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What Optimists Do

Meeting the needs of young people in communities worldwide, Optimist Clubs have been "Bringing Out the Best in Kids" since 1919.
Optimist Clubs conduct positive service projects aimed at providing a helping hand to youth. By believing in young people and empowering them to be the best they can be, Optimist volunteers continually make their community a better place to live.
There are 105,000 individual members who belong to more than 3,200 autonomous clubs. Optimists conduct 65,000 service projects each year, serving six million young people. Optimists also invest $78 million annually in improving their communities.

The following is a representative list of the organizations and activities we support with financial grants and volunteer services, however, new programs and activities are considered and added as needed in our community.

  • Childhood Cancer Campaign
  • Creative Writing Contest
  • DARE
  • Educational grants and scholarships
  • The Harbour, Inc.
  • Links
  • Misericordia Heart of Mercy
  • Optimist International Junior Golf Championship
  • The Kindness Connection
  • Toys for Tots
  • Warming House Youth Center
  • Wilmette Baseball Association
  • Wilmette Holiday Parade
  • Wilmette Hockey Association
  • Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce
  • Wilmette Police Department Open House
  • Youth Safety Program

To generate the funds to underwrite our various youth-centered activities, the club conducts two major fundraising activities each year – the Optimist Golf Outing in the Summer and the annual Holiday Raffle and Glug Party in the Fall. In 2010, these two activities raised more than $25,000 to fund college scholarships, support youth services, and aid in the effort to enhance research and treatment of juvenile cancer.