CNOtes – June 4, 2019 – Educator of the Year and Memorial Scholarships Presented

Phather Phil’s Prayer

Heavenly Father at times we act like a silly goose. We labor over how and what to say in our prayers. We hesitate because It just doesn’t sound right or it doesn’t sound pretty. We should know by now, You do not judge based on the words we use nor the folly of our tongues. When we come to You in earnest prayer, You already know what our hearts want to convey. Your children just want You to know how much we love You and need your love and guidance. Thanks for all of our blessings. Amen!

Today’s Guests

Guest Guest Of
Tom Brozich Mike Bevis
Chuck Doran Jane Fiehrer
Martin Huffstutler Brandon Barret
Karen Mills Awardee’s Family
Madeline Mills Scholarship Winner
Lisa Reibly Awardee’s Family
Nick Reibly Scholarship Winner
Jonathan Rich Mike Bevis
Sarah Schaade Erin Belangia-Sanchez
Sarah Swan EOTY Peer
Matt Szozda Educator of the Year
Dan Tarpey EOTY Peer
Angela Whitehead Awardee’s Family
Chris Whitehead Awardee’s Family
Emily Whitehead Scholarship Winner
Kevin Whitehead Awardee’s Family
Rachel Whitehead Awardee’s Family

All Photos from the Meeting are Here

Committee Announcements

Brent Richburg, Americana Booth committee, asked people to please sign up to help with the information booth on July 4, 2019 to share with perspective members what we do for the community and how they can join and help.

Bob Burkman, flag committee, said volunteers are needed for flag delivery and assembly.

Bob Lawson thanked all the volunteers that helped make the Fishing Derby a success last weekend.

Jerry Stahley reported that at the Junior Golf tournament yesterday, 94 kids played golf and Jerry thanked everyone who volunteered.

Upcoming Social Events

Beth Duncan, social committee, announced social activities for the rest of 2019 so that you can save the dates.

  • 6/28/2019 – 6:30 PM, Friday, Dinner at Valley Vineyard
  • 7/19/2019 – 6:30 PM, Friday, Euchre party at TBD
  • 8/10/2019 – 5:30 PM, Saturday, Cookout, Outdoor games, Monte Carlo Night at TBD
  • 9/24/2019 – 6 PM?, Tuesday, Presidential Installation Dinner at the Presidential Banquet Center
  • October 2019, ALL DAY, Keeneland Horse Racing, there will be a chartered bus
  • 11/8/2019 – 6:30 PM?, Friday, Euchre party at TBD
  • 12/10/2019 – 6 PM?, Tuesday, Holiday Party at Yankee Trace

Bringing out the Best in Kids Award

Gary Smiga discussed the history of the “Bringing out the Best in Kids Award”.     Begun as an “Achievement in Education” Award in 2003, it became the “Bringing out the Best in Kids'” Award to honor Margaret Barclay’s theme for her year as Ohio District Governor.  We have had 18 recipients, including public and private school administrators, principals, and teachers from elementary, middle, and high school. Since 2018, our selection process has been to use the CCS Teacher of the Year nominee for Ohio’s Teacher of the Year program as our recipient.

Matt Szozda is the 2019 recipient of the award. Matt is an outstanding, young and successful Art teacher. He currently works at Cline Elementary. He has been with the district for 8 years. Matt is the Centerville City School nominee for Ohio’s Teacher of the Year.

Shirley Kurtz, the principal of Cline, nominated him. She said to us, “Matt Szozda is the teacher you want your students to have. He teaches from the heart and uses self-reflection. He gets students to use creativity to solve complex world problems. Remember these are 2nd through 5th graders. The students become civic minded problem solvers.”

Matt thanked the Centerville Noon Optimist club. He said this is not the crowd he normally speaks to. He mentioned our audience is a just a little bit older than his students. He scanned the room earlier and noticed the Optimist Creed on the wall. He noted one of the key ideas of the creed is believing in yourself and believing in others. These are the key things he tries to teach his students. He said, “Thank you so much for the honor you have given me today.”

Gary Smiga gave the name plate with Matt Szozda’s name to Superintendent Tom Henderson. The plate will be added to the permanent plaque on display in the front foyer at the Central office for Centerville Schools’ on Virginia Avenue.

Additional guests to witness the award presentation today from Centerville Schools were Dan Tarpey (Directory of Human Resources) and Sarah Swan (Community Relations Specialist).

Educational Assistance Awards

Gary Smiga presented the 2019 Educational Assistance Awards. Most of this article comes from the notes Gary prepared for this presentation.

From Gary:

It is my pleasure to be able to introduce this year’s Centerville Noon Optimist Club’s Memorial Educational Assistance Award winners.  The award is given in the memory of the individuals that have passed away while active members of our club.  The following individuals exemplified what it meant to give back to your community with their service and character:

  • Tom Frazier- 1994
  • Tom Craig- 1994
  • Denise Goeckel- 1998
  • Dick Lewin- 2002
  • Corwin Robinson- 2005
  • Steve Fisher- 2007
  • Dave Petree- 2007
  • Jim Hawley- 2010
  • Margaret Barclay- 2010
  • Tom Gravlin- 2013
  • Terry Blair-2014
  • Dave Milam- 2014
  • Ken Bluhm- 2015
  • John Hughes- 2015
  • Mike Hayes- 2015
  • Wes Hamdan- 2016
  • Tim Gibson- 2017
  • Linda Fisher- 2017
  • Brent Moore- 2018
  • Chuck Dickerson- 2018

Please join me in a moment of silence as we remember these fine individuals.

The qualifications for our Educational Assistance award are as follows:

  1. Be a graduating high school senior that will be attending a college/university offering a two/four-year degree upon the completion of an accredited program;
  2. Be a resident of Centerville/Washington Township;
  3. Have a strong record of participation in community service activities; and
  4. Possess a financial need as affirmed by the FAFSA.

Before I introduce this year’s winners, I would like to recognize the committee who read the applications and made this year’s selections: Gail Aiken, Will Cale, Bob Duffy, and Roberta Taylor.

I would also like to thank the CNO Board of Directors for budgeting funds to support this scholarship program, as well as the entire Centerville Noon Optimist Club membership for having worked in the various fundraising activities to allow for this program and many of the others that we do to be a reality.

This year we have 4 award recipients, 3 of them were with us today.

Madeline Mills

Madeline brought her Mother, Karen Mills.

Madeline attended Centerville High School and she is ranked 28th in a senior class of 647 students with a GPA of 4.56.

Madeline’s Extracurricular and Community Service Activities include:

  • Tennis
  • Speech and Debate
  • French Club
  • Model UN
  • Poetry Club
  • Chem Buddies
  • Key Club
  • Lunch Buddies
  • Church Youth Group
  • National Honor Society

Madeline currently works at Mathnasium of Centerville. She will be attending Purdue University and her major is Chemical Engineering.

She told us about Chem Buddies. If you are taking AP chemistry, you can volunteer to participate. They go to Centerville elementary and middle schools and present experiments to students and explain the science.

Excerpts form Madeline’s essay:

Youth is the future of society. It will be the youths who make the decisions of the future. Providing youth services is necessary to make sure they are capable of being our future leaders. She is member of Lunch Buddies and she said one of the rolls of a high school student is to improve the community.

Nicholas Reibly

Nicholas brought his mother, Lisa Reibly.

Nicholas attended Centerville High School and he is ranked 293rd in a senior class of 647 students with a GPA of 3.6082.

Nicholas’s Extracurricular and Community Service Activities include:

  • Varsity Football
  • Senior Captain
  • 2018 Sonny Unger Award
  • Elk Pride Award
  • Lunch Buddies
  • Leadership Academy
  • Centerville Baseball Umpire
  • Centerville 7th grade Football Assistant Coach
  • Centerville Kids Football Camp

Nicholas currently works at Home Depot. He will be attending the University of Findlay. He will continue to play football at college. After college he would like to teach in a high school.

Nicholas is a 2018 recipient of the Sonny Unger award, which is presented to a CHS outstanding football athlete. The Sonny Unger Foundation was established in 1966 to honor the memory of a true American hero, Lester E. “Sonny” Unger. He was killed in Vietnam. The Sonny Unger Foundation keeps alive the memory of Sonny by awarding two scholarships to Seniors on Centerville High School’s Football Team. The recipients are deemed most like the character and dedication of Sonny.

Excerpts from Nicholas’ essay:

The youth of the today will be the leaders of tomorrow. Services for youth are important. The future of a town is dependent on its youth. Employment, volunteering, and sports give students a since of purpose.

Emily Whitehead

Emily brought her mother, Angela, her father, Chris, her brother, Kevin and her sister, Rachel.

Emily attended Centerville High School and she is ranked 4th in a senior class of 647 students with a GPA of 4.9455.

Emily’s Extracurricular and Community Service Activities include:

  • Varsity Soccer
  • Scholar Athlete
  • Student Council
  • Piano Instructor
  • Band- Alto Saxophonist and Pianist
  • Model UN
  • Elk Connectors
  • Junior Leadership Dayton
  • TOP Soccer
  • Safetyville Square
  • Elks for Seniors

Emily currently works at Mathnasium in Centerville. She will be attending the University of North Carolina.  She would like to go to graduate school to study International Business or attend Law School.

Emily discussed Elks for Seniors. It was recently created by students at CHS. They volunteer at St Leonard’s once a week.

Excerpts from Emily’s essay:

Her mother taught her to take care of your mind, body and soul each day. We need to help youth be properly clothed, fed and given opportunities to help the community. High school students can be significant role models for younger students. She set a good example for young students and talked to the student councils at all the Centerville City elementary and middle schools. Give youth a chance to help make the future better for the community.

Tonja Kaissieh

Tonja Kaissieh was not able to join us today and she will be introduced to the club at an upcoming meeting.

Award Presentation and Summary

Gary introduced CNO President Donna Huss who presented the awards to the recipients. Each of our recipients will receive a $1500 check that they can use towards the cost of attendance at the university they have chosen.

This award is renewable for a second year with a continued financial need, continued involvement in school, community or faith-based activities, and a freshman grade point average of at least a 3.0.

We often hear a lot of negative stories about today’s youth that you might begin to wonder if there is any hope for their future and our future.  Today these young individuals have hopefully dispelled those concerns, as they exemplify the qualities that will allow them to move forward and be the leaders and shakers of tomorrow.

Madeline, Nicholas and Emily, we are all very proud of you and we wish you the best at the schools you have chosen to attend.

Fellow Optimists, please join me in a round of applause for these fine individuals.


Member Birthday
Jim Marker May 23
Don Skelton May 25
Cristlyn Johnston May 26
Casey Wyckoff May 30
Mike Witt June 01
Shawna Hatton June 01

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
James Schumacher May 22 5/22/1991 28
Pete Rife May 22 5/22/2013 6
Bob Clements May 25 5/25/2005 14
Paulette Novak May 25 5/25/2005 14
Amy Barker May 26 5/26/2008 11
Cheryl Reichel May 26 5/26/2008 11
Debe Dockins May 26 5/26/2009 10
Bob Burkman May 31 5/31/2003 16
Carol Burkman May 31 5/31/2003 16
Gary Aiken June 1 6/1/1982 37
Wayne Christie June 1 6/1/1988 31

New Member Readings and Inductions

Name Sponsor 1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Mary Ann MacKenzie
Carolyn Taylor Induction
Karin Gilstrap Cindy Harris 2nd Reading

Sergeants at Arms

No time for Sergeants this week.

 Happy Bucks! 

No time for Happy Bucks this Week.

CNOtes – Optimist 2.0 May 16, 2019 – Dan Apolito – Co-Owner Archer’s (and Club Member)

Guests and Members in Attendance

Michelle Apolito
Abbe Devore
Logan Fay
Karin Gilstrap
Gary Poeppelman
Dan Apolito
Diane Arehart
Pat Arehart
Marge Back
Katie Calloway
Bob Crawford
Brendan Cunningham
Judy DeMarco
Emily Duke
Beth Duncan
Greg Fay
Evelyn Griffin
Greg Griffin
Gary Hansen
Cindy Harris
Donna Huss
John Kalaman
Mark Karns
Brian Nolan
Tom Novak
Laurie Poeppelman
Jean Pummill
Brent Richburg
Ashley Simeone
Nick Tarkany
Ron Tinnerman
Jayne Weikel

All Photos from the Meeting are here

CNO 2.0 Venue and Details

The venue for tonight’s CNO 2.0 meeting was Heavier than Air Brewing Company. Thank you to CNO member Nick Tarkany and his team for allowing us to take over their bar tonight.

There was a 50/50 drawing won by CNO member Judy DeMarco. With the raffle, $45 was raised for Optimist International.

We had 27 members and 5 guests in attendance.


President Donna Huss presented award pins for sponsoring new members to CNO 2.0 members Cindy Harris, Emily Duke and Nick Tarkany.

New Member Inductions

Donna Huss inducted Mark Karns and Bob Crawford as the two newest members of CNO 2.0. That makes them part of CNO with all the same rights and privileges. Regardless of which CNO club you are in, you are welcome to volunteer for all fundraisers, community events and to participate on any committee.

CNO 2.0 Introduction and Announcements

Greg Fay, CNO 2.0 committee chair, gave us a summary about the club. He thanked everyone for coming tonight. He said it is great to be part of a club with some members who have over 30 years of service experience with the club.

Beth Duncan, co-chair of the Social Committee, said the Social Committee is looking for new members. Remember that CNO 2.0 members can join any committee that a standard CNO member can.

Dan Apolito Co-Owner of Archer’s Tavern Restaurants

Greg Fay introduced Dan Apolito, the co-owner of 2 Archer’s Tavern Restaurants (Centerville and Kettering) and The Stone House Tavern in Waynesville. Dan is a member of CNO 2.0.

Dan told us about the path that led him to owning three popular restaurants.

Dan was born in Bellbrook where his father was a police officer. At age 6 he moved to Centerville. His father taught at CHS and UD and had the Optimist Creed hanging in his home office. Dan attended CHS and worked at J.Alexander’s to help pay for his Bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Dayton.

Dan was involved from the beginning of the restaurant at Yankee Trace golf course.

He interned at Disney World and learned a lot about great customer service from that experience.

Years after leaving J.Alexander’s, they invited him back to be involved in the management of their restaurants. The company moved him to Memphis, Louisville, Cleveland and finally back to Centerville where he and his wife Michelle wanted to raise their family. It was going pretty well except the manager of the Centerville J.Alexander’s had no plans to retire any time soon and he wanted that job.

Applebee’s reached out to him. He spent 8.5 years with the Applebee’s, the first 2 years at the Springfield restaurant and the last 6.5 years as the area director over several restaurants.

After Applebee’s he tried being a financial advisor, but he loved the service industry. He and Mike Fullenkamp (Dan’s partner in the restaurants) had discussions while he was a financial advisor about opening a restaurant together. They thought Centerville could support another restaurant. The idea was to blend the menu of Applebee’s with the same focus on great customer service that J.Alexander’s had.

Dan said he is often asked where they got the name Archer’s Tavern. They were about to open the first restaurant and they still didn’t have a name. They started with around 100 names and narrowed to 15 and still couldn’t decide. Dan decided to go to the Centerville Library and read a book written by the Centerville Historical Society titled, “Sense of Place”. There was a restaurant a long time ago in Centerville called, “Sign of the Cross King’s Tavern”. The owner of the restaurant’s last name was Archer. The restaurant was better known as “Archer’s Place”.

Dan and Mike always try to support the community. If you come in and say you live in the area and need a donation, they almost always help with gift cards or some other way.

Another question Dan is often asked is about the origin of the hamburger with peanut butter called, “Sticky Burger”. Dan is the food guy of the partnership, his partner heads up other areas. However, Mike suggested why don’t we put something weird on the menu. Let’s put peanut butter on a burger and see what happens. They sell tons of “Sticky Burgers”.

Dan credits great customer service for their success. They train their servers to help each other. Someone will greet you within 15-20 seconds of being seated. The goal is to keep customers coming back. If ever there is a problem with food or service, any employee has the authority to make it right without having to go and get approval.

Thanks Dan Apolito for sharing your story with us today!

CNOtes – May 21, 2019 – Avenue of Flags 2019 Season Kickoff Presentation

Phather Phil’s Prayer

Heavenly Father we stand before You in thankful praise even when we unaware of all You do for us. It’s comforting to converse with You. You put us at ease by listening to us and bolstering our faith, mind and soul. Help us not to worry about anything and come to You in prayer and ask for every thing we need. Let us be mindful that You are always with us even when all we say is “Thanks”. Amen!

Today’s Guests

Guest Guest Of
Karin Gilstrap Cindy Harris
Nina Vasiliu Tom Novak

All Photos from the Meeting are Here

Special Notice

There is no lunch meeting on 5/28/2019.

Upcoming Community Events

June 1, 2019, 9AM to 11:30 AM, the Fishing Derby, Bob Lawson said to let those planning on attend know they need to fill out the registration form and bring it to the derby. Spread the word on Facebook! Registration is between 8:00 – 9:00AM. We supply free worms however you are permitted to bring your own bait and lures. We stock the ponds with approximately 400 pounds of Catfish for the Derby. There are other fish also in the ponds – mainly Bluegills. Prizes and trophies for all.  Children ages 5-15 are encouraged to participate and try this event. The event is held at Washington Township Rec Center, in two ponds. Click here for registration form.

2019 Fishing Derby Registration Form

August 10, 2019, St Leonard BoomerFest. We had members from our club within a club from St Leonard at today’s lunch. St Leonard wants everyone to save the date, August 10, 2019 for their Annual BoomerFest. Click for details.

Upcoming Social Events

5/29/2019, 6:30 at Heather’s Café in Springboro, “Dining in the Dark”. There will be a nice meal, but you will be blindfolded during it. The event includes meal, music and silent auction. The cost is $65 per person. The event is a fundraiser and raises awareness about the issues facing the blind community. This is being arranged by Bob Collins’ daughter.

Committee Announcements

Bob Lawson announced that for the upcoming Fishing Derby on June 1, 2019 he needs someone with a pickup to help transfer items to and from the event.

June 25, 2019, 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM a “New Optimist Wanted” (NOW) event will be held at Yankee Trace instead of our traditional lunch. Committee chairs will present what they do to new and prospective new members. There will be a buffet lunch served that day.


President Donna Huss presented two awards today:

  • Scott Langer received a pin for sponsoring 10 new members.
  • Jesse Gaither received the 100-year pin for earning the “Promise Yourself” member award. Donna also mentioned that Jesse’s business Minute Man Press received a business of the year award last week from the City of Centerville.

Avenue of Flags Fundraiser

Donna Huss introduced the three chairs of the CNO Avenue of Flags (AOF) Committee. They are Tom Novak, Mike Brubaker and Bob Burkman. Each spoke to us about our fundraiser.

Flags are delivered on

  • Memorial Day
  • Flag Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day

Especially this time of year, the three committee chairs spend a lot of time away from home. Tom thanked their wives Paulette Novak, Sue Brubaker, and Carol Burkman for their patience with their husbands.

In 2003 to test the fundraiser, they put out 30 flags for free in Quail Run. If Chuck Dickerson had not put up the initial $3000 in funding, the program probably would never have started.

Back in 2005, the first year Avenue of Flags was a fundraiser, they did skits at CNO lunch to educate members about the concept. One of the skits was the Tom and Jerry show played by “Tom” Novak and “Jerry” Stahley. Then there were American Historical characters. Charlie Tapp dressed up as Paul Revere. You need someone to plant the flags, so Ken Peacock played Johnny Appleseed. Benjamin Franklin was played by Chuck Dickerson.

In 2005, the program earned about $1500. As of the end of 2018, net income was $77,750 with 2141 flags being placed on Veterans Day 2018.

The 2019 Avenue of Flags fundraiser is being dedicated to its founder Chuck Dickerson, who left his earthly life in 2018.

Statistics and facts about the program this year from Mike

  • 2001 flags will be delivered for Memorial Day.
  • More subscriptions will be added before each flag delivery day.
  • There are currently 6.6% more subscriptions now than this time last year.
  • For Memorial Day there will be 100 helpers delivering flags, with 30 of them being subscriber helpers that are not members of CNO.
  • Most flags will be delivered on May 23, 2019.
  • Each Flag Route is designed to take about 1.5 hours.
  • The largest route is 160 flags.
  • AOF volunteers build the flags themselves from purchased parts and kits.

Tom explained some more about AOF. Neighbors telling their neighbors about the Avenue of Flags is a large source of new subscribers and it was the only way it worked the first few years.

Helpers go out as 2 person Teams. They are always looking for volunteers. They are very excited to get volunteers that have flag friendly vehicles like mini-vans, SUV’s and pickup trucks.

Bob explained some history about Memorial Day. Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day started on May 30, 1865, to honor the 620,000 people who died in the Civil War. May 30th was chosen because there were no battles on that day. Memorial Day got its current official name in 1967. Currently Memorial Day is on the last Monday of May each year because of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Signed into law on June 28, 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act took effect on January 1, 1971. Bob mentioned that Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May as a tribute to the men and women currently serving in the Armed Forces.


Member Birthday
Jim Marker May 23
Don Skelton May 25
Cristlyn Johnston May 26
Casey Wyckoff May 30
Mike Witt June 01
Shawna Hatton June 01

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
James Schumacher May 22 5/22/1991 28
Pete Rife May 22 5/22/2013 6
Bob Clements May 25 5/25/2005 14
Paulette Novak May 25 5/25/2005 14
Amy Barker May 26 5/26/2008 11
Cheryl Reichel May 26 5/26/2008 11
Debe Dockins May 26 5/26/2009 10
Bob Burkman May 31 5/31/2003 16
Carol Burkman May 31 5/31/2003 16
Gary Aiken June 1 6/1/1982 37
Wayne Christie June 1 6/1/1988 31

New Member Readings and Inductions

Name Sponsor 1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Karin Gilstrap Cindy Harris 1st Reading

Sergeants at Arms

Member Infraction
Anyone wearing shorts Wearing shorts when it is cold, even though it is past the middle of May!
Tom Novak At recent CNO 2.0 meeting spilled beer on new member Mark Karns
Mike Yoder Couldn’t find name badge
Jesse Gaither Late to meeting

 Happy Bucks! 

No time for Happy Bucks this Week.