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Members of Morehead’s Optimist Club gathered last Thursday morning at City Hall as Rowan County Judge Executive Walter Blevins and Mayor Jim Tom Trent officially proclaimed the first Thursday of every February as Optimist Day.

Optimist International is a worldwide volunteer organization made up of more than 2,500 local clubs whose members work each day to make the future brighter by bringing out the best in children, in their communities and in themselves.

Their goal is to develop optimism as a philosophy of life utilizing the tenets of the Optimist Creed; to promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs; to inspire respect for the law; to promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people; to aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well being of humankind, community life and the world.

“We started in 1964, using various fundraisers including selling Christmas trees to help raise money,” said club member Mickey Reffitt. “Now, we utilize Cave Run Bingo Hall nearly every weekend to help support the youth in this community.”

Reffitt said every year the group helps raise more than $100,000 that goes right back into area youth activities.

“We have more than 30 groups throughout the year that come in and help run the bingo hall to help raise money,” he said. trip students take yearly.

“We have a proven road map of what we have accomplished and how we are directly giving back to the community,” said Reffitt. “We are so thankful for all those who volunteer their time to help sponsor the youth in whatever they do.”

The Optimists recite the following “Optimist Creed” at each meeting:To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

The group meets every Tuesday at noon at Mr. Gatti’s on East Main Street downtown. Reffitt asks those interested in giving back to stop by a meeting for more information.
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