With a new president on board, the West Lincoln Optimist Club has changes ahead, beginning with its first-ever Christmas tree sale.
â€œThis Christmas tree sale should be the catalyst in the restructuring of the club,â€ said Jeff Adams, who has been president of the club for two months.
The trees are for sale next to West Express on N.C. 27 West. Trees ranging from six to seven feet are $45 each; add a foot and the trees are $55.
Organizers hope the fund raiser brings in $2,000, which will help meet goals of building up the clubâ€™s general fund and improving the ball field.
Organizers also believe the tree sale will raise awareness and encourage people to become involved in the club. Recognition is something it could use.
â€œA lot of people here support eastern Lincoln County and Lincolnton,â€ said Amy Adams. â€œWeâ€™d like to see more financial support come back to western Lincoln County.â€
Jeff Adams said that Lincoln County does appropriate money for the club.
â€œThey give us about $16,000 per year, but it takes about $30,000 for all of the programs, building maintenance and utilities,â€ he said.
Fund raisers like the Christmas tree sale help to bridge the gap.
Amy Adams pointed out that a lack of major industry in the western part of the county as one reason thereâ€™s not more support from the county as a whole.
â€œIt also has to do with communication, in other words, getting the word out,â€ she said.
Jeff Adams agrees.
â€œWeâ€™re trying to get the word out to get everyone in the club informed,â€ he said. â€œThe more they know whatâ€™s going on and when, the more likely they are to get involved.â€
The organization has a core group of anywhere between 20 to 25 volunteers that oversee as many as 600 kids, according to the Adamsâ€™s. During the summers, that volunteer number jumps to 100.
â€œIt really depends on the sport thatâ€™s going on,â€ said club vice president David Willard.
Club members believe belonging to the Optimists can have a profoundly positive effect on children.
â€œWhen the kids that play Optimist sports make it into middle or high school, their participation and experience will show through,â€ Jeff Adams said.
It helps that nobody is â€œchosenâ€ for an Optimist team like organized middle or high school sports.
â€œEveryone that signs up plays,â€ Amy Adams said.
Want to go?
The West Lincoln Optimist Club Christmas Tree Sale is taking place next to West Express on N.C. 27 West across from West Lincoln High School.
The next meeting of the West Lincoln Optimist Club is set for 7 p.m. on Monday at the club.by Jon Mayhew