In Memory of Phather Phil Robinson and All About Our Christmas Tree Lot Fundraiser

In Loving Memory of Phil Robinson

Our own Phil Robinson died on November 4, 2021 at the age of 96. He joined the Centerville Noon Optimist Club on April 1, 1982. Many knew him by his other name, “Phather Phil.” He wrote and gave the prayer each week to start CNO lunch meetings for decades. His prayers often had a fun twist or play on words with a good message. He started each meeting with, “Good afternoon Nooners!” I find it very interesting that his join date was April Fool’s Day. He was always so happy and had a grin that seemed to say, “I just told a joke that might have crossed the line and would you like to hear another one?”

Stories Shared about Phather Phil

Kelly Stone said for years Phil loved helping with the Christmas Jars. He would be so excited to buy lots of rolls of quarters, with his own money, and then going to her office to fill the jars. The jars were distributed anonymously to those who might benefit from a little boost at Christmas.

Don Kelley said that for good luck, Phil always had green life savers in his pocket when playing golf. Phil never took a penalty shot for a lost ball because, “Losing the ball is penalty enough!”

Gail Aiken said she, Gary, Phil and Tom Fraizer often played golf together. Phil and Tom had a lot of bets with each other. The last time Phil played with Tom at Yankee Trace, Tom had parred the first 2 holes. After Tom had passed away Phil was playing with her and Gary, and Phil parred the first 2 holes. On the third hole, Phil hit the green on his drive. As they approached the green a hailstorm came up so they could not finish the hole. Phil looked towards the sky and said, “Damn you Frazier – you just couldn’t let me beat you!”

Ted Humphrey remembers Phil’s last round of golf. Phil only played 6 holes. On a par 5, Phil hit a good shot off the tee. When his swing should have been complete, his body kept rotating with the club, and he fell over backwards. Smiling, Phil requested to be dragged back to the cart. He went on to par the hole.

In Loving Memory of Philip Edward Robinson

Phil wrote his own obituary.

Philip E. Robinson aka Phather Phil

I left you all on 11-4-2021. I’ve had a good long life since 07-26-25. I’ve seen the passing of my parents, Philip & Gladys, my wife, Eileen, and our son, Dan. But I’ve had the good fortune of still having our daughter, Terry Burns and her husband, Dick, and our son, Douglas “Skip” Robinson. Four granddaughters, Tammy Hyman and her husband, Dan, Tiffany Gardner and her husband, Ryan, Heather Brom and Sarah Criscola and her husband, Paul, and one grandson, Tim Collins. Each of the girls knew they were my favorite. Lol. One of the joys of having a long life are seeing your great grandchildren. I had seven! Aaron, Zachary, and Sarah Hyman, Jaxon and Blake Gardner, and Weston and Finley Criscola.

I’ve enjoyed many friends, in particular those of my church, the church without walls, and Centerville Noon Optimist who bring out the best in kids and yourself and, of course, Lynne Reilly. Having been blessed so richly, I hope I was a blessing to all who knew me. My parting advice is if you want to live the good life, be the kind of person that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says “Oh crap they are up.”

Donations to the Memory of Phil Robinson

In lieu of flowers, please donate in his name to:

  • Restoration Church Re: Mortgage Fund or
  • Noon Optimist Club of Centerville Re: Long Term Planning (PO Box 750492, Centerville, OH 45475).


  • Debe Dockins announced that she is looking for volunteers to do face painting at the Centerville Hometown Holiday Walk on Sunday, 11/21/2021 from 2-4 PM. The event is put on by the Heart of Centerville and Washington Township organization (of which CNO is a member).
  • Christy Gariety, Adopt-a-Family co-chair, announced that she and Sue Jessee are accepting $50 gift cards at CNO lunches and on Christmas Tree Delivery Day (Nov 20) with activation code receipts from Kohl’s, Target, or Walmart to be given to families this holiday season. The cards need to be received by 11/29/2021. You may also mail the gift cards with the activation receipts and a note stating, “From Centerville Noon Optimist Member”, to Centerville Schools, Adopt A Family Program, 111 Virginia Ave, Centerville OH 45458. Email her if you send a donation.
  • Debe Dockins said we need volunteers to bring soups and chilis for tree delivery day at the tree lot on November 20th, 2021. She is looking for 17 slow cookers hot and ready to go with soup. You can also sign up to bring corn muffins, cookies, or brownies.
  • Jesse Gaither announced the next CNO 2.0 event is on 11/18/2021 at Loose Ends Brewing Company at Spring Valley and Route 48.
  • Greg Griffin announced the tree lot will be open 11/26/2021. The shifts all end by 8 PM each evening. Please show up for your assigned shifts to help with one of your club’s major fundraisers.
  • Craig Dring announced that the TOP Optimist Club is selling Poinsettia’s for $15 as a fundraiser. Delivery will be December 7, 2021 at the noon lunch meeting.
  • Bill Stone, the Ohio district chair for the OI Foundation (OIF) last year, said donations to the OIF were way up last year. CNO’s generosity is also really up. The newest CNO members of the President’s Club, donating $250 or more to OIF, are: Gary Aiken, Diane Arehart, Christine Balsan, Mike Bevis, Greg Fay, Gary Smiga, and Bill Williams. The Optimist International Foundation was established in 1971 exclusively for the charitable, literary, and educational purposes of Optimist International. Thanks to all that donated. Giving to OIF increased by $1 million over the previous year to $2.4 million.
  • Greg Griffin announced that last weekend was the Great Ohio District Conference. There were 51 attendees. Debe Dockins is the newest Lieutenant Governor for Zone 3. There was a service project making journals for Crayons to Classroom which earns us the right to give a “shop” at Crayons to Classroom to a teacher in one of our schools. Fundraiser ideas were shared between clubs. If you have not been to a district meeting before, you should consider going. They are fun and you will learn a lot as well

Dates to Remember

  • 11/18/2021, 5:30 PM, CNO 2.0 Meeting at Loose Ends Brewing Company
  • 11/20/2021, 8 AM to 11 AM, Tree Delivery Day, no need to sign up, please just show up
  • 11/26/2021, The Tree Lot opens for sales to the public. Your Team captain will let you know when you are scheduled to volunteer.

CNO Christmas Tree Lot Fundraiser

Gary Hansen introduced Greg Griffin, a co-chair for the Christmas Tree lot. Greg went over our annual Christmas Tree Fundraiser. Karl Frydryk is the other co-chair. This is the 53rd time we have held the Christmas Tree Lot Fundraiser.

You can view the tree lot presentation slide deck here

The tree lot opens on November 26, 2021 and we should be closed by December 11, 2021. Every evening the tree lot will close at 8 PM.

The tree lot is located behind the Centerville BMV and City Hall, at 104 W. Spring Valley Rd. Remember that the BMV is open during the week and Saturdays, so please do not park there or at city hall. Park at Walgreens or over by The Famous restaurant.

Everyone in the club is assigned to a team and each team has been assigned shifts to work. By now, you should have been contacted by your tree lot team captain. Please show up for your shifts to help share the work with your fellow club members to raise money for our community youth scholarships, contests, programs and other community youth related donations!

Tree Delivery Day

Two trucks with 840 trees need to be unloaded on November 20th, 2021, from 8 AM to 11 AM. Donuts and coffee will be available. After we are done there will be several hot soups and chilis to enjoy. No need to sign up, just show up. We need everyone who can to help please. There are jobs that do not require lifting.

Normally we purchase 990 trees, but there is a severe shortage of Christmas Trees and we are lucky to be getting 840 trees. It helped that we have a long history of purchasing from our 2 suppliers.

What is the Christmas Tree Lot?

  • Major CNO Club Fundraiser
  • Club Showcase Opportunity
  • Social Opportunity
  • A tradition for our Customers

Tips for the Tree Lot

  • Wear layered clothes to keep you warm
  • Bring gloves that can get dirty with tree sap
  • Wear boots that you don’t mind getting muddy or getting tree sap on them
  • When you arrive at the lot for a sales shift, go into the sales trailer, mark that you were there and grab your name tag

Tree Lot Services Members Provide

  • Sales
  • Taking Trees off Stands
  • Spinning Trees Around
  • Carrying Trees
  • Fresh cut off the bottom of trees
  • Load trees in trucks or tying them to the tops of cars
  • Delivery within 7 miles for $10 – we do not take the trees inside of homes

Items Sold at the Tree Lot

  • Frazier and Balsam Firs
  • Douglas Fir
  • Scotch Pine
  • Door Sprays
  • Pine Roping
  • Tree Stands
  • Wreaths and Hangers
  • Bags for tree disposal
  • Bottles of Prolong Christmas Tree Preservative
  • Optimist Ornament

Additional Information

  • We accept Cash, Check or Credit Cards.
  • Ask parents before you offer their kids a candy cane.
  • Do not negotiate the price of a tree. Remind customers if they ask for a discount that our trees are of the highest quality and we are fundraising to support youth in their community.
  • We have occasionally agreed to donate a tree for a few needy causes. There is a form to fill out and someone will investigate that the request is legitimate.
  • CNO members that volunteer for sales shifts get a discount on trees they purchase.
  • Do Not Park at the BMV or the City Hall when they are open. Park at the Famous or Walgreens instead.
  • There is a Port-o-Potty on site.
  • We may close early in bad weather.
  • We have a truck we borrow from Voss for tree delivery. It is very important that before you drive the truck you must make a copy of your drivers license and sign the driver log.

Thank You

Thank you, Greg Griffin, for telling us about our annual Christmas Tree Lot fundraiser.

Thanks to all CNO members for helping with one of our very successful fundraisers. We cannot do it without the generous time of our members.

New Member Readings and Inductions

NameSponsor1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Mark PolingStan Franzaglia2nd Reading

Welcome Guests!

GuestGuest Of
Caroline LieblBob Duffy

Happy Bucks

No Happy Bucks this week.

Sergeants at Arms

No Sergeants this week.

Membership Anniversaries

No club anniversaries this week (this is RARE)


Ken IrwinNovember 9
Dean HeyneNovember 10
Becky KeeganNovember 12
Kelly GeorgeNovember 12

CNO Donations – 2013 through September 2021

Click here to see a summary of donations the club has made since 2013

Thank You Notes Received

No Thank You Notes were received this week.

Links to PowerPoint and Pictures

A Copy of this Week’s Meeting PowerPoint Slide Deck is here

The photos taken at Today’s Meeting are here.

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