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Sunday, December 15, 2019

Lara Maccabee donates $9,000 to the Twin Falls Optimist Youth House

Optimist Clubs are known for giving money and support to many causes. The Twin Falls Optimist Club recently welcomed a young lady to their meeting who made a role reversal. She presented a check for $9,000 to the Optimist Club to support the Optimist Youth House. Read on to hear about Lara Maccabee's senior project in her own words: 

For my project, I ran the rim to rim to rim of the Grand Canyon and raised money for the Twin Falls Optimist Youth House. I chose to raise money for the Youth House because this cause has really touched my heart. I believe that no person should be homeless and it resonates strongly and upsets me when I think of young people of my own age who do not have the comfort of a bed and the basics of life. With this, I decided to raise money for this cause by taking on the challenge of running the Rim to Rim on the Grand Canyon. I reached out to different businesses and individuals throughout the community by sending out a letter asking for donations starting at $100, $250, $500 or any other amount that the company or individual was willing to donate. I was pleasantly surprised by the extensive amount of donations I received. I got donations ranging from $100 clear up to $1000 per sponsor.

On May 24, my family and I arrived at Jacob Lake Campground where we pitched tents and got ready for our adventure. The next day, my family and two close friends of ours, and I began our descent into the Grand Canyon We hiked 15 miles via the North Kaibab Trail to Phantom Ranch which is located at the bottom of the Canyon. The hike down was very beautiful. We were just beginning to see the sunrise above the canyon which was a spectacular sight. It was cool to look back every now and again to see how far you have come from the top as you hike deeper and deeper into the canyon. We arrived at Phantom Ranch just before noon where we stopped to have lunch and dip our feet into the river to cool off before heading out onto the Bright Angel trail. Phantom Ranch was a really unique location. When you look directly out of the canyon, you can see the layers of rock formation and different colors of rocks that formed years prior. We continued our journey on the Bright Angel Trail toward the South Rim which was 16 miles out of the canyon. The last four miles were the very challenging part of the run. The climb kept getting steeper and my legs were starting to get heavy with fatigued. It was very rewarding once we reached the top and looked down into the Canyon where we just came from hours prior. My total hiking time for day one was 10 hours and 50 minutes.
When the rest of my group came out of the canyon, we walked to our hotel room which was about a half-mile walk from the Bright Angel Trail Head. The next morning we woke up at 4:00 a.m and arrived at the Bright Angel Trail on the South Rim at 5:40 a.m. We took the same trail that we hiked the day before. We hiked 16 miles to Phantom Ranch which took us five hours. We then continued running on the Bright Angel Trail all the way to the top of the Canyon. Again, the scenery was magnificent. I loved the change in perspectives that I witnessed over the two days. From seeing the colors on the wall of the canyon change as I descended deeper and deeper into the canyon, to the change in tree color was truly an unique experience. By the end of day two, my total hiking time was 10 hours and 55 minutes giving a grand total of just under 22 hours.
This journey was one of the most rewarding and amazing experiences I have done. I would like to thank the Twin Falls Optimist Club for allowing me to work with them for my senior project and all the members in our community who donated in support of this amazing cause. I would now like to present my $9000 check to the Twin Falls Optimist Club in support of the Youth House.

This story was reprinted from the Twin Falls Optimist Club The Blab for12/12/2019.

What a wonderful example of how students can make a difference by helping others while challenging themselves. Thank you, Lara, for your perseverance and your wonderful donation to the Twin Falls Optimist Youth House.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Santa's making a list

Update: Santa house will be open from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The Chehalis - Centralia Optimist Club has invited Santa to visit once again and he has accepted.  Santa Claus will be in residence at the Santa House in downtown Chehalis every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm through December 21. At that time he'll return to the North Pole to check his list and pack his sleigh for the big journey.

You are invited to bring the kiddos and your camera and let Santa know just what you are hoping for this Christmas. Share your Christmas with the Optimists - you know, Santa may be the biggest optimist of all.

If your Optimist Club has a Christmas story to share, please click to send it here.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Christmas shopping has begun!

The holidays bring out the Optimist Club members in full force. We all know that when Santa looks for helpers, he turns first to Optimist International!

One of the first projects to cross my Facebook feed was the Christmas shopping day held annually by the Albany Optimist Club. Shout out to all the members and friends who came together for a special day for the kiddos.

We'll be watching for more projects to share. Don't be afraid to brag! Send a note here. Thank you.

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