Service Projects


Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg donates over seven thousand dollars to five area schools. RIF is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. We prepare and motivate children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. We inspire children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice. RIF provides new, free books for children to choose from and make their own. The seeds of inspiration in these books have motivated children to follow their dreams and achieve their potential.

Optimist Youth Basketball

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg operates the free youth basketball program open to boys and girls in grades K-6 serving more than 150 students annually. The area program emphasizes participation and fundamentals of basketball. The Optimist Basketball program runs 8 weeks from January - March. Sessions are held on Saturday mornings at the Gettysburg Middle School from 9 AM - 1 PM. The Optimist Club members select the coaches, arrange for local logistics, and supply tee shirts free of charge.

bball 01

Meals and More

The Optimist Club of Gettysburg donates to the extension of the Prince of Peace parish’s partnership with the Gettysburg Community Soup Kitchen, a ministry providing meals and activities for Gettysburg’s youth ages 7 to 12. A structured environment is provided for the children with an emphasis on encouragement, education, entertainment, and spiritual exploration. The targeted populations for this ministry are children who experience limited supervision or enrichment in the summer months.


Members donate their time and energy to several fundraising projects throughout the year to provide services to local youth. The Optimist Oyster Feed, Youth Soccer Parking, Optimist, Links of Gettysburg Golf Tournament and The Optimist Christmas Magic Show are held annually. More than $30,000 is earned to support local youth programs.

Shuckers Tom Bare-Wayne Hill-Brent Smith
2012 Optimist Dollars for Scholars Recipients

Self Improvement Programs

The local high school recognizes youth who have made a significant improvement in their school performance through the STARS program, Success Through Academic Recognition.  The Optimist Club of Gettysburg sponsors this quarterly program which awards students in the categories of Shining Star, Rising Star and North Star.  Additionally, the Optimist Club of Gettysburg contributes and supports the Dwight D. Eisenhower Senior Self Improvement Award for students who have overcome significant obstacles to make dramatic improvement in their attendance, behavior, attitude, academic performance and community/school service.  A cash award and achievement plaque is awarded to each of the thirty students nominated from the six high schools in Adams County.

  Other Annual Programs

 The Optimist Club also supports the Gettysburg Community Theatre, Holiday Family Outreach, Gettysburg Area High School Orchestra, Environmental Education, Optimist Olympics, Dollars for Scholars, Adams County Business Education Partnership, Respect for Law, Gettysburg Halloween and Holiday Parades, Little League, and the Optimist Foundation.
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  1. Pingback: Another Successful Oyster and Shrimp Feed | Optimist Club of Gettysburg

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