Sylvan Lake Optimist Club is aiming to continue its work to benefit local youths, but needs the help of committed volunteers.
The club, chartered in 2009, came close to folding last year with just three members at the time. Although that number has now doubled, organizers say a much larger membership would allow for more fundraising activities — and thus, more funds raised for Sylvan Lake youths.
“We’re hoping to get the ball rolling, and the more we get out about what we do and who we are, the better,” said club treasurer Tasha Young. “It’s really tough to combat volunteer burnout, so that’s one of the reasons why we’ve had to limit the amount of events that we do in a year to just the one.”
Currently, the club’s only annual event is the Boob Tour, billed as a “standup comedy show fighting cancer with laughter”. This year it featured renowned comedians Lamont Ferguson and Garry Shandling, as well as others from within Alberta.
Through ticket sales and a silent auction, the event raised about $3,500 for the Sylvan Lake Youth Cancer Fund created by the club.
“(The fund) is kind of our childhood cancer campaign,” said Young. “It can be used for anything from a Make-A-Wish-type scenario, or for a family.
“The first year that we did this, we were able to donate to a family whose son was diagnosed, and they needed extra money to help with bills and gas and having to drive to Edmonton every other day.”
Of the club’s six members, one signed up as recently as last week, and membership drives are planned over the next few months.
The club, in its current state, lacks the resources to put on more than one major event a year. Additional members, however, would mean the possibility for more.
“Even just one or two people helps,” said Young. “The nice thing about the Optimist Club is your commitment is as much as you want it to be.
“If you can’t attend the meetings every week, that’s fine, but if you’re really good at marketing or advertising or planning, we could use people like that.
“Having that structure there to be able to help plan that kind of stuff is what we really need.”
Those interested in joining are asked to contact Young at 403-887-9477.
They may also attend one of the club’s meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month, between September and June.
Meetings are held at Pier 7, and begin at 7 p.m.
More information about the club is available on the Sylvan Lake Optimist Club Facebook page. The club is also referred to by its legal name, Lakeview Optimist Club.