The Optimist Club of Lindsay, currently with a membership of over 50, has served the area for over 45 years. Founded in 1971 on principles created by Optimist International, the club promotes its credo, “A Friend of Youth”, by devoting all efforts, energies, and funds to and for the betterment of youth in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Members meet the first and third Thursdays from September to June.
The Club offers activities that support the youth of the City. During the fall and winter months, a recreational dodgeball evening for youth in grades 4 to 6 is offered on Tuesday nights for eight weeks. In May and June, a recreational soccer program is offered for eight weeks for youth of all ages under 19 years, a program that has grown from 50 participants in 1981 to over 600 participants in 2016.
In addition, the Club provides funding to support several programs offered for youth by other organizations in the City of Kawartha Lakes such as Boys & Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes, Kids Interactive Arts Program and secondary and post-secondary youth leadership scholarships. On request, the Club also assists youth who are pursuing opportunities at provincial and national levels in areas of arts, culture, and athletics.
The Club has made major donations over the years towards construction projects of the Recreation Complex, Ross Memorial Hospital, Lindsay Library, Boys & Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes and Wilson Fields. Most recently, the Trans Canada Trail maintenance program and the new walking oval at Kinsmen Park for the Queen Victoria Public School community.
The Club is particularly proud of the new Optimist Soccer Park (3 regulation sized fields) on the 13-acre site identified as Wilson Fields East located east of the tennis courts on St. Joseph Road and south of Colborne Street West . The park includes parking and pathways that community members have used extensively since the park opened in the summer of 2013. This exciting multigenerational park project is proving to be a wonderful resource for all citizens of Lindsay.
To support its contributions to the community, the Club sells Christmas trees throughout December, runs the youth dodgeball program,the youth soccer program and, most recently, held its first annual fundraising dodgeball tournament for adults.