Celebrating 50 years in Orangeville
The Optimist Club of Orangeville was founded on September 30, 1971, by the Optimist Club of Newmarket, and received its charter by Optimist Governor Gord Jorgensen in January 1972. We began with 38 members, including one charter member who is still active today, Optimist David Tilson.
Over the past 50 years the Optimists have been very active within the community and surrounding area, gaining a reputation as a club that creates many worthwhile events and activities for children and families. We have also assisted other clubs with their events. Since the club’s inception, we have sponsored the 3rd Orangeville Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade, Orangeville Minor sports teams, and a church milk program. The club started the Jackrabbit Cross Country Ski program at Monora Park in the early 80s, where we cut the cross-country trails still used today. We also help out regularly with the Seniors Centre luncheons and summer BBQ's.
The Optimists also conduct a number of youth programs including the Oratorical Contest, Essay Contest, Tri Star program, Junior World of Golf, the annual Bike Roadeo, and for many years held the annual Maple Syrup Event at Island Lake. We support the Canadian Children's Optimist Foundation (CCOF), One Voice One Team (O.V.O.T.), Central Ontario Leadership Seminar (COLS), and Empowerment Week. In 2021 the club held an art competition for kids to create artwork that was printed on panels and affixed to the park benches in Kay Cee Gardens. More recently we had a Scavenger Hunt and Pancake Breakfast in coordination with DCAFF (Dufferin Child and Family Foundation) to help spread awareness of this new foundation.
The Optimist Club of Orangeville is very involved at the District, and International levels, having had nine Lieutenant Governors and three Governors serve on several of the Optimist International committees.
We are extremely proud of our annual Christmas in the Park (CiTP) event! December 2022 marks our 30th Anniversary. The event is held from the first Friday in December to the 31st. This long-standing magical winter family event draws over 15,000 people from all around Ontario to Kay Cee Gardens in Orangeville. Many dedicated Optimists create, build, and install numerous wonderful displays each year. Local organizations and businesses also install delightful displays to add to this spectacular event. With the help of many volunteers and community minded sponsors, the CiTP has become a most celebrated town event.
We are celebrating 50 years of service to the youth of Orangeville. We look forward to providing exciting programs and events for our community for many years to come.
If you’d like to join our wonderful organization, please visit our New Member page by clicking here.