Dr, Tom Henderson presents annual Youth Appreciation Awards

Erin Dickerson’s Prayer


1 Timothy 4:12 tells us “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young.  Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”

Throughout the Bible, we have examples of young people doing amazing things.  David was a boy when he defeated Goliath.  Jeremiah was 14 when You called him and Samuel was 12.  Josiah was only 8 when he became king.  Today, as we celebrate our youth, help us to remember the amazing things our children and youth are capable of and never to doubt their abilities. 



  • Tom Henderson said thanks to everyone who donated to the Adopt-a-Family program. He said that CNO member donations make up a major impact on this program that will help 340 children and 150 families this year.
  • Jerry Stahley announced the tree lot completely sold out on 12/5/2021. Thanks to everyone who volunteered at the tree lot.
  • Ron Thompson, chair of the Oratorical contest, announced the students will present between 1/24/2021 through 2/21/2021. He needs volunteers to help judge and time the participants, so please contact him if you would like to help.
  • Gary Hansen announced that we need new chairs or co-chairs for the following committees:
    • Got Talent
    • Photography
    • Essay Contest
    • Haunted trail
    • Safety on Wheels

Dates to Remember                       

  • 12/14/2021, 6 PM to 9PM, CNO Holiday Party at Moraine Country Club. The price is $35 per person and includes appetizers, dinner, desert, and valet parking. You must pay ahead of time. There will be a cash bar available. No Jeans.
  • 12/14/2021, there is no lunch meeting at Yankee Trace due to the evening Holiday Party.

Happy Birthday Sarah Umbreit

Today was Sarah Umbreit’s birthday. Charlie Tapp led us in singing Happy Birthday to Sarah. Gary Hansen warned the audience, which included several High School seniors, that they better cover their ears. They probably didn’t cover their ears and now they wish they did! Have a great trip around the Sun Sarah!

Youth Appreciation Awards

Debe Dockins introduced Dr. Tom Henderson, the superintendent of Centerville City Schools. Dr. Henderson said thank you to CNO for the opportunity to recognize these students. He introduced the principles of CHS.

CHS Principals

  • East Unit Principle, Mr. Jack Durnbaugh
  • South Unit, Mr. Chuck Cowgill
  • West Unit, Mr. Jeff Wolff
  • Coordinating Principle, Mr. John Caroll

About the Awards

From Dr. Henderson:

Since 1957, Optimist Clubs have recognized youth for their talents in the arts, athletics, academics, and for contributions to community. Today, I have the honor of introducing three outstanding students from Centerville High School who have been nominated for this year’s Youth Appreciation Award.

All three of these young adults have an extremely strong commitment to and an enthusiasm about their work both in school and in the community. All three of these students demonstrate leadership in a variety of ways. This includes trying to change the world by starting with their own community first and by nurturing the strengths and talents of others building teams committed to achieving commons goals.

The motto of all Optimist Clubs is “Friend of Youth” and this club strives to uphold that motto by providing numerous activities for the youth of our community. Some examples include the Halloween Haunted Trail, Fishing Derby, Oratorical Contests, Sponsorship of Youth Clubs like Jr. Optimist and Octagon Club and many other activities.

So, in keeping with this motto, each year the Centerville Noon Optimist Club recognizes young people who are outstanding citizens and actively involved in their schools, places of worship and communities.

So, let’s meet some of these outstanding young citizens. I am going to ask the Guidance Counselor from each Unit to introduce each student.

Braden Balser

Braden Balser was presented by CHS East Unit Guidance Counselor Megan Leiker.

From Megan Leiker:

My first memory of Braden was shortly after his junior conference last year, my husband and I went to Archers for breakfast. Low and behold, a familiar face greeted us at the door. “I think I just met with you the other day….” He said. And right then and there, I knew Braden Balser was special because he actually acknowledged me, his dorky school counselor, in public. He instantly became my new favorite student. And here we are today….

I’m just kidding… that situation was only icing on the cake for him.

Braden is the East unit pick for the Centerville Noon Optimist Youth Appreciation Program because of his academics, character and involvement throughout the community. Academically, Braden is one of my top seniors with an outstanding 4.3 GPA. He is involved in National Honor Society, BOLD, Peer Tutoring, baseball and serves as an Elk Connector. But, to me, academics aren’t everything and involvement can be superficial… Character is what counts. And Braden’s character is what sets him apart from his peers.

As a member of CHS BOLD, which stands for Building Our Lives Drug Free, advisor Beth Mires had this to say, “Braden is the kind of kid who does the right thing even when no one is looking…”. His baseball coach, Jason Whited commented, “Braden is the most genuine young man I have ever coached.  He is incredibly kind, loyal, and hard working.  He cares about those around him and always finds a way to make those around him better.  He is the ultimate servant leader and helps guide our program towards our “Why” of Best Day Last.  I love every second of coaching him.”

As a counselor and mom myself, this is the ultimate win in life; not the GPA, not the class rank, not the future plans, but to raise and foster a young man who sees the value in being a good person. So, thank you to Braden for being who you are and thank you to Braden’s parents, Brad & Diana, for raising a son you can truly be proud of.

Neveah Haskins

Neveah Haskins was presented by CHS South Unit Guidance Counselor Andrea Fleischman.

From Andrea Felischman

I am thrilled to nominate Neveah Haskins, an outstanding member of the Class of 2022 at Centerville High School, for a Youth Appreciation Award this year.

Neveah has many excellent skills and talents, but her personality is one of the most amazing things about her. She is one of the most thoughtful and considerate people I know. She goes about life with an intention to consider how she will impact others. She’s the type of person who works hard academically so that she can have a chance to earn a scholarship to take the financial burden of paying for college off of her parents. She involves herself in service-oriented activities such as using her strengths to mentor others. Inclusivity is very important to her, and she spends her time as a member of United Sound, helping to make a positive impact on the lives of students with disabilities through music.

Speaking of music, Neveah is a very talented musician, but even more, she has leadership skills and characteristics that have earned her the elite title of Drum Major for the Centerville Marching Band. She had an amazing Thanksgiving Holiday as she led the band through the streets of Manhattan during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year! The amount of dedication, connection with peers, work and time put into preparing for this event is truly inspiring, and I’m in awe of Neveah and her peers for what they have given to be able to have that experience.

In all that she does, she looks for ways to elevate the experience of others whether it’s through music as a Clarinet Mentor or a Rookie Help Sessions Coordinator where she helps underclassmen continue to grow in their marching abilities, or through the AP Mentor program where she helps students who are new to rigorous AP classes feel good about how they’re handling them.

I’m so excited to see how Neveah shares her gifts with others in her future.

Jae-Hee Bae

Jae-Hee Bae was presented by CHS West Unit Guidance Counselor Stella McCrory.

From Stella McCrory

Jae-Hee Bae is a remarkable young woman.  Although she is an outstanding student, what makes her a standout has far more to do with her heart and her vision.  As a middle school student Jae Hee organized a group of musicians, Lyricares that traveled to nursing homes to entertain the residents.  She continued this into high school, but then Covid and all the restrictions hit.  Jae-Hee came up with a way to virtually entertain with recorded video performances.  She called them “Quarantunes!”  She’s smart, caring, and has an awesome sense of humor!

Jae-Hee is the founder of the Do Something Unconventional Project.  She describes this as a “locally grown grassroots movement created to empower and effectuate youth as agents of change in a social ecosystem.”  Using social media, she has connected with around 200 teens in 44 countries.  They have accomplished so many things, but I’d like to highlight the school supply drive for Kosovan orphans where they collected and shipped over 400 euros worth of supplies.  They also created and delivered over 600 Caring Cards for essential workers-handmade cards expressing gratitude and thanks for hard work in difficult circumstances.

Jae-Hee is a member of Civics Unplugged’s Steering Committee-part of an international cohort working in a civic leadership program dedicated to progressing the future of democracy.  She is co-founder of Rhizome, which is a national nonpartisan network that trains and encourages young people in lifelong leadership. 

This past summer, Jae-Hee was accepted as a Wright State Scholar Research Assistant.  She also serves as a teen ambassador on General Attorney Dave Yost’s Teen Ambassador Board.  She is a student leader for University of Cincinnati’s College Credit Plus program.

Jae-Hee is the founder and president of Arts Ascending.  Through this, she reinstated a charity art auction and raised $756 in its virtual debut. 

Jae-Hee is an accomplished violinist.  In addition to CHS’s Honors Philharmonic Orchestra, she is co-concertmaster with Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and she participated with the University of Cincinnati’s Starling Preparatory String Project.  She is also a member of Centerville Chamber Orchestra. 

Jae-Hee has volunteered with Dayton Boys and Girls Club and worked at Bethany Village as a student server.

I’m just scratching the surface of what this young lady does, but did I mention she also has a GPA above a 5.0?  I’m still trying to figure out when she has time to study!  She could do that before school, but she co-founded Jazz Club instead.  What is Jazz Club you ask?  I’ll use Jae-Hee’s words, “An oasis to start the day on a high note; meets in the morning before advisory for jazzy jam sessions.”

Jae-Hee is truly one of the most remarkable young ladies I have ever met.  I’ve read your Optimist Creed.  As a matter of fact, I have it hanging on a bulletin board in my office.  I think Jae-Hee lives out your creed.  “To make all your friends feel that there is something in them…to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.”  That’s Jae-Hee Bae! 

New Member Readings and Inductions

NameSponsor1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Ray DaleyStan Franzaglia1st Reading
Kent LooseJean Pummill3rd Reading

Welcome Guests!

GuestGuest Of
Jae-Hee BaeProgram
Brad BalserProgram
Braden BalserProgram
Diana BalserProgram
Min Suk ChunProgram
Chuck CowgillProgram
Ray DaleyStan Fronzaglia
Nevaeh HaskinsProgram
Sam HaskinsProgram
Sam (Sr.) HaskinsProgram
Samona HaskinsProgram
Meghnan LeikerProgram
Stella McCroryProgram
Vickie PitrofSarah Umbreit
Jeff WolffProgram

Happy Bucks

No time for Happy Bucks this week.

Sergeants at Arms

Greg GriffinThe sergeants are not boys so quit playing the Bad Boys song.
Gary HansenLeft his drivers license in the copier at the tree lot and so was driving without a license.
Gary SmigaSold a tree to someone that was already sold at the tree lot.
John KalamanDidn’t share his 50/50 winnings with his wife.
Chris McAlpineSaid Bonjour to sergeant Jane Fiehrer when he should have said Hola since she understands Spanish but not French.
Evelyn GriffinUSO has complained they have not seen her for a while.

Membership Anniversaries

Paul BoeckmanDecember 9, 199427
Roland RappDecember 10, 200219
Tom NovakDecember 13, 199031


Sarah UmbreitDecember 7
Matt SomerlotDecember 7
Jeff UmbreitDecember 8
Patrick ArehartDecember 10
Jay SchindlerDecember 10
Penny CulhaneDecember 11
Erin DickersonDecember 12
Cheryl DowdDecember 16
Bill StoneDecember 16
Liz FultzDecember 18

CNO Donations – 2013 through November 2021

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

Thank You Notes Received

No Thank You Notes 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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