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Optimist Club donates to all 11 Madison schools

Optimist Club President Richard Cooper, at left, presents a donation to Chris Cornelius, president of Horizon Elementary School PTA. (CONTRIBUTED)
Optimist Club President Richard Cooper, at left, presents a donation to Chris Cornelius, president of Horizon Elementary School PTA. (CONTRIBUTED)
Angela Smith, president of James Clemens High School PTA, accepts a donation from Optimist Club secretary Mike Doyle. (CONTRIBUTED)
Angela Smith, president of James Clemens High School PTA, accepts a donation from Optimist Club secretary Mike Doyle. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – A Madison civic club has shared its fundraising results with each campus in the Madison City Schools district.

Optimist Club of Madison has presented donations of $500 to the seven elementary schools and four secondary schools in Madison. “There are no strings attached to how the donation is spent. The donation was presented to the respective PTAs,” Optimist secretary Mike Doyle said.

After successful fundraising in 2013, the Optimists decided “to not only increase the size of the donation but to include Madison’s middle and high schools,” Doyle said. “During September, the Optimist Club of Madison will donate $5,500 to Madison City Schools.”

In previous years, Optimists annually provided two $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors from the Madison area. “Because we got so little response to our offering, we decided in 2013 to give the funds equally to PTAs of the seven Madison elementary schools,” Doyle said.

To raise funds, Optimists sell hot dogs, corn dogs, funnel cakes, hamburgers and chips at the Madison Street Fair. They retain the majority of proceeds from a church basketball league.

Annually, the club sponsors a bike safety rodeo at Monrovia Elementary School, Care Bear Christmas for families of active-duty military personnel, essay and oratorical contests, a junior golf contest and Cub Scout Pack 8.

“Our Safety Optimist Style (SOS) event brings first responders and rescue personnel to the kids,” Doyle said. Their “Respect for Law” event honors a local law enforcer chosen by peers. “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” pits fifth-graders against prominent Madison citizens in a contest of knowledge.

Anyone is eligible to join any Optimist Club. “Our only requirement is an interest in helping the community’s children in whatever way you can,” Doyle said.

Other Optimist officers are president Richard Cooper and treasurer Bill Oetjen. President-elect Charlie Montgomery will take office in October.

The club meets at IHOP, 8622 U.S. 72 on the first and third Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call Doyle at 256-653-8032, email to doyle_a@bellsouth.net or visit Facebook/Optimist Club of Madison.

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