Memorial Educational Assistance Awards 2023

Erin Dickerson’s Prayer

Lord Our God,

We are all created in your image, yet we have differing talents, abilities, and callings. None of which are superior to another. All of which are needed in this world.  Lord, help us to appreciate each other’s uniqueness and to see your image reflected in not only ourselves, but also in all whom we encounter.



  • Erin Dickerson announced the Big Backyard Party will be on 7/29/2023 from 11 AM to 2 PM at Oak Grove Park. They are in desperate need of volunteers for the plastic fish casting station, it is easy and there are no worms or hooks to deal with. They also need volunteers to engage the community from the CNO booth to help explain what we do and why someone would want to join CNO. Signup online to help using the Member Calendar.
  • Bob Lawson announced that the Optimist Kids Day in the Park will be on 8/5/2023 at Delco Park. They need many more volunteers. Signup online to help using the Member Calendar.
  • Bill Stone said that you can download the forms to register for the Ohio District Convention online here. The convention is from August 10 to August 12 with an awesome Gala on August 12, 2023.  All members can attend but you must register no later than 7/23/2023.
  • Beth Duncan announced that the 31st Annual Tom Frazier Tee Off for Youth Golf Classic yesterday went great. There will be many more details at next week’s lunch meeting.

About the CNO Memorial Educational Assistance Awards

The following are notes from Gary Smiga.

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
  • Ed Case- 2019
  • Jeff Brown- 2020
  • Jim Schumacher- 2020
  • Don Wildenhaus- 2020
  • Tom Brozich- 2021
  • Gary Aiken- 2021
  • “Phather” Phil Robinson- 2021
  • Dick Lee- 2021
  • Will Cale- 2022
  • Kathy McAlpine- 2022

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

2023 Memorial Educational Assistance Awards

The following are notes from Gary Smiga.

The qualifications for our Memorial Educational Assistance award are as follows:

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

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, Bob Duffy, Jesse Lightle and Roberta Taylor.

I would also like to thank the 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 fund-raising activities (Christmas Trees, Avenue of Flags, and the Tom Frazier Tee Off for Youth) to allow for this program and many of the others that we sponsor to be a reality.

This year we have five first-year award winners. They are Arushi Agrawal, Julianne Marzluff, Amrita Saini, Nevaeh Watson, and Anna Weller.

Each of our first-year recipients will be receiving a $2000 check that they can use towards the cost of attendance at the college or university they have chosen.

At this time, I would like to tell you some things about three of them that could be with us today. (Note that all five are listed here, Gary Smiga will report on the others at a future meeting if the student’s are able to attend.)

After their introduction, they will each share the essay they wrote with their application that addressed the question, “Why is it important that community members provide service to youth, and what is the high school student’s role in providing such service?”

Arushi Agrawal

Arushi graduated from Centerville High School with a GPA of 4.7998

Some of Arushi’s Extracurricular and Community Service Activities include:

  • National Honor Society
  • United Sound
  • Health Occupational Students of America
  • Board of Education Student Representative
  • Special Needs Ministry at Incarnation
  • Lunch Buddies

Arushi has also worked as a babysitter and in retail at TJ Maxx and Hollister.

Arushi will be attending Miami University.  After graduation she would like to attend dental school to become an orthodontist.

Amrita Saini

Amrita graduated from Centerville High School with a GPA of 4.818.

Some of Amrita’s Extracurricular and Community Service Activities include:

  • National Honor Society
  • French Club
  • Speech and Debate
  • Destination Imagination
  • Art Ascending Art Auction
  • Teen Advisory Board

Amrita has also worked as an Early Learning Teacher for Math and Reading

Amrita will be attending Case Western Reserve.  After college she would like to attend law school and practice as a criminal attorney

Julianne Marzluff

Julianne graduated from Centerville High School with a GPA of 4.7617.

Some of Julianne’s Extracurricular and Community Service Activities include:

  • National Honor Society
  • El Puente
  • Trick or Treat so Kids Can Eat
  • Stage Club Communications Coordinator
  • Actress, Producer and Director of plays and musicals

Julianne also worked at Roderer Shoe Center as a salesclerk.

Julianne will be attending Susquehanna University.  After graduation she would like to work at a major publishing company and eventually write her own books.

Nevaeh Watson

Nevaeh graduated from Centerville High School with a GPA of 3.4896.

Some of Nevaeh’s Extracurricular and Community Service Activities include:

  • French Honor Society
  • French Club
  • Octagon Club
  • Biology Club
  • American Sign Language Club
  • Volunteer at the SICSA Adoption Center

Nevaeh also worked as a Patient Care Assistant at the Richmond Foot and Ankle Clinic.

Nevaeh will be attending Miami University.  After graduation she hopes to go to Med School to be able to help people and save lives as an anesthesiologist or an OBGYN.

Anna Weller

Anna graduated from Centerville High School with a GPA of 4.0074.

Some of Anna’s Extracurricular and Community Service Activities include:

  • National Honor Society
  • Elk Connector
  • Top Soccer
  • Lunch Buddies
  • Swim and Dive Team

Anna also worked as a Lifeguard/Manager at Swim Safe.

Anna will be attending the University of Dayton where she plans to major in Education.

After graduating she would like to teach 3rd grade, earn a master’s degree and get licensed as an Intervention Specialist.

2023 Renewals of Memorial Educational Assistance Awards

The following are notes from Gary Smiga.

These first-year awards are 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.

All five of our scholarship award recipients from last year have achieved all the scholarship renewal requirements.

These students will also receive a check for $2000 to apply to their tuition or any other costs of attendance at their college/university.

Gwynn Baker

Gwynn successfully completed her freshman year at the University of Cincinnati with a 3.731 GPA while completing 61 credit hours (32 earned and 29 transferred) making the Dean’s list in both the Fall and Spring Semesters.

During her first year at UC, Gwynn participated in Enable UC, a volunteer-based student organization that brings students together to design and 3D print solutions to benefit clients with disabilities for free, Bearcat Buddies where she tutored Cincinnati Public School students, Society of Women Engineers, Women in Engineering Mentorship Program, and the Engineering Living-Learning Community.

Lauren Hoyle

Lauren successfully completed her freshman year at the University of Louisville with a 4.0 GPA while completing 42 credit hours (30 earned and 12 transferred) making the Dean’s list in Fall Semester.

Lauren volunteered for the Miracle League of Louisville, a special needs baseball team, joined Delight, a women student’s Christian Ministry, Campus Crusade and worked as a math tutor through Ignite Fellowship/Teach for America, an online tutoring service for students nationwide that attend low-income school districts.

Shelby Kemp

Shelby successfully completed her freshman year at the University of Kentucky with a 3.794 GPA while completing 35 credit hours earning Dean’s List honors both semesters.

Shelby was a member of the Christian Student Fellowship, CRU, Lewis Honors College, and the Kentucky Association of Nursing students.

Spencer Mills

Spencer successfully completed his freshmen year at Ohio State University with a 3.855 GPA while completing 45 credit hours (30 earned and 15 transferred).

Spencer took part in the Fisher Personal Finance club where they go to other clubs and local schools to educate them on personal finance and was a member of the Sport Card Club.

Aidan Zink

Aidan successfully completed his freshman year at Ohio Northern University with a 3.25 GPA.

Aidan was a member of Kappa Psi, a Pharmaceutical fraternity that engages in professional Development and community activities, SMACS- Student Members of the American Chemical Society, an organization that provides additional resources, education and opportunities for students interested in chemistry, and served as a Polar Bear Ambassador, a nomination-based selection to welcome potential students to campus and give campus tours.


From Gary Smiga

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 of our tomorrow.

To the students at today’s meeting, Amrita, Nevaeh, Anna, Gwynn, Lauren, and Aidan – we are all immensely proud of you and we wish you the best at the schools you attend.

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

Thank you.

Welcome Guests

GuestGuest Of
Aidan ZinkProgram
Amanda BakerProgram
Amisha SainiProgram
Amrita SainiProgram
Amy WellerProgram
Anna WellerProgram
April SomerlotProgram
Arno WellerProgram
Diana HoyleProgram
Dwight AaronProgram
Gwynn BakerProgram
Jackie CurlDebe Dockins
Jagjeet KaurProgram
Kimberly HeardProgram
Lauren HoyleProgram
Margarette HeardProgram
Margie BirkProgram
Navaeh WatsonProgram
Parminder SainiProgram
Terryn YoungProgram

New Member Readings and Inductions

NameSponsor1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Christina ClemmerTim Clemmer1st Reading
Julie WoodruffBill Stone2nd Reading
Chastity IrwinBrent Richburg3rd Reading

Happy Bucks

No time for Happy Bucks this week.

Sergeants at Arms

No time for Sergeants this week.

Membership Anniversaries

Mike BremJuly 18, 20185
Sue JesseeJuly 18, 20185
Tom LakesJuly 19, 20176
Steve MockJuly 19, 199627
John ShermanJuly 24, 200914


Mark PetreJuly 18
Vickie PitrofJuly 18
Bob BurkmanJuly 19
Sonja HertensteinJuly 21
Brian NicholasJuly 22
Steve RauJuly 23
Michael KoveleskiJuly 24
Mike YoderJuly 24

CNO Donations – 2013 through July 2023

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

All Photos taken at this Week’s Meeting are here

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