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Optimist Club of San Antonio
Club History
1935-1944 - Our Second Decade

Sam Goldfarb


Benno V. Clemens

C. Charley Wright

Lewis Vogelsang


Willis Tate

Ralph Gardner

Louis L. Sien, Sr.


Raymond Gerhardt

Frank A. Huck, Jr.

A. L. Schwartz
1935 - Membership stood at 112. New Club Building was gaining momentum and the Austin Optimist Club was chartered May 1, 1935. A delegation of over 50 attended from our club. Sixth District of Optimist International at this time was composed of all that portion of Texas lying south of Fort Worth and Dallas and all of New Mexico. In the beginning the District covered all of Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Through Alamo City Baseball Association and San Antonio and Dallas Baseball Clubs of the Texas League, the San Antonio Optimist Club hosted over 300 school children of the city as a gesture of International Youth Week.
1936 - Active membership April 1 was 122. Our club had a part in organizing the Optimist Club of Corpus Christi.

The Optimist-Rotary Charity Ball game ended with a victory of 13-12 for the Optimists. "O.P" Schnabel posed as "Gorgeous Goldie" at this game.

Sally Rand was speaker at the Dec. 9 meeting, with Dick Delevan as chairman.

During Benno's administration the Boys Work Endowment Fund was increased by $1,000.

1937 - On Feb. 12, a banquet was held for International President Earl G. Stanza. The Bulletin announced: "Meet our International President - enjoy a $1.50 Banquet - $1.00 Show - $1.10 Dance - all for $.075". Installation Party, April 7 in the Crystal Ballroom of the Gunter Hotel at $1.25 per plate, strictly informal.

H. N. (Dad) Jones, pioneer Boys Club worker, was honored by the Exchange Club, The program was conducted entirely by the Past Presidents of our Club. Dr. L. J. Manhoff, Chairman, "O.P." Schnabel, Sam Goldfarb, John G. Swope, Clyde Barnes, and Nelson Greeman, Sr. made short talks outlining "Dad" Jones activities on behalf of boys.

1938 - Installation Dinner, April 6, in the Rose Room of the Gunter Hotel - $1.25 per plate.

6000 attend the Optimist-Rotary Charity Ball Game. Boys Endowment Fund was increased by $1,206.64.

1939 - Jack Hebdon, our boy orator, walked off with the honors at the District Convention in Houston and went on to Richmond,Virginia to represent our Club and won second place.

Record crowd attends Optimist-Rotary Charity Ball Game. Score Rotarians 21 - Optimist 8.

The Christmas Dance at the San Antonio Casino Club Ballroom held the best of everything at only $1.00 per couple. $200 was donated to Boys Club for tools for their workshop.

1940 - Optimists had a big part in the dedication party of the Bexar county Juvenile Home for Boys at Southton, a large American flag was donated by the Optimists.

Optimists took a big part in Community Chest Drive to raise $320.641. Fifty five Optimists participated.

Club sponsored Rubinoff Concert for the benefit of Boys Work.

1941 - Optimist-Rotary Ball Game and Circus drew over 4.000 people. Score Rotarians 10 - Optimist 9.

A Boy Scout troop at the Bexar County Training School for Boys was formally installed amid colorful ceremonies.

A "tool shower" was held for the workshop of Protestant Orphans Home.

Optimists were prominent as Air Raid Wardens. We have reference to the older ones - the young ones went to war.

Six hundred boys attended the game nightly as Knothole members.

A joint meeting of Optimists and Lions was held in connection with the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

Judge Charles Anderson thanked the club for baseball equipment donated to the Bexar County Training School for Boys.

In October our club held a joint meeting with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, with Governor Coke Stevenson as speaker.

1943 - Our club, as usual, took part in the Annual Pilgrimage to the Alamo in connection with Fiest Week.

The annual Optimist-Lions Charity Ball Game was held, with an estimated crowd of 6,000. It was preceded with a downtown parade with ball players, clowns and "Gorgeous Goldie" taking part.

June 2nd our club met at Kelly Field Officers Club, followed with the inspection of the largest air depot in the world. General Paul Wilkins was host.

We sponsored and helped organize the Pan American Optimist Club.

Brother Rector Day was held October 6. Then, on October 13, the Annual Optimist Party at Bexar County Juvenile Home at Southton was held, with Paul Renton, Jr. as master of ceremonies.

1944 - Boysville of San Antonio got underway under the joint sponsorship of our Optimist Club and the San Antonio Kiwanis Club. Its first home was on Avenue A. Don Holiman was the first Director and Louis E. Sien, Sr. and many of those who were now "Old Timers" had a part in making Boysville a reality.

Our Club had a big part in helping organize the Goodwill Industries of San Antonio, which is now taking care of over 100 handicapped persons. Gerald L. Clore, Executive Secretary of The Dallas Goodwill Industries, was our speaker July 12, 1944.

Our club equipped a playground at Riverside Community Center. We helped sponsor a News Boy Program through the YMCA, with Bill Heil as chairman. A Navarro School Summer Project for delinquent boys was sponsored with the Lions, Kiwanis & Rotary Clubs.