December 11, 2020 – Holiday Party and Christian D. Larson Awards

2020 Christian D. Larson Awards and Holiday Party

Tonight, we celebrated the holiday season on Zoom. Social committee co-chairs Sarah Umbreit and Sue Jessee organized a great evening.

We started off with a half hour of socializing. Additionally, during this half hour was modelling for the ugly sweater contest. Sue Brubaker took first place in the ugly sweater contest and received gift cards to DLM ($20) and Arrow Wine ($20). Gary Hansen took second place in the ugly sweater contest and received gift cards to DLM ($10), Archers ($10) and Arrow Wine ($10).

Next, the 2020 Christian D. Larson awards were presented. Sarah Umbreit introduced the previous year’s Christian D. Larson award winners and they each introduced a winner from this year. Each award was delivered in person to the home of the new recipient by last year’s recipient. Each was caught on video and it was really great to see the surprise on the winner’s faces. Thank you to last year’s recipients for their great job presenting this year’s winners and the effort it took to pre-record the remarks and deliver the awards in person.

After the awards were presented, Sue Jessee presented a Holiday Trivia Contest. There were 10 holiday-based questions. 1st and 2nd place all received $20 gift cards. The winners were Will and Sylvia Cale. Tied for second were The DeMarcos, The Linders, The Aikens, Karl Frydryk, and Larry Lynde.

Congratulations to the three 2020-2021 Christian D. Larson Award recipients: Barbara Santo, Larry Lynde and Vida McDowell!

Barbara Santo Christian D. Larson Award Recipient 2020

(notes from Roy Barclay, last year’s winner)

And now I have the honor of presenting the first of this year’s honorees.

This award winner joined our club over twenty years ago.

Since then, she has been a consistent attendee at noon meetings.

She has faithfully served on the Tree Lot, as a worker, soup provider, and as a co-captain.

She has been highly involved with the Build-A-Bear, Adopt-A-Child, and Childhood Cancer projects.

She has both attended and hosted many CNO social events, and in fact, has served as the Adult Social Chairperson many years.

She has organized the Birthday Table many years with outstanding and clever arrangements.

She has served on the Board of Directors.

And the best of all (maybe before tonight’s award) she has been named Optimist of The Year.

Congratulations to Barbara Santo!

Barbara Santo has been a member of CNO since 3/9/1999.

Larry Lynde Christian D. Larson Award Recipient 2020

(notes from Gail Aiken, last year’s winner)

This person has been a longtime member of our club. I have known and worked with this person on many projects and events.

This person has helped with Avenue of flags, tree lot delivery day as well as captain of a tree lot team.

This person helped with the golf outing even though their golf skills are in question?

This person is Prather Phil’s best organizer for birthday celebrations.

This person helped with the Haunted Trail and did whatever was needed when asked. This person has an optimistic attitude not only when participating in our club activities but at meetings and beyond.

This person is a former President of our club and made everyone smile with his wit and crazy sense of humor.

I’m sure you’ve guessed by now who it is.

And the winner is Larry Lynde!

Larry Lynde has been a member of CNO since 9/1/1988.

Vida McDowell Christian D. Larson Award Recipient 2020

(notes from Joan Cordonnier, last year’s winner)

Our next recipient has been an active member with the club since she joined over 21 years ago. 

She has consistently volunteered over the years in many of the club’s regular activities such as:

Americana Festival 5K Race

Americana Root Beer Float Stand

Christmas Tree Lot

Haunted Trail Guide

Social committee

Avenue of Flags – not only active with delivery and retrieval on the flag holidays but has helped since the very beginning of the program in her neighborhood, which was the first LARGE neighborhood for our club.  She continues to contact new neighbors as they move in and helps every Spring in contacting neighbors to make sure they have re-enrolled.

But there are 2 specific committees that our club has been extremely lucky to have this person’s talents for:  the Golf Outing raffle baskets and the Holiday Silent Auction.  This person works tirelessly collecting items all year long for these events, then helps to group items and put together baskets that are beautiful and bring in thousands of dollars each year and she has done this for just about as long as she has been in the club!

On top of being active in the committees mentioned above, this person has also served in the leadership of this club as a member of the Board of Directors and the Long-Range Planning committee.

And in the tradition of saving the best for last: this person was awarded Optimist of the Year in 2007.

Congratulations to Vida McDowell!

Vida McDowell has been a member of CNO since 4/19/1999.

Details about the Christian D. Larson Award

In return for each $1000/year donated to the Optimist Foundation from each OI club, a club can select a recipient of the prestigious Christian D. Larson award.

The following was presented by Roy Barclay

Good evening.

I am Roy Barclay and tonight, along with Joan Cordonnier and Gail Aiken, we will be presenting this year’s Christian D. Larson Award winners.

The Christian D. Larson Award is Optimist International’s most prestigious. This award is a lifetime achievement recognition given to a person who has exemplified outstanding service to both our community as a whole and The Centerville Noon Optimist Club in particular.

The award was named in honor of Mr. Larson because he was the author of the well-known Optimist Creed, which was written in 1912 and is what we Optimists live by each day. In the over one hundred years of Optimist International, with hundreds of thousands of members, fewer than 800 individuals worldwide have been accorded this honor, 30 of whom are from our club, including four “couples” winners – the Maddens, Stones, Aikens, and Barclays.

Each year our club donates half of the proceeds from the tickets purchased for the 50/50 drawing, along with all of the money raised through the Sergeant-at-Arms fines and happy bucks during our noon meetings. This money goes to the Optimist International Foundation for the purpose of supporting its charitable, literary, and educational activities. In return, for each one thousand dollars donated, Optimist International Foundation grants our club the privilege of presenting a Christian D. Larson Award.

In 2007 our Board of Directors voted to present the Christian D. Larson Award to our club members in order to recognize their positive contributions over a long period of time. Our Optimist Board had selected all of the recipients from 2007 to 2012. But in 2013 they decided that going forward it would be best decided by our growing group of past Larson Award recipients.

Each new honoree must have a minimum of ten years in the club, have held leadership positions, contributed greatly to both the community and our club, exhibited a positive optimistic attitude, and volunteered consistently over many years actively enhancing the club’s formula for success.

Because of the unfortunate situations we all have to deal with this year, I cannot really ask our past winners to “stand”. But I will quickly read through the names (in order of winning the award) and ask that these folks give a wave as your name is read.

They are:

Steve Fisher, Margaret Barclay, Phil Robinson, Joe Madden, Jerry Stahley, Chuck Dickerson, Jim Hawley, Bill Stone, Gary Aiken, Judy DeMarco, Dan Beck, Gary Smiga, Kelly Stone, Mike Bevis, Tom Novak, Gary Anderson, Will Cale, Don Kelley, Charlie Tapp, Bob Burkman, Nancy Lehren, Pat Behn, Mary Madden, Myron Rheaume, Tom Frazier, Stan Fronzaglia,  Karl Frydryk, Joan Cordonnier, Gail Aiken, and Roy Barclay.

Thank you all!