A positive, optimistic view of the world

Published 7:06 pm Monday, October 10, 2005

By Staff
Normally they are a quiet group behind the scenes, working for the youth in their communities. Saturday though, the Optimists gathered in Niles and made a lot of noise.
The Niles Noon Optimists celebrated big time, not only their 35th year, but the fact the new Optimist International president is actually a member of the Niles group and a past president.
The new president, Dr. Michel Listenberger, was installed Saturday, which was also the first day of the Optimist's fiscal year.
Listenberger is among only a few people in the organization to hold the club's honorary &#8221distinguished“; title.
An optometrist and senior partner at Niles Vision Clinic, he joined the Optimists in the Niles community in 1972.
Many of the dignitaries from the organization, including the current Michigan Gov. Don Brose and a few past governors, came to the dinner at the Bell building in downtown Niles to share the moment.
Listenberger, and other members of the Niles group, including Niles new president Dave Van Strien and vice president Tom Majerek, aren't just content to know they have started and kept running an excellent soccer program for the youth in the area.
These three, along with immediate past president John Willis, have been working behind the scenes to help charter a new Optimist Club in Cassopolis. New members of this club met early Saturday morning and a president (Patty Dresser) and board of directors was picked.
The new club is not meant to be an alternate to the Youth Club of Cass County, or any other organizations which are looking to offer activities and positive influence to our young people. Instead the club will be an additional help both in manpower of volunteers and funds to support programs.
Think about joining a group in your area, or you can be like many of those at the dinner in Niles Saturday evening who were recognized for their continued efforts and numerous hours they put in on the various programs and activities, even though they aren't members.
Young people are our future and the Optimists theme this year, chosen by Dr. Listenberger, is &#8221Optimists - Bringing Out the Best in Kids.“;