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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Peninsula Optimist Club gives a lot

What do Christmas trees have to do with high school graduation? For the Portland-Peninsula Optimist Club, a lot! A Christmas Tree lot to be exact.

For 46 years the Portland-Peninsula Optimist Club has provided scholarships for students at Roosevelt High School who will attend community college or vocational schools after graduation. Those scholarships are made possible by the Christmas tree sales held every year by the Portland-Peninsula Optimist Club.

In the week before Independence Day, the tree lot becomes a fireworks stand and helps the club contribute even more back to the community.

According to Reverand Bill Van Nostran, President, the Optimists who are comprised of individuals from all occupations of life have given over $475,000 to youth groups in North Portland. Additionally, with high regard for continuing education, members have individually donated and the club has matched more than $275,000 to the Theodore Roosevelt Women's Association and the Mary Mock Family Scholarship which award a scholarship to a girl and boy respectively each year.

President Van Nostran concludes, "As Optimists we believe that our history of over sixty years, our constant work and effort and our commitment to youth have entitled us to display proudly our sign at N. Lombard and N. Chautauqua: Friends of the Youth."

The Portland-Peninsula Optimist Club of Oregon was chartered in 1946.

Thanks to the Portland Peninsula Optimist Club for sharing their story with Lt. Governor Alan Zehntbauer and Leadership Development Chair Gay Enyeart.

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