The Lodi Optimist Club is a hidden gem in our amazing community.

Lodi has been my home for 15 years. I am a mother of two boys active in multiple sports and the Lodi Optimist Club is a perfect way for me to give back to the community I am proud to live and work in.

Three years ago I met Doug Meek, then President of the Lodi Optimists, in the lobby of Associated Bank shortly after transferring to the Lodi branch. Doug invited me to a Wednesday Optimist lunch meeting and that invite changed my life. It led to my current role as President of the Lodi Optimist Club and meeting his incredible son, a story for another day.

The Lodi Optimists are an exceptionally kind and supportive group from all walks of life that meets weekly on Wednesday. We share lunch, community events and learn through a weekly program. Our mission is youth and every dollar raised goes to fund 20 youth activities and grants in our community through our three annual fundraisers — Super Bowl Pancake Breakfast, One Mother of a Run and the Pig Roast and Raffle.

The funds we raise keep costs low for kids and their families. We do not govern or organize youth activities with Optimist in the title such as Lodi Optimist Youth Baseball or Lodi Optimist Youth Soccer.

I am grateful for coaches and leaders involved in youth activities generously donating their time and talents. They provide guidance, skills, confidence, and a sense of belonging to our youth. I appreciate coaches even more after being an assistant coach one baseball season. It is not my calling.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. It is important to me to give back to the community my family lives in. I want my two boys to remember Mom volunteered, was part of the Lodi Optimist Club and made a difference.

Doug’s invite changed my life, now it is my turn to change someone else’s. I am happy to meet and discuss how involvement with the Lodi Optimist Club can change your life too.

If involvement in our club isn’t a good fit, please consider supporting our fundraisers so we can continue the 51 year legacy giving back to our youth.

Check out our Facebook page – Lodi Optimist Club and mark your calendar for the Pig Roast and Raffle Saturday, September 29th at Manke’s Barn.

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