMISM as a philosophy of life;
  • Inspire patriotism and friendship among all people;
  • Urge courteous, enthusiastic participation in individual and community activities;
  • Inspire respect for law enforcement and each other.

Membership Information

Club Meetings

Fridays | 6:45 am | Montross Pharmacy Café
Attendance is important, but not mandatory

Membership Dues

One-time sign-up fee: $30.00
Annual Dues: $100

What to expect at a Winterset Optimist Meeting

Members that want to eat breakfast and fellowship start arriving at 6:00am on Fridays at Montross Café (enter from rear alley). Meetings start promptly at 6:45 with announcements first. The Judge usually does a round of trivia and questions for all members. You are “fined” whether you get the answer right or not! The Judge also recognizes milestones in the club, like birthdays, anniversaries, etc, and concludes with a joke.

At each meeting we have a program and guest speaker that typically lasts 15 to 20 minutes. These programs are community related and/or youth-oriented whenever possible. We try to be done by 7:15am

Winterset Optimist Leadership | 2023-2024

Club Activities

Community Involvement

  • Family Fun Night – Held in October at Winterset Elementary School, this is a night of fun games and prizes for the elementary-aged kids in our community. Chaired by Tim Rethmeier.
  • Boys & Girls Basketball Tournaments – Held in February at Winterset Middle School for 4th and 5th grade boys and girls.
  • Fishing Derby – Held each spring/summer at Cedar Lake. Chaired by Marshall Harpole.
  • Turkey Dinner – SAVE THE DATE FOR NOVEMBER 12, 2023. A delicious meal of turkey, ham, potatoes, gravy, stuffing and sides. This involves the whole club, along with help from all of the Junior Optimists, as we feed about 500 people!
  • Toys for Tots
  • Youth Appreciation Week
  • Food Bank Drive w/ Jr. Optimists
  • Help Fund Bicycle Safety
  • Help Fund Post-Prom Party
  • Local Boy Scout funding
  • Sponsor little league team
  • Scholarship Program – Support two graduating seniors with $1000 scholarships to assist with post-high school education.
  • Funding of other community youth needs

Fundraising Projects

Club Sponsorship

  • Junior Optimist Club

Youth of the Month Program

As friends and supporters of the youth in Winterset, the Winterset Optimist Club would like to formally recognize Senior students at Winterset High School and homeschool students living within Winterset that exemplify outstanding character and achievement that aligns to the Optimist Creed. By recognizing these outstanding students and young citizens it is our hope that they will continue to live the Optimist Creed and be examples for others to follow. Investing in these young adults and honoring them for their achievements will encourage them to continue to lead by example and give back to their community.

General Overview of the Program:

  1. Youth of the Month recognition will occur on the regularly scheduled Optimist Club Meeting on the 2nd Friday of the following month: November, January, March, May, July, September
  2. Students will be nominated by a high school faculty member, community member, or other citizen within our community who can speak to the character of the student. All nominations will need to be submitted on the attached nomination form.
  3. The Optimist Youth of the Month Committee will review all nominations that are submitted and notify the selected students and their parents. The student and their parents will be invited to attend our regularly scheduled meeting on the 2nd Friday of the above listed months.
  4. Students who are recognized as Students of the Month will receive a $50 gift card and the Winterset Optimist Club will present $100 in the student’s name to the charity of their choice.

Past Recipients

Charles Williams (October 2021)
Camryn Forst (December 2021)
Franklin Pastorino (September 2022)
Hugo Hanselmann (November 2022)
Molly Shahan (January 2023)
Charlie Anker (March 2023)
Joey Van Kooten (October 2023)

Optimist International Foundation

Our club has generously contributed through the Optimist International Foundation “Dollar-a-Day program” for several years. This $365 donation is funded with ‘judge money,’ and in return we receive a patch for our banner. We have also honored deceased members with a $100 donation that results in a banner patch with their name on it. Our club has contributed $12,127.40 since our charter in 1984.

What does this money do?   

The Optimist International Foundation funds Optimist scholarship programs (oratorical contest, Essay contest, Communication contest for Deaf and Hard of Hearing). The foundation also supports Junior Optimist International activities, Youth service and leadership programs, Junior Golf, and general program support. There are ‘pass through’ grants and club campaign funds available to help clubs maximize their own programs. There is also an Optimist International Research Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at John Hopkins Hospital.       

Optimist International

Optimist International is our parent organization. International provides services for all of the local clubs, nation-wide. Scholarships for essay and oratorical contests are among these.

Optimist Clubs contribute millions of dollars and untold amounts of donated time to “youth-oriented” projects.

Optimist Creed


To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others, as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past, and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

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