CNOtes – February 5, 2019 – Boys and Girls Oratorical Contest

Phather Phil’s Prayer

Heavenly Father each piece of a quilt has its own color, pattern,
texture and design. But when they are put together, they become a
work of art. Just like the people in our Optimist club who have unique
personalities, talents and skills. Our presence blesses one another in
countless ways and helps touch the kids in a reflection of Your love.
We pray that You will hold all the members in Your thoughts and
continue to bless our work. The young people are a very important
part of the fabric of our lives. Help us to continue to make it a
tapestry of love.  Amen!

Today’s Guests

All Photos from the Meeting are Here

Flippin’ Awesome Awards Presentation

Donna Huss presented “Flippin’ Awesome” awards to Evelyn Griffin and Tom Novak for their support of the January 17th 2019 NOW event. Evelyn produced a mailing from every individual that had a tree delivered during our tree lot sale. Tom completed a mailing to all of the current AOF (Avenue of Flags) subscribers. Both of these individuals went “Above and Beyond” to assist in making the NOW event the success it was. Thank you, again, to both of you!!

NOW is an acronym for “New Optimists Welcome”. Read more about it here. We will be having more NOW events this year.

Committee Announcements

Golf Committee: Next committee meeting will be Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 at 6:00 pm at Buckeye Home Care located on Paragon Road.

PGI/PDP:  Myron will again be available before and after next week’s lunch meeting to sign-up or update member passports. Please make an effort to see Myron.

Childhood Cancer: Next committee meeting will be Thursday, February 7th, 2019 at the Centerville Panera at 6:30pm. Their next meeting is March 14th, 2019 (same time and location).

Social Committee: there will be a Wine and Beer tasting event on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 at Diane and Patrick Arehart’s residence. You can try both wine and beer, or just one (or neither, there will be lots of food). More details will follow.

Oratorical Contest was today.

Liz Fultz, the chair of the Oratorical contest, introduced the participating students and described this annual event. This is the third year for Liz to chair this event. She would like to thank the content and timing judges for assisting with the event.

From Liz Fultz:

February 5th 2019 is the first day of the Margaret Barclay Memorial 2019 Optimist Oratorical Contest.  Since it was established in 1928, the Oratorical Contest has become the longest-running program sponsored by Optimists International.  This contest is named in honor of former Optimist member Margaret Barclay who passed away in 2010.   Margaret chaired this committee for many years.  She cared deeply about bringing out the best in kids and in living the Optimist Creed.  She was a most beloved member of our club, a past president and lived a life dedicated to helping others. Margaret Barclay’s accomplishments were vast including 40 years in public education, the last 27 in the Centerville Schools. She retired in 2000 as Principal at Magsig Middle School. It is a pleasure to see her memory continually being recognized in this way.

The Oratorical Contest is done in collaboration with Centerville Evening and South Metro Optimists, who also sponsor contests.  Mr. Roy Barclay, husband of Margaret, supports the contest by making an annual donation.  Thank you, Roy, for your ongoing contributions and support of this contest.

Contestants deliver a four to five minute speech.  One winner from each contest advances to the zone competition and then can advance to the finals at the district level.  Districts have the opportunity to provide a first place scholarship of $2,500, a second place scholarship of $1,500, and a third place scholarship of $1,000.

The 2019 topic “Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?”.

To keep the judging fair, the names of the contestants were kept secret and we were not allowed to applaud the participants until all had presented.

This contest will be held at our lunch this week and next. This week all four students are from Incarnation School. Next week there will be 3 from Centerville middle schools and another from Incarnation School.

Today, the first three participants were female and the final a male.

Speaker A went first. She argued that there is a fine line between optimism and reality. She reflected on fictional characters to demonstrate this line. The daily news has been very negative and she has had many deaths in her family recently. Keeping optimistic helps to get through life’s challenges. “Through the darkness is how we find the light.”

Speaker B was next. Thomas Jefferson said, “Nothing can stop a positive man from doing anything he wants to do.” Navy Seals use active optimism. She said the optimist in her is helping her recover from a recent concussion. The Navy Seals are not successful from luck, but from preparation and a positive optimism. Ghandi, Jefferson and Ben Carson all used a positive mental attitude to reach their goals.

Speaker C was next. She quoted Mary Lou Retton, “Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.” Being optimistic is a magnet for success. The fine line lies between the meaning of the two terms optimism and reality. The appearance of reality is affected by whether you choose an optimistic or pessimistic outlook. Hope and optimism improves reality. She shared a story of how her sports team stayed optimistic on a very hot day to come back and win a match.

Speaker D was our final speaker. Steve Jobs quoted, “You cannot connect the dots moving forward, only by looking back.” Optimism allows you to work on the future dots with the plan that they will connect. Optimists expect good from reality and live a life being positive. You want your reality to be the best it can be. Optimism is a mindset to make tasks in life easier. There is a fine line and hopefully your dots will be connected in a positive way.

All four students did a fantastic job in both content and presentation. Only one moves forward and that is speaker C. You are welcome to go see her at the next round of the Oratorical contest at the library in a couple of weeks.


Member Birthday
Greg Crabtree February 05
Shelby DiPasquale February 06
Don Kelley February 08
Mariah Vogelgesang February 08
Ron Tinnerman February 11

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
Renee Glenn February 5 2/5/2014 5
Ellie Parker February 8 2/8/2011 8
Patricia Kuhlman February 8 2/8/2011 8

New Member Readings and Inductions

Due to the time needed for Boys and Girls Oratorical Contests, we did not do any new reading nor inductions this week.

Sergeants at Arms

No time for sergeants this week.

 Happy Bucks! 

No time for Happy Bucks this week.

CNOtes – January 29, 2019 – Jim Finke – CEO, Crystal Spirits

Phather Phil’s Prayer

Heavenly Father your son ‘s birth was the beginning of 30 odd years
of instructions for us to live by. In faith we try to live our lives
accordingly. But You also gave us a free will which in turn allows us
to put our own spin on Your teachings. Sometimes our spin puts us in
troubled waters. Thankfully You made yourself our bridge to get us
out of our troubled waters. A bridge we probably use too often. So
help us Lord to stay on the path You have set for us and not use You
as our get out of jail free card.  Amen!

Today’s Guests

Guest Guest Of
Dan Apolito Scott Langer
Charlie Ballinger Dick Stevens
Michelle Brown Mike Bevis
Jim Finke Speaker
Mike Fullenkamp Scott Langer
Julie Langer Scott Langer
Doug Reno Carolyn Taylor
Cindy Sitzman Wendy Hatton
Kerrie Smith Joe Kronenburger
Steve Smith AKA “The Flower Man” Scott Langer
Ron Thompson Jean Pummill

All Photos from the Meeting are Here

Happy Birthday to Scott Langer

Today was Scott Langer’s Birthday. Bob Duffy led our infamous group of singers. It was an awful sound as always, but it still makes everyone smile. Happy Birthday to Scott Langer!

Today’s Speaker

Dick Stevens introduced Jim Finke, CEO, and Charlie Ballinger, Regional Sales Manager, from Crystal Spirits, a small distiller of Handcrafted Buckeye Vodka.

Jim Fink spoke to us. He said, “Thanks for having him here today.” He asked, “How many have heard of Buckeye Vodka? How many have tried it? How many of you have made it your brand of choice?” Very few answered yes to the last question, so he said, “I need to work harder to increase that number.”

He discussed how the idea of making vodka came about. He was running the 4th generation of a family business called the “Finke Co” which was started in 1886 and has been in Dayton for over 130 years. It was a wholesale non-foods distributor. This business had gotten much smaller and in 2008, they needed to do something else. This was not a good time in the economy. No one was starting a new business. The housing market burst and in December, 2008, GM closed the Moraine assembly plant. In June of 2009, NCR moved 1400 jobs to Georgia. Every family member, friend, neighbor and business owner he knew suffered from the poor economy and those losses.

He and his younger brother in Texas searched for months to find something to buy. The only businesses available were already distressed.

His brother called one day and asked, “What about if we started making vodka?” Alcohol sales is one business that does well in a down economy. They studied the industry and learned that 33% of liquor sales are Vodka. Craft distillers have expanded greatly. Sales of gallon size vodka had increased. People were willing to sacrifice quality for more quantity at the same price. Small craft distillers were a small but growing group. In 2000 there were 12; by 2010 there were 400; today there are 1600 and growing.

They asked themselves if they could make an ultra-premium vodka and sell it under market value.

It all seemed to come together. They would leverage Jim’s experience in distribution and retail merchandising. Additionally, his brother-in-law, Tom Rambasek, owned the Crystal Water Co and it was also hurting because of the economy. They could use this high-quality, distilled water in making their vodka. Plus, Tom had space that could be converted into a distillery.

To keep costs down they developed the company to operate debt free. It is a family business and all 5 of his siblings have shares in the company.

It is very complicated to make and sell spirits in Ohio. They had to hire a lobbyist to help with the state compliance. Ohio controls every aspect of the liquor business. He noted that retail store owners only earn 5% on the sale of liquor. In February, 2010 they met with state liquor control board. The state controls and can also guarantee distribution. They gave them 210 stores which is half of all the stores in the state.

For a great product you want a great name and a great package. The name Buckeye Vodka came up in the first conversation about the name. There was concern that brand name may not sell very well in Michigan.

The wanted their product to be pure, smooth, handcrafted, using the best ingredients. It is to be made with the best water and grains using efficient technology and create a superior quality product. The distilled water is tested to 10 micro ohms which means it is nearly perfectly pure.

Once they decided on a designer and name in April 2010, they found out that Ohio State University wanted to prevent them from using the brand name which cost them 9 months. This eventually worked out. It took 9 months to settle on the bottle design. During this process the governor of Ohio changed which can disrupt the process because all new people come in on the liquor board.

They were finally granted a federal license in February, 2011.

Quick Facts

  • Their product is distilled 10 times. Depending on how you examine the process, it is technically closer to 30 distillations
  • Each batch is 430 gallons.
  • It takes about 1 week from start to finish to make a batch.
  • The filtering is what is the major influencer of the taste, not the number of distillations.
  • The first year they sold 3500 cases which was a huge success. The state of Ohio almost gave them no distribution because they thought the product wouldn’t sell.
  • In 2012 they sold 5700 cases.
  • In 2016 they sold 10,000 cases.
  • They now sell in Kentucky and West Virginia, and most recently to Illinois. Their plan is to be in 10-15 states in the next few years.
  • In 2012 there were named the Ohio Distillery of the year.
  • In 2014 they were permitted to make 1.75-liter bottles.
  • Their product is gluten free and this is stated on the bottle. Unlike many other brands their vodka is made from corn from Ohio and the Midwest, which grows the best corn in the world.
  • They now have 3 sales reps.

They have just hired Greg Sabatino from Sabatino West advertising agency to do broadcasting and heighten awareness of the brand.

Locally they get some help. They received a lot of publicity from local media such as channel 45 and the Dayton Business Journal.

He said, “We’re looking forward to seeing what the increased awareness will do for sales.”


Member Birthday
Clint Freese January 29
Scott Langer January 29
Karen Sirmans January 31
David Ladd February 01
Donna Huss February 01
Mike Schwartz February 3

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
Todd Kelchner January 30 1/30/1992 27
Mike Bevis January 31 1/31/2002 17
Rachel Goetz January 31 1/31/2013 6

New Member Readings and Inductions

Name Sponsor 1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Doug Reno Carolyn Taylor 3rd Reading
Katie Calloway Gary Hansen 2nd Reading
Cheryl Dowd Joan Cordonnier 2nd Reading
Ashley Simeone Emily Duke 2nd Reading
Ron Thompson Jean Pummill 2nd Reading
Dan Apolito Scott Langer 1st Reading

Sergeants at Arms

No time for sergeants this week.

 Happy Bucks! 

No time for Happy Bucks this week.

CNOtes – January 22, 2019 – Jim McCutcheon – “The Guitar Man”

Today’s Guests

Guest Guest Of
Jack Grady Mike Bevis
Sherry Marchal Grey Fay
Jim McCutcheon Speaker
Ron Thompson Jean Pumill

All Photos from the Meeting are Here

Substitute MC today

Donna Huss is on vacation. President-elect Greg Griffin was the master of ceremonies for today’s lunch.

Committee Announcements

Greg Griffin discussed the NOW event from last Thursday 1/17/2019. We gained 5 new members. Also, new members found out more about our club. Thank you to everyone who helped at the NOW event.

Beth Duncan, social committee, announced that there is a Dinner/Euchre party on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 6PM at Bennett’s Publical Family Sports Grill in Miamisburg. Cost is only $5/person.

Greg Fay announced that Ron Tinnerman has arranged for Janelle Ross to be a speaker soon for Optimist 2.0.

Greg Fay announced the next several CNO 2.0 events. All are from 5:30 PM to approximately 7 PM.

  • 2/21/2019 Bill Defries, CEO of Copp Integrated Systems, at Nelly’s Taste of Boliva
  • 3/21/2019 John Highley, Owner of Dent Magic John, at Heavier Than Air Brewing
  • 4/18/2019 Cindy Gaboury, Owner of Audio Etc., at OIllie’s Place

Today’s Speaker and Concert

Dick Stevens introduced Jim McCutcheon, who is known as the “Guitar Man”. He owns McCutcheon Music in Centerville on Marco Lane. He started playing the guitar and other instruments when he was 10 years old and he loves them.

Jim shared some of his story and played the guitar for us. He started with a joke. He said, “Hello, I have been Jim McCutcheon for 67 years.”

In his youth he took lessons for 4 years. He went UD to study physics. It was there that he found a private tutor for guitar. The tutor said, “You only have 2 problems. Your left hand and your right hand.” Jim got to study under him for a short time each year for 4 years. He was thankful to find this teacher. He had not improved his playing for several years and this teacher helped him figure out how to get to the next level of playing.

The first song he played for us was “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin. It was amazing! It sounded like his guitar came alive.

He completed his bachelor’s degree in physics and was accepted into medical school. By now, though, he wasn’t sure if he liked the idea of becoming a doctor more than becoming a musician. His advisor at medical school said, “I’ll give you 2 years to decide what you want to do when you grow up.”

Jim, after college, was playing or practicing music for 65 hours a week. He said, “I lived a life of music. I had more energy at the end of week than he had at the beginning of the week. I truly loved music.”

He was part of a band that was similar in style of the Juthro Tull rock band and they went on tour. Jim played guitar and flute.

He decided to go with music over med school. He became the first graduate with a degree in classical guitar from Wright State University and it was also the first degree of this type in Montgomery County. After graduation, he got a job at Sinclair teaching classical guitar. Eventually, he also received jobs at Wright State and Antioch.

The second song was number one in 1968, which was surprising at the time because there were no lyrics. The song he played was “Classical Gas” by Mason Williams. He got to meet Mason in 1969. Jim really loved how much Mason could do with a guitar. This was also amazing to listen to.

Later, Jim started teaching lessons in his home. His wife was not thrilled with all the students coming into their home. Jim then rented space across from where City Barbecue is. After a few years, he outgrew that space and moved to where he is now on Marco Lane in Centerville.

McCutcheon Music now has 50 teachers and teaches 500 students a week. He has a great staff of 18 people. He keeps expanding into more available space in the building he occupies. He loves the path that his career has taken. When he was younger, he never thought he would own over 500 violins that would be rented out to students.

The last song he played was a famous Spanish song called “Malaguena” by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona. It was mesmerizing.

Thank you “Guitar Man” for entertaining us today!


Member Birthday
Todd Kelchner January 24
Martha Jackson January 25
Dan Passidomo January 26
Gary Hansen January 28

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
Jeff Kujawa January 22 1/22/2015 4
Mike Yoder January 22 1/22/2014 5
John Thompson January 23 1/23/2018 1
Greg Wasmund January 25 1/25/2007 12
Chris McAlpine January 27 1/27/2009 10

New Member Readings and Inductions

Name Sponsor 1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Doug Reno Carolyn Taylor 2nd Reading
Katie Calloway Gary Hansen 1st Reading
Cheryl Dowd Joan Cordonnier 1st Reading
Ashley Simeone Emily Duke 1st Reading
Ron Thompson Jean Pummill 1st Reading

Sergeants at Arms

Member Infraction
Anyone who lives where you don’t have to shovel snow. in a condo or aparment For not having to shovel snow
Jane Fiehrer Late to meeting
Charlie Tapp Being the “best” dressed today (he was pretty casual)
Carrie Million Being very specific to the sergeants about which three 50/50 tickets she wants. She wanted one from the beginning, middle, and the end of the row.
Casey Wyckoff Late to meeting
Gary Smiga Picture in the paper without wearing Optimist pin
Diane Arehart Didn’t return badge last week
Greg Griffin Lost the bell and gavel

 Happy Bucks! 

Member Reason
Dan Beck Expecting grandbaby twins later this year, a boy and girl.
Art Hung Son cam home last Wednesday from Children’s. Thank you for all the love, cards and notes you sent.
Paul Stull It has been nearly 50 years since he joined CNO and he feels like a kid.
Julie Noeth Having a tractor with a plow so she didn’t have to shovel snow over the weekend.

CNOtes – January 15, 2019 – Community Champion Awards Presented

Phather Phil’s Prayer

Heavenly Father May we realize that life is like a coin – we can spend it any way we want – but we can only spend it once. For us to be Optimist we must look at service as a joy and not a duty. We demonstrate the truest faith when others see You in us. The cost – is the amount of our life we put in it. You have established us as men and women of purpose in Your Kingdom. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. Help us be Your hands and heart were ever You my lead us. Amen!
Guest Of
Kate Barrett Honoree’s Guest
Heather Cantrell Honoree’s Guest
Natalie Heimann Honoree’s Guest
Shellie Hembre Honoree’s Guest
Jeff Johns Honoree’s Guest
Tonya Johns Honoree
Bill Kilgore Honoree’s Guest
Jane Lane Honoree’s Guest
Doug Reno Carolyn Taylor
Jani Rice Honoree
Tony Rice Honoree’s Guest
Morgan Schiffhauer Diane Arehart
Amy Staup Honoree’s Guest
Ranae Street Mike Bevis
Abby Watson Honoree’s Guest
Pastor Charlie Woodward Honoree’s Guest

All Photos from the Meeting are Here

New CNO Event Tent Demonstration

Jesse Gaither demonstrated the new and improved CNO tent and banners. This can be set-up by 2 individuals and has a carrying case on wheels. This is such a nice improvement for our club and will be visible at all events.

Chuck Dickerson Memorial Scholarship

The Chuck Dickerson Memorial Scholarship was established in 2018 by the family of Chuck Dickerson. Chuck was an eternal optimist and entrepreneur who believed in service to his family and community. Chuck lived his life by the optimist creed, remaining too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. The scholarship is for children or grandchildren of current or past members of the Centerville Noon Optimist.

The next deadline for submission is 3/8/2019.

Scholarship Criteria

  • Be a graduating high school senior
  • Be accepted to a two- or four-year college or university
  • Demonstrate a commitment to community service
  • Be the child or grandchild of a current or past member of the Centerville Noon Optimists

Direct link to the scholarship is

A list of other scholarships are at

Committee Announcements

Diane Arehart, social committee, announced that there is a Dinner/Euchre party on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 6PM at Bennett’s Publical Family Sports Grill in Miamisburg. Cost is only $5/person.

President Donna Huss said thanks to Barbara Santo for providing the deserts for the birthday table. She always does a great job.

We sang Happy Birthday to Bob Duffy

Bob Duffy’s birthday is on January 15 and that was today’s date! That means Charlie Tapp was tapped to conduct a loving yet audibly awful rendition of Happy Birthday. Thanks to the everyone who sang today for their extreme efforts of musical embarrassment.

Presentation of 2019 Community Champion Awards

Tonya Johns

Judy DeMarco introduced Tonya Johns, who is a Volunteer at Epiphany Lutheran Church. She started Operation Prom Dress in 2011. This outreach event gives each young woman a dress, shoes, purse, hair styling, make-up, a meal, various door prizes and a bible.  She briefly spoke about this project.

Operation Prom Dress began in 2011 because a youth group member could not afford a prom dress. Tonya researched and found a program from other states where they collect used prom dresses and distribute them to girls who cannot afford to buy a new dress. She and her friend April started Operation Prom Dress to address this need. They have a lunch with an onsite professional photo shoot.

Each year approximately 200 youths are served. They have about 150 volunteers.

Many of those who were served are now dedicated volunteers. Tonya said she was honored to accept this award on behalf of Epiphany church and the volunteers. Epiphany Lutheran Church at 6430 Far Hills Ave accepts donations that help with this project, including dresses, shoes and handbags.

Jani Rice

Mike Bevis introduced Jani Rice, who has been a nurse with Dayton Children’s Hospital for over 30 years. Jani wears many hats in the hematology and oncology department. She is the Long Term Follow Up and Bone Marrow Transplant Nurse coordinator as well as manages an off-site clinic in Middletown.

She helped expand the fertility preservation program, obtaining funds to help offset costs for the patients and created and implemented education sheets for the fertility program. Jani created a binder to educate and ease the minds of the parents of patients.

Jani briefly spoke about her work. She thanked us for recognizing her work. She has worked with fertility preservation since 2000. She never thought she would get an award, she was just doing her job. The fertility preservation service was researched, and it is a huge quality of life enhancement for those who will likely be infertile in the future. She knows 2 ladies so far who have had children that would not have been able to without this fertility preservation program.

Kate Barrett, the nurse manager at Children’s also spoke about the great service Jani does. She is very proud to work with Jani who she said is an amazing nurse.

Future Community Champion Candidates

Please let Mike Bevis or Judy DeMarco of anyone you know who goes above and beyond in helping the youth in our community.

The nomination form is available here.


Member Birthday
Bill Powell January 15
Bob Duffy January 15
Barbara Santo January 17
Myron Rheaume January 20
Gary Smiga January 21

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
Deb Ulrich January 18 1/18/2017 2
Dick Lee January 18 1/18/2017 2
Lynne Reilly January 18 1/18/2017 2
Pam Miller January 18 1/18/2017 2
Shawn Thacker January 18 1/18/2017 2
Dennis Glidden January 19 1/19/2018 1
Gary DeMarco January 20 1/20/2016 3

New Member Readings and Inductions

Name Sponsor 1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Emily Duke Gary DeMarco Induction
Candace Rinke Brent Richburg / Gary DeMarco Induction
Morgan Schiffhauer Diane Arehart Induction

Sergeants at Arms

Member Infraction
Don Skelton It has been two and half years since he last attended a CNO lunch.
Mike Brubaker Stole 2 of the 7 50/50 Tickets Sue Brubaker bought.
Anyone with a birthday this month Not sitting at the birthday table.
Scott Langer Late to the meeting.
Mike Yoder Since current CNO Sergeant Chris McAlpine gets a speeding ticket every couple of years, he decided to fine Mike as well.
Diane Arehart Asking for change of a $20 in order to buy 50/50 tickets.

 Happy Bucks! 

Member Reason
Bob Burkman Carol Burkman is walking around without a cane. She is feeling much better.
Charlie Tapp Thankful for the big goody bag from Childhood cancer committee for his granddaughter Gracie.
Kate Barrett (guest) Thank you to CNO for everything it does for Children’s and the area.
Laurie Poeppelman Thank you for the wonderful flowers sent for her mother-in-law’s funeral.
Sue Brubaker Now has 7 tickets for 50/50 drawing after getting back two of them from Mike Brubaker.
Jean Pummill Was able to attend meeting without her scooter.
Jean Pummill Granddaughter born over the weekend.
Casey Wyckoff Thank you to everyone for helping her with the CCDHH.
Art Hung Thanks to Dayton Children’s for taking great care of his son.
Myron Rheaume Glad his wife Charla could attend today’s meeting.
Myron Rheaume Wife wasn’t fined even though it was not her birthday and she sat at the birthday table.
Donna Huss Thanks to Casey Wyckoff for chairing CCDHH.