CNOtes 11/9/21: 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.

CNOtes – November 13, 2018 – Christmas Tree Lot Presentation

Phather Phil’s Prayer

Heavenly Father we will never be lonely if we like the person we’re with. It is always true when we are with You. Have us realize that when we are with You we are filling ourselves with Your love. That love is not to be hoarded for our own consumption, but is to be spread to all we encounter. Love and hate are two emotions that we harbor. Have us whistle a happy tune for being happy there is no room for hate.Amen!

 Today’s Guests

Guest Guest Of
Shawn Collins Tom Novak
Andrew Dickerson Andrew McKenzie
Erin Dickerson Andrew Dickerson
Gareth Dickey Gary Hansen
Ron Kuker Charlie Tapp
Sue Zammit Dana Dring

All Photos from the Meeting are Here

Thank you notes received by CNO

The USO thanked us for our donation of $1000 for their holiday party.

The Victoria Theater Association thanked us for our donation to their National Geographic Program.

Committee Announcements

Gary Hansen, chair of the Will Cale Scholarship Committee, announced he is still looking for more mentors so that we can help more students.

Beth, social committee, announced that 60 people have signed up so far for the Dinner and a Mystery. You can still sign up. They can handle up to 90. The event is December 28, 2018 at the Spaghetti Warehouse. Beth also announced sign-ups for the CNO Holiday Party on December 11 at Presidential Banquet Center.

Greg Fay, CNO 2.0 chair, announced there will be no CNO 2.0 meeting for December 2018, but he plans to have a football viewing party some time.

Annual Christmas Tree Lot Presentation

Donna Huss introduced Greg Griffin, the co-chair of the Christmas Tree Lot. Greg wants to make sure especially new members get briefed on how the Christmas Tree Lot works and why. The why is simple, “We do it for the kids.” First Greg showed us a great video about the tree lot and then he stepped us through his Power Point deck. Please review the slide deck here for additional information not included in the rest of this article.

Quick Facts about the Lot

  • 2018 is the 51st year of our tree lot.
  • Greg Griffin and Karl Frydryk are the co-chairs of the Christmas Tree Lot.
  • It is one of our 3 major fundraisers.
  • We will unload and sell 1,000 trees in about 15 days.
  • It is a great club showcase opportunity to be involved with the community.
  • Customers mention over and over that it isn’t Christmas until they buy a tree from us.
  • We have a new storage trailer this year with LED lighting and power and new wreath hangers.
  • We will have student volunteers from Centerville High School and the University of Dayton.

Important Information

  • We cannot park in the Centerville BMV parking lots when BMV is open.
  • Park at the Famous Restaurant, the Bank or the Walgreen’s. Please avoid parking near the front entrance of these businesses.
  • Ask parents before you give their kids a candy cane.
  • The only person allowed to change the price on a tree are Greg or Karl.
  • Don’t negotiate the price. Remind customers if they ask for a discount that our trees are of the highest quality and we are fundraising to support youth in the 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.

Schedule and Steps

  • Tree Delivery Day is Saturday November 17, 2018 at 8 AM. We need all hands on deck. We are usually done by 11AM. We have jobs for everyone. You will be rewarded with donuts, coffee, hot chocolate and about 15 types of hot soups.
  • Lot opens the day after Thanksgiving.
  • We are scheduled to be open through December 15th. History shows that we will sell out in 15 days.
  • When you arrive at the lot, go into the sales trailer, mark that you were there and grab your name tag.
  • If you can’t make your shift, try and find a substitute or trade with someone else.

Quick Information

  • You do not sign up for the tree lot. You have been automatically signed up for a team. Each team has 6 shifts, except one has 7 shifts, but the lot should be closed before that. Please show up for your shift. You will receive emails telling about your shifts. There are 9 evening teams and 1 day shift team. There are 10 Team captains.
  • Wear proper clothing. You should bring Gloves and Boots. Please be aware that you will get tree sap on your gloves, clothes and shoes.
  • We do provide tree delivery. It is available within 7 miles for $10. We do not take the trees inside homes.
  • Remember to push the Tree Sprays because we make them out of tree scraps so it is pure profit.
  • There is a Christmas Tree Ornament for sale at the lot as well.
  • Tell your friends to come early to buy a tree. We will sell out early. Our trees are of the highest quality. There is a Christmas Tree shortage again this year.
  • If you work enough shifts you can get a discount off the purchase of a tree.
  • We have a truck we borrow from Voss for tree delivery. It is very important though that before you drive the truck you must make a copy of your license and sign the driver log.

Thank You

Thanks for being a member and helping with one of our very successful fundraisers. We can’t do it without the generous time of our members.


Member Birthday
Bryan Link November 14
Russell Hulbert November 19

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
Art Hung November 16 11/16/2001 17
Tim Clemmer November 16 11/16/2001 17
Larry England November 17 11/17/1994 24
Nancy Lehren November 17 11/17/1994 24
Julie Cochran November 19 11/19/2009 9

New Member Readings and Inductions

Name Sponsor 1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Richard Altvater Greg Wasmund 1st Reading
Gareth Dickey Gary Hansen 1st Reading
Sue Zammit Greg Griffin 1st Reading
Erin Dickerson Andy Dickerson 1st Reading
Andrew Dickerson Andrew McKenzie 2nd Reading
Mariah Vogelgesang Mike Bevis 2nd Reading

Sergeants at Arms

No time for sergeants this week.

Happy Bucks!

No time for happy bucks this week.

Noon Meeting News – November 14, 2017 – Christmas Tree Lot Presentation

Phather Phil’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, some of us are like tea bags , we have to be put in hot water to see how strong we are. So thank You for friends and companions who offer a hand when we are in need. Comfort when we are sad and words of encouragement when we mess up. As Optimist we are blessed with such friends. Since we have no gold to give and love must make amends. Please ,Lord makes us worthy of our friends. Amen!

Photos from the meeting

Today’s Guests

Today’s Speaker

Vice President Greg Griffin talked to CNO about the upcoming tree lot. He showed a Christmas Tree lot video, and spoke about how our tree lot has become a family tradition for many of our customers. This Saturday, November 18th, 8AM, ALL HANDS ON DECK, we will unload nearly 1,000 trees. Last year we sold out in 16 days, this year it is believed we will sell out even more quickly. EVERYONE is assigned to work the tree lot, so show up for as many shifts as possible. We are looking forward to another great season. MERRY CHRISTMAS.


Member Birthday
Bryan Link November 14
Diane Mescher November 16
Russell Hulbert November 19

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
Katie Hurst November 14 11/14/2013 4
Reba Hurst November 14 11/14/2013 4
Art Hung November 16 11/16/2001 16
Tim Clemmer November 16 11/16/2001 16
Larry England November 17 11/17/1994 23
Nancy Lehren November 17 11/17/1994 23
Julie Cochran November 19 11/19/2009 8
Beth Lybrook November 20 11/20/2016 1
John Kalaman November 20 11/20/2016 1
Jon Fox November 20 11/20/2000 17
Marilyn Becht November 20 11/20/2016 1
Paula Kalaman November 20 11/20/2016 1

New Member Readings and Inductions

Name Sponsor 1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Rick Talda Beth Lybrook 1st Reading
Rhonda Meeker Mike Bevis 1st Reading
Nancy Anderson Jack Anderson 3rd reading
Sonny Singhvi Greg Fay 3rd reading
Mercedes Franklin Jesse Gaither 3rd reading
Shelby DiPasquale Jack Anderson 3rd reading
Ryan Fay Greg Fay 3rd reading

Sergeants at Arms

Member Infraction
Steve Campbell Welcome back
Ted Humphrey Scott Langer award

Happy Bucks!

Member Reason
Nancy Lehren Member of great CNO club for 23 years and scholarship awardee doing well at OSU
Greg Griffin THANKS Tim Clemmer and Mike Fanelli for helping to put away badges after scanning last week
Laurie Poeppelman Thanks for cards and sympathy
Blanca Ortiz Will be with family in Mexico for 2 weeks and Abbey Credit Union offering free meals to veterans
Jesse Gaither 8 year old daughter announced shes now all grown up
Debe Dockins Thanks to judges, over 675 essays judged
 Art Hung For winning the 50/50 last week
Patricia Kuhlman Daughter Jordan’s wedding was beautiful
Joan Cordonnier Play at CHS and cards of sympathy
Beth Lybrook Her newClub Inductee (Rick Talda) and great Social Committee
Judy DeMarco Took grand kids and kids to Disney World, had a great time.



Noon Meeting News – November 15, 2016 – Greg Griffin – 2016 Christmas Tree Lot Overview

Phather Phil’s Prayer

Heavenly Father the battle of the sexes has been going on since the beginning of time.  Steinem would say women are not equal to men; they are superior and always have been.  Then there is the glass ceiling syndrome and equal pay for equal work.  And the battle goes on and on.  Human prejudice seems to always get in the way of any kind of agreement.  The solution seems to lie in this simple little litany.  Said the button hole to the button, “without me you can’t do nothin”.  We pray that we elected those that have the common sense to be like the button hole and the button. Amen!

Click here to see all the photos from the meeting

Today’s Guests

Guest Guest Of
Pam Miller Mike Bevis
Michele Seaman Barbara Santo
Pat Seaman Barbara Santo
Mariena Passidomo Dr. Dan Passidomo
Dan Neer Jerry Stahley
Pat Neer Jerry Stahley
John Kreusch Jerry Stahley

Today’s Speaker

Greg Griffin, our 2016 Tree lot trainer told us that: Tree lot is our major fundraiser; that tree lot is a showcase for the club; it is our 49th consecutive year for tree lot; we start unloading trees at 8AM on Saturday, November 19; EVERYBODY’s help is needed; we will take attendance; we have 23 selling days; you are assigned to a team, PLEASE WORK YOUR SHIFTS, thank you.  A copy of Greg’s presentation (with a tip of the hat to Tim Clemmer it’s original creator) is below.

Download (PDF, 2.86MB)

Christmas Tree Lot 2015 Highlights

Click Here to See Highlights from Last Year’s Christmas Tree Lot

Birthdays This Week

Name Month Day
Diane Mescher November 16
Russell Hulbert November 19
Teresa West November 20

Membership Anniversaries

Name Month Day Year # Years
 Tim  Clemmer November 16 2001 15
 Art  Hung November 16 2001 15
 Larry  England November 17 1994 22
 Nancy  Lehren November 17 1994 22
 Melissa  Lucas November 17 2015 1
 Rose  Schulz November 17 2015 1
 Julie  Cochran November 19 2009 7
 Chris  Dwenger November 19 2009 7
 Jon  Fox November 20 2000 16
 Kristina  Rainer November 21 2012 4
 Christine  Balsan November 21 2013 3
 Martha  Jackson November 21 2013 3
 Dave  Klein November 21 2013 3

New Member Readings and Inductions

Name Sponsor 1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Pam Miller Mike Bevis Second Reading

Sergeants at Arms

Member Infraction
Charlie Tapp Jerry cited Charlie for sloppy parking and stated it was at least the 5th time

Happy Bucks!

Member Reason
Judy DeMarco For being in CNO family and for the well wishes and support for grandson, Joseph’s brain surgery
Laurie Poeppelman For3rd hand surgery in 3 months
Bob Burkman For grandson, Pvt. Spencer Burkman, a new Marine
Blanca Ortiz For Wednesday evening banquet honoring kids and for help in making Abbey Credit Union video.
Brooks Compton For support of Issue #3
Joe Madden He has become a truant officer and wants to meet with Dr. Dan Passidomo and his 8th Grade daughter who skipped school today to join us for lunch.