By Paul Simon

Most Optimists in Colorado and Southern Wyoming probably have little idea of the extent to which some Optimists and clubs collaborate on projects and fund-raisers.

Optimism is much bigger than any single club, so it’s not unusual to see members of a different club dress up every year as elves on the Academy Optimist Club’s Santa Train that heads up Pike’s Peak outside Colorado Springs to the North Pole. A variety of clubs help drive golf carts to convey visitors to the gate at Bandimere Raceway at the Mile-Hi Nationals annually in support of the Dakota Ridge Optimist Club. The annual pancake breakfast fund-raiser at Heather Gardens always brings in plenty of smiling Optimists from other clubs.

And for the second straight year, the Type 1 Diabetes Optimist Club and the Front Range American Cancer Society Optimist Club ran the concessions at the North Region Brain Bowl on Jan. 10 at Standley Lake High School in Westminster. This was the largest Brain Bowl to date, with 103 teams participating, so the two clubs had their hands full.

About 20 volunteers from the clubs donated their time and talents in planning the concessions and actually selling the goods to the participants. The clubs expected to have raised approximately $1,600 which will be split evenly between childhood cancer research and the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).

“Once again,” said T1DOC President David Cooper, “the clubs have effectively partnered to promote their causes and help kids! Both clubs were very effective in putting the common goal first and always doing what is best for the kids!”

T1DOC and FRACSOC are two of the new themed clubs in the Colorado-Wyoming Optimist District, the third being the Classic Car Optimist Club of Colorado.

Whether for kids’ project or fund-raisers, joining with another club is an excellent way to provide resources, engage Optimists and friends, and promote the organization throughout the community.

FRACSOC President Patty Hasty praised the collaboration.

“What a blended team!” she said. “For the second year, these two awesome Optimist Clubs have joined forces to conduct the concession at the North Brain Bowl Competition.  We had great fun last year and this year was no different.  Each of us is so passionate about our causes and we are so proud to reward Childhood Cancer and Juvenile Diabetes with our efforts.  And the bonus is that the Brain Bowl is such an extraodinary experience.”