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Optimist Club of San Antonio
Club History
1965-1974 - Our Fifth Decade

James R. Westberry

Stanley W. Cole
Robert W. Jackson

Dr. Richard L. Dickson

Donald J. Hand


Henry J. Rockstroh

Leonard E. Davis

Arthur L. Guess

Roald E. Braulick

Russell Brown
1965 - Our membership for the year began at 208. We had a boys work budget of $10,400. Our projects at the beginning of this decade were Attorney Generals Conference on Youth, Bexar County Boys Home, Bike Safety, Boysville, Boys Clubs of San Antonio, Junior Optimist Clubs, Little League, Oratorical Contest, our Youth Scholarship Program, YMCA, Ella Austin Orphanage, and St Peters-St Joseph's Home.

Our fund raising project was the sale of Christmas trees, and in that year with Leland Austin as chairman, our net profit was $14,307. The South Central Texas District Convention was held in Corpus Christi.

1966 - Our Scholarship Program was changed so that grants were made only to Boysville citizens.

One of our great past presidents, Eddie Reichardt, died during this administration. And as a memorial to him, the club set a goal of 30 new members before the close of the year. We had a net increase of 25 members, which brought us to an all time high of 223.

During the year Lloyd Flood underwrote the cost of binding all past club bulletins so that all bulletins for a year were under one binder.

Outstanding Member of the year was O. C. Swanson.

1967 - During this year, the club achieved "Honor Club" recog-nition and Cole was awarded the Distinguished President's watch.

The Respect for Law Program was adopted and our club purchased a 16 millimeter film on Respect for Law entitled, "Every Hour Every Day." During the club year, it was shown before schools and civic organization and viewed by some 8,000 citizens.

The Young Texans Committee was set up and approved by our Board, and the Young Texans Program was adopted as a district project.

Lynn Allen, one of our great members, donated a new rostrum to the club. New road signs were put up on all main arteries leading into the city.

In conjunction with Montgomery Ward and Company, our club inaugurated the Outstanding Youth Achievement Award.

We organized the Northside Optimist Club, and Pete Hindelang was selected as the Outstanding Member.

1968 - Our membership remained at 223 and again our club was awarded honor club status, and Bob Jackson received his watch as a distinguished president.

The boys work budget for the year was $13,373.85. The Bexar County Boys Home was dropped as a project. Our Scholarship Fund was set up for Boysville, and this year we operated a total of six Christmas tree lots, and each member was asked to sell 30 tickets rather than the 25 as previously. We had a record year of Christmas tree sales with a net profit of $17,023.00 under the leadership of Leland Austin, chairman.

Dee Catacolas was presented a resolution expressing thanks to him for having donated space welcoming Optimists to HemisFair 1968.

The Del Rio Optimist Club was formed with D. D. Alley as chairman.

Ed DeWees was voted Outstanding Member of the year.

1969 - Our club year changed from July 1 through June 30 to Oct 1 through September 30, and Dick L. Dickson had the distinction of serving the longest year in history of any of our club presidents.

A new boys work project was adopted in the form of Lifeline Camp. Our Respect for Law Program was continued, and Dick L. Dickson took the lead in forming a boys choir at Boysville.

Jim Johnson and Dave Meyers received the Outstanding Member awards, and Stan Cole was voted Outstanding Member of the year.

1970 - Don Hand not only served as a dedicated president but he went on to be elected Governor of the District in 1971-1972.

The Gonzalez Optimist Club was organized with 37 members.

Bob Cherniss who was chairman of the Oratorical Contest accompanied Leighton Ku, who was sponsored by our club and won the District contest, to the International Convention where Leighton represented our district in competition.

Steve O'Neil was voted the Outstanding New Member and Lynn Allen was selected Outstanding member of the Club for the year.

1971 - Henry J. "Rocky" Rockstroh introduced the phrase"World's Greatest Optimist Club" as a fitting name for our club. Our membership at the beginning of the year was 194.

The Fort Sam Houston Optimist Club was organized.

Bob Cherniss was selected Outstanding Member of the year, and a special award from the president was presented Dr. Dick L. Dickson for outstanding work as a very special Optimist.

1972 - Our membership increased during the year to 197.

We organized The Randolph Field Optimist Club with Bob Brown, Rocky Rockstroh, and Roland Aycock collaborating as joint chairmen of the New Club Building Committee.

During the year, budget was increase by $1,000 to provide a van for the west side branch of Boys Club. President Davis conceived the idea of organizing a home for girls patterned after Boysville, and much of his time and energy was expended on that project.

The new member award went to Bob Brown and Dick Dickerson was voted Outstanding Member of the Year.

1973 - Girlsville became a reality in that we received a charter officially creating Girlsville, Inc. and we joined forces with Aganier Hall, which has existed for many years as a home for homeless girls, and we began operating Girlsville.

Louis Sien died during the year. Louie had earned the nickname, "Mr, Boysville," and immediately following his death, the Louis E. Sien, Boysville-Optimist Bowling League was organized by Sonny Baetz.

The Optimist International Convention was held in San Antonio in June, and one of our members, Stan Cole, was General Chairman. Many other members of our club played key roles in planning and producing what was recognized as the finest International Convention in the history of Optimism.

This was a year of anniversaries and celebrations. It began with our club hosting the 55th Annual Convention of Optimist International at the San Antonio Convention Center, June 24-28, 1973. Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe welcomed the guests and delegates. During the session we exchanged gifts with our Twin Club from Toronto, Canada. Delegates and staff indicated they would not mind being our guests at every International Conference.

New member award went to Sonny Baetz. Rocky Rockstroh was named Outstanding Member for the year.

1974 - In October of 1973, with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, we sponsored a luncheon recognizing the Silver Anniversary of the USAF Security Service.

1974 was the year that Boysville observed its 30th Anniversary. By that time more than 1200 boys had called it "home."

Climax of the year was our own Golden Anniversary. A most memorable event. Speaker (there always has to be one)president designate of OI, Ralph Glasscock, lauded our club's greatness. Nelson "Nellie" Greeman , Sr., was honored as the only living charter member. He responded, "I just lived a durn sight longer and I started young." Would that we all could do the same.