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Optimist Club of San Antonio
Club History
1975-1984 - Our Sixth Decade
CLUB PRESIDENTS

1975-1976
Bob Cherniss

1976-1977
Dick Thiesen

1977-1978
Woodie Goodspeed

1978-1979
Howard Freeman

1979-1980
Jim Keyes

1980-1981
John Anthis

1981-1982
Dane Harlan

1982-1983
Gary A. Beahm

1983-1984
Marshall Dodge

1984-1985
Dick Norton
1975- After visiting several sites looking for a new office & meet-ing location, we were given the opportunity to locate in the remodeled Frost Bank Building, now called the "Civic Club Center." Horace Hebdon is to be given credit for this most satisfactory arrangement.

The Work-a-thon earned $2,082, and three Christmas tree lots netted over $14,00 for our Youth Work fund.

We built a new club in Eagle Pass, Texas & helped that club build a club in Piedras Negras, Mexico - the first Optimist Club in Mexico.

George Rawlings was Outstanding Member for the year and Joe Gonzalez was selected by the Board as Outstanding New Member.

1976 - The year was ushered in the First Tuesday in October to the strains of the Marine Hymn, and that set the tempo for our Bicen-tennial Year with the programs varying from military and musical, to several lady's spectaculars. Attendance at meetings was exception-ally good during the year, even during the usual vacation period.

We were the first club in the District to sponsor an Octagon Club (at Churchill H. S.), and we shared with Eastside Optimist Club in co-sponsoring the Brooks Optimist club.

Our club was involved in 15 different projects that helped the youth of our community. Each project was funded by our annual Christmas tree sales and the new work-a-thon Project. This year through the efforts of our club members, we were able to raise over $14,000.00.

Joe Gonzalez was selected as the Outstanding New Member for the year and Ben Young was named Outstanding Optimist for the year. Our membership count stood at 175 for the year.

1977 - A year marked by interesting programs, several visits to sites away from the Civic Club Center for our meetings and outstanding bulletins produced by the secretary Dick Bouton - made this year a real high-spot in Optimist history.

At the first District Board meeting of the year we were issued a challenge by the Downtown Optimist Club of Austin as to which club could gain 50 new members first, and a real "heavy duty" membership campaign got underway that lasted all year long!

Our Christmas tree lots earned over $15,000 profit for our Youth Activities Budget under the direction of George Rawlings. George also led a crew of hardy woodsmen into the wilds of Pearsall for a Saturday of wood cutting for the benefit of Boysville, Inc.

Richard Bouton was Outstanding New Member for the year and John Thompson was selected as Optimist of the year. A special presentation was made to Roland Aycock for his dedication and loyalty to the club., and for his outstanding leadership in every capacity.

1978 - President Woodie Goodspeed set three goals for this year: achieve a balanced operating budget, increase membership and establish a policy for fund-raising and support of youth activities.

Through the hard work of various committees, these were all achieved.

New budgeting procedures, new membership classifications as well as a strong recruiting drive and a definite policy for the club's youth projects and fund raising were all set forth. Now we have comprehensive written guidelines that enable the club to function more effectively.

Jack Phillips was selected as Outstanding New Member and Lynn Allen was named Optimist of the year for the second time. His contributions to the club "BEHIND THE SCENES" are invaluable.

1979 - Our membership was 151 as we started the year and "O. P." Schnabel brought in the first new member, Willard Giddens.

The program committee worked overtime to bring us the Korean Ambassador Yong Shik Kim, who came to San Antonio for the sole purpose of addressing the WGOC. Several other outstanding speakers during the year included Lt Gen Ira C. Eaker, Col Bobby R. Bagley - a Viet Nam POW, Dr Buckner Fanning's report on Eastern Europe and Mayor Lila Cockrell's observation the People's Republic of China.

The Youth Budget was $13,649: but Christmas tree competition was getting more fierce, so Jim Keyes chaired a committee to look at alternative fund raisers. Deac Davis introduced new revenue possibilities with a Judge Roy Bean Musical Play. Airplane rides at # cents per pound added $800 to our Youth Fund.

Two great Optimists, John Thompson and Abbie Strunk passed away during the year.

Barbara Stiegler, Executive Secretary to the club resigned and was replace by Jane Butler. Rocky Rockstroh was Optimist of the Year and Jim Keyes was Outstanding New Member.

1980 - This year began with the launching of a strong program to enlist new members, with Horace Hebdon leading the drive.

With characteristic enthusiasm, Rocky Rockstroh led our New Club Building effort to chartering the Optimist Club of Floresville with 39 members.

Christmas tree sales netted $8,700 and our fly-in at Stinson Field yielded some $1,700. The Opti-Mrs. also participated in the fly-in to earn funds for their projects. Without the support of this arm of Optimism, many of our project would not be nearly so successful!

The annual Christmas Party was held at Oak Hills Country Club and enjoyed by all in attendance. Participation in club activities and community affairs by club members was excellent. Howard Freeman chaired the city-wide Youth Appreciation Program. Jim Johnson served as president of the San Antonio Chamber of commerce and a number of members participated in the Texas Transportation Institute driving study and research program.

A strong team effort by all members led to our achieving the Number One Club slot in the South Central Texas District and Honor Club status with OI which classified President Jim Keyes as a distinguished president.

1981 - The World's Greatest Optimist Club ended the year as it had begun - a Distinguished Honor Club - by earning the Friend of Youth Award, Community Involvement Award, and two Community Project Awards, and we were Number One Club in District standing.

Year end membership was 168, a net gain of 15. Bob Cherniss won the "Super Shavers" award for personally sponsoring 10 members. Horace Hebdon's leadership on the committee let us receive the International President's Award for Membership.

Jim Keyes was instrumental in chartering an Explorer Post at Fox Tech H. S. This pilot program proved so successful that it has since become a standard for the Alamo Area Council of BSA. A new Octagon Club was chartered at Clark H.S. and the Northern Hills Optimist Club was organized.

Christmas tree sales under the leadership of John Campbell, Jack Phillips and Ron Hastings were completed a week before Christmas, with a net of $10,000 for our youth work. Jim Keyes and Bart Hayward teamed up to stage the "First Annual Worlds's Greatest Optimist Club Run" adding another $5,000 to this budget.

Congressman Tom Loeffler presented Nellie Greeman a flag flown over the Capitol in recognition of his 57 years of Optimism. Nellie later in the year presented "O. P." Schnabel a plaque commemorating his 50 year anniversary as a club president. Jim Keyes was Optimist of the year. Bert Richey received special recognition for continuous service "above and beyond the call." Dick L. Dickson won the "Worst Aggie Joke Teller" trophy for the year.

1982 - During this year, some of the outstanding achievements were: a new club of 35 members was formed in Bandera: Opti-Mrs held their 50th anniversary celebration; and 50 year membership pins were presented to Nellie Greeman and Benno Clemens.

Three money-raising projects were Christmas tree sales, the 10-K run and the Volksmarch. They netted approximately $20,000. This money was distributed to 16 youth activities.

During the year, Montgomery Ward was forced to discontinue financial support for our Outstanding Youth Award Program. Because of the exceptional value of the program , it was revised and continued on a limited basis, using club funds.

Primarily through the efforts of San Antonio Club members, the city-wide"Youth Appreciation Week Awards" program was an outstanding success.

Although we lost fifteen members through resignations, we gained eighteen new members for a net increase of three.

Thanks to the efforts of many devoted members, the club was given an "Outstanding" rating by OI for the year.

1983 - The 10-K run this year netted over $5,000 for our Youth Budget, The Volksmarch brought $400 and Christmas tree sales came to over $11,000. We to gave the whole $16,000 away with no effort!

A special meeting was set aside as "O. P." Schnabel Day in conjunction with the Exchange Club's Golden Deeds" award, at which this long time member of the club was honored for his service to Optimism, the City and the Nation. A well deserved day.

A new club was built in Fredericksburg, thanks to tireless Rocky Rockstroh, & Honor Club status was earned by member's hard work.

Boysville, Inc was approached by a developer with a deal "too good to refuse"! The property at IH-35 and Loop 1604 was sold for mall development, and a new site was purchased in the Converse, Texas area. Our own George Rawlings was project manager for the construction of the outstandingly beautiful and up-to-date multi-million dollar facility that give Boysville citizens a much more home-like atmosphere.

1984 - A new club already built in McAllen, Texas. It was chartered with 53 members on February 29th.. A leap year.

One of the most highly acclaimed Youth Appreciation Week Awards Program ever, Chaired by WGOC's Marshall Dodge.

Our Youth Activity Budget is set at $13,000.

Dane Harlan was selected as the Optimist of the year, and Leigh was designated as the Outstanding New Member