Optimist Club of Littleton

The Optimist Club of Littleton was established in 1959 and has experienced a rich history of service to the Littleton community with its primary focus on serving youth. Our history and highlights are shown on the About page and History page.

The Optimist Club of Littleton is a member of Optimist International (OI) which is a worldwide volunteer organization made up of more than 2,500 local Clubs and is active in the Colorado-Wyoming District.

The club meets regularly at 7 am on Friday mornings at East Community Center located at 5933 S Fairfield St, Littleton, CO 80120.

Speakers July 2024

Date Speaker Subject
July 12 TBD
July 19 TBD
July 26 George Ackerman Club Business Meeting
Optimist Club of Littleton

About Us

Established in December, 1959, the Optimist Club of Littleton (formerly called Breakfast Optimist Club of Littleton) has a rich history of service to the Littleton community. With a primary focus on serving the youth, the club exemplifies the motto of Optimist International, Friend of Youth, and provides volunteers and financial assistance for service projects that directly aid kids in pursuing their full potential.

Through numerous service projects, the club recognizes expertise in academics including writing, speaking, good citizenship and athletics. Support is given to youth in the form of awards, participation scholarships and general recognition for their accomplishments and good deeds. Numerous club members also serve as mentors and tutors for students in Littleton Public Schools.

The membership of the Optimist Club of Littleton is made up of local business professionals, educators and community minded individuals who are committed to making our community vibrant and strong and ensuring that our youth have the support needed to succeed in the world today and in the future.

Club members gather weekly in support of the club’s mission, as well as provide fellowship and networking. Three weeks out of the month, the club hosts guest speakers who present a wide variety of timely, interesting, and pertinent information and topics. One meeting per month is directed more specifically to the business of the club as well as emphasizing the social aspects of our group.

Optimist Club of Littleton Membership Photo

In a few words the club:

  • Has been functioning for many many years
  • Has a Positive impact on kids (Brain Bowl, Know Brainer, HOBY Awards, Essay and Oratorical contests, and more)
  • Is where you find Comradery and make Friendships
  • The club is Dedicated to serving the community
  • Flies American flags at downtown Littleton businesses every holiday (Pride in the America Flag)

Perhaps more telling of WHO the Optimist Club of Littleton is can be found in the Optimist Creed which we end every meeting with:

Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself:

  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind
  • To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet
  • To make all of your friends feel that there is something in them
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true
  • To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own
  • To forget about the mistakes of the past and move on to the greater achievements of the future
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble

History and Highlights of the Optimist Club of Littleton

  • Original members represented the banking, insurance, utility and real estate industries
  • Early service projects consisted of the Little Britches Rodeo and Western Welcome Week. Building a float for the parade has been a long-standing tradition
  • Other service projects were added over the years to include:
    • Oratorical Contest
    • Essay Contest
    • Tri-Star Basketball
    • Shilo House Support Activities
    • Elementary school’s Tutoring
  • The Southglenn Optimist Club was sponsored by Optimist Club of Littleton and both clubs deeply supported Junior Achievement for several years
  • Hard times fell on service clubs in the mid-70’s as corporations provided less and less support. Being optimists, however, the members found creative ways to raise funds for youth projects and continue their service in the community.
  • Between 1979 – 1983, club members worked diligently to build the club back up to a vibrant service club and were awarded Honor Club from Optimist International. Membership soared to more than 60 members.
  • The Pride in America flag program was established where flags are placed on Main Street in Littleton on every National Holiday. The program is still going strong today and celebrated by the community.
  • As more diverse backgroounded members joined the club more projects were undertaken to help support the Littleton Public Schools with hands-on participation in school activities.
  • The Club established a special connection with Littleton Police and the Arapahoe Sheriff’s office to recognize law enforcement’s contribution to the community
  • Three members of our club have served as the Optimist Governor overseeing all clubs within the Colorado/Wyoming District:
    • Gary Cooper
    • Hank Wyeno
    • Les Sitter
  • Many members have served as Lieutenant Governors and committee chairpersons helping to promote Optimism across the two state district
  • Since our inception, the Optimist Club of Littleton has helped to build nearly a dozen new Optimist Clubs
  • As new members join our efforts, new service projects are initiated furthering our mission to Bring out the Best in Kids

Mission of the Optimist Club of Littleton


By providing hope and positive vision, Littleton Optimists bring out the best in kids.


Optimist Club of Littleton will be recognized as the premier volunteer organization in the community that values all children and helps them develop to their full potential.


To adopt optimism as a philosophy of life utilizing the tenets of the Optimist Creed; to promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs and to inspire respect for the law; to promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people; to aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world.

Projects of the Optimist Club of Littleton

Oratorical Contest

The Optimist Club of Littleton is again participating in the annual Optimist International Oratorical Contest. The topic for the Oratorical Contest for the 2023-2024 school year is How to change the World with Optimism.

Since its start in 1928, the Optimist Oratorical Contest has become the longest-running contest sponsored by Optimist International. This is a combined gender contest limited to the first 10 applicants. Our contest will be held on Wednesday 3/13/2024 at East Event Center (Formerly East Elementary) from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity for middle school and high school students to prepare a speech and deliver it to a supporting audience of family, friends and our judges, and to compete for cash awards.

The 1st place winner will receive $500 plus a gold medal, the 2nd place winner will receive $250 and a silver medal, and 3rd place winner will be awarded $125 and a bronze medal. Our top two winners will go on to compete in the regional round. That winner will have the opportunity to compete at the district level for up to a $2500 scholarship. District winners will have the chance to compete for an additional $20,000 college scholarships at world championships in St. Louis.

The contest is designed for youths to gain experience in public speaking and to provide them the opportunity to compete for a college scholarship. Interested students should prepare a 4- to 5-minute speech on the assigned topic to be presented at our club’s contest. The contest is open to students who have not reach the age of 19 by October 1, 2023. There is no minimum age.

If you are interested in competing in this year’s contest, please contact Club Chair Darrell Schulte at djschulte17@gmail.com and submit the completed applications to Darrell as soon as possible. Slots will fill up quickly. You can also go online for information and an application at optimist web site 23-24_Oratorical_Application.pdf

Oratorical Picture 1 Oratorical Picture 2

Essay Contest

The Optimist Club of Littleton is again participating in the annual Optimist International Essay Contest. Cash prizes for the 2023-2024 school year competition will be $500 for the first place winning essay, $250 for second-place and $100 for third-place. The club's first place essay will be entered in district competition for a $2,500 college scholarship. The topic for the contest this year is: "Optimism: How it Connects Us.” The contest is open for youth under the age of 19 as of October 1st, 2023, and who have not yet completed secondary school or its equivalent, and not enrolled as a degree seeking student of a post-secondary institution in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. There is no minimum age.

The contest is sponsored by Optimist International to give youths the opportunity to share opinions about the world in which they live, encompassing a student's personal experiences, their hopes for the future, or a more historical perspective. Students may also contact their school's journalism or language arts teachers or principal's office for information about the contest. Essays need to be received with required signatures by January 31 at 2445 W. Davies Ave., Littleton, 80120, or by email at stpatterson3@gmail.com.

Students can access the contest rules and the application form at 23-24_Essay_Application.pdf

Essay Picture 1 Essay Picture 2

Village Pre School --- Mittens and Gloves

Many children attend a pre-school at Village while their parents are in classes there. They often come from needy families. Each winter the club collects gloves and mittens. Then our members – often with their spouses – get together and sew simple fleece hats for the children.

Club members take these to the pre-school one morning in the cold of winter and usually read the class a story in addition to giving them the hats and mittens.


Youth Appreciation Day

The Youth Appreciation program recognizes local youth for their efforts in the arts, athletics, academics and community service work. Youth Appreciation is the perfect opportunity for Optimists to make a difference in their community and demonstrate the Optimists’ commitment to young people. Youth Appreciation projects are intended to make children feel important and highlight their positive contributions to society. Since 1956, this program has given Optimist Clubs the occasion to work with youth toward the common goals of education, career development, physical well-being and community service. This is the most popular Optimist International program with more than 2,000 Clubs participating each year.

Youth Appreciation Picture 1 Youth Appreciation Picture 2 Youth Appreciation Picture 3

Tutoring and Mentoring

A number of our club members volunteer to be a mentor for an individual student through the entire school year. Other members volunteer to help individual students as tutors in what has become the Homework Club. Additional volunteers serve as storytellers in elementary schools through an organization known as Spellbinders.

Tutoring and Mentoring


Twice a week, every week throughout the year, several club teams take turns delivering hot lunches to many senior residents in the Littleton Housing Authority apartments Allyson Court and Bradley House.


Respect for Law Week

In May, George Ackerman invites deserving law enforcement professionals from the community to be recognized and honored at one of our weekly breakfasts.

Respect for Law

International Junior Golf Championships

Every year more than 200 boys and girls compete in Colorado/Wyoming District qualifying golf tournament. The best of the golfers advance to the OI Junior Golf Championships usually held in Florida.

Brats and Hotdogs Raising Funds : Western Welcome Week

The club has a booth each summer during Western Welcome Week parade downtown Littleton. We sell brats, hotdogs, chips and soft drinks to raise funds for our youth projects. Plus we shout and wave at the parade floats and tell funny stories. Great organization builder.

Western Welcome Week

Pride in America (Flag) Program

For exactly 50 years the club has been posting American flags in front of businesses and offices in downtown Littleton on about ten holidays per year. This project gives the city a patriotic appearance on the designated days and serves as a fund-raising activity. Currently, about 70 subscribers make an annual contribution to the club to participate in the program. Teams of two or three club members set up flags early in the morning and pick them up in the evening. All proceeds go to the support of the club’s youth and community activities.

Flag Program

How We Fundraise

The Optimist Club of Littleton is dedicated to Bringing Out the Best in Kids and in doing so, the club actively fundraises to support making an impact with today’s youth. The funds raised go to fund the following important projects:

  • Sending kids from East Elementary to Calwood Camps each year
  • Purchasing helmets for Bicycle Safety programs in elementary schools
  • Providing awards and coveted shirts to students at East, Field, and Columbine Hills elementary schools for the Bringing Up Grades (BUG) program
  • Hosting kids from the Shiloh House at Rockies games
  • Awarding winners in the essay and oratorical contests

Financial support for the community is raised in various ways:

Installation Banquet and Silent Auction:

In September the club holds a banquet to install its new officers. We do this in cooperation with several other local Optimist Clubs. Members of all the clubs donate items to be part of a silent auction at this event. All proceeds from the auction go to the clubs that have supplied the particular items for auction for support of youth activities.

Installation Banquet

Brats and Dogs

At the Western Welcome Week Parade in August, the club has a booth at which brats and hotdogs are sold. Member volunteers operate all phases of the preparation, selling and clean up. Again, all money that exceeds the cost goes to the club youth activity fund.

Western Welcome Week

Bowling Tournament:

Each year the club holds a bowling tournament to support the outdoor education Calwood project at East Elementary School in Littleton. Members put together bowling teams of other members, friends and family, pay the entry fee and go bowl. All proceeds above expenses go to the Calwood project.

Bowling Tournament

King Soopers Gift Card:

A member buys a King Soopers gift card from the club treasurer. The member can use the gift card to buy groceries, prescriptions, gas, or anything at King Soopers but not other types of gift cards. The member then recharges the card and the club receives 5% of the recharge value back. Needless to say, many of the club members shop at King Soopers and it brings in dollars for the club.

Donations from Community Business:

We are proud to have several businesses financially support club projects and welcome future donations.

Kids Western Welcome Week

Flag Program:

Local merchants contribute money to the club for a holiday flag service. Member volunteers then place an American flag in front of the merchants’ business places in the morning of each of the ten holidays included and take it down and store it the evening of that day.

Thank you to the following Littleton businesses and merchants for supporting our community youth endeavors:

A Knitted Peace, Inc. Act II Consignment Boutique American Exteriors, Inc.
American Family Insurance Ancient Art Healing Center Bradford Auto Body, Inc.
Bradley House BRI Colorado Broads Off Broadway
Bryant Tire, Inc. Chateau Office Park Colorado Business Bank
Colorado Frame Company & Savvy Stuff Comet Press, Ltd. Delizios
Drinkwine Mortuary Edward Jones Englewood Camera
Express Employment Professionals Fisher Associates Focal Point
Great Western Bank Hansen Brothers Printing Hot Pots!
Indulgence A Salon Jose's Restaurant Kitchen Distributors
Landmark Investments Lautenbach Insurance Libby Bortz Assisted Living Center
Lido WIne Merchants Littleton Boulevard Auto Care Center Littleton Capital Partners
Littleton Housing Authority Lola's Sugar Rush Main Street Center
McKinners Pizza Bar Merle's Mohan's Auto Repair
Nail Builders Ned Kelly's Irish Pub New Body Chiropractic
Nineteen Hundred One, Ltd. Old Fashioned Italian Deli Old Town Dental
Penny-Robin Danceware Pyramid Discount Liquors Randy's Tire & Auto, Inc.
Romancing the Bean Romano's Italian Restaurant Savers
Savory Spice Shop Schomp Automotive Express Lube Sherwin Williams
The Arthur Companies The Chocolate Therapist The Green Bride
The Melting Pot The Olde Towne Tavern The Pink Attic Cat
The Pottery Studio Gallery The Tavern Tint America
Town Hall Arts Center Valley Feed and Seed Company Walker Properties
Wells Fargo Bank Wild Ginger Thai Restaurant Willow - An Artisan's Market
Woodlawn Liquors

Optimist International

Optimist Clubs are dedicated to "Bringing Out the Best in Kids" and do their part through community service programs. Since each Club is autonomous and run by members in their community, Optimists have the unique flexibility to serve the youth of their area in any way they see fit. Optimist Clubs see a need in their community and react to it.

Optimist International officially sponsors several International Programs: the Childhood Cancer Campaign, Internet Safety, the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships and the organization's scholarship contests (Essay Contest, Oratorical Contest and Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing). In addition, Optimist International encourages involvement in several other community activities:

  • Respect for Law/Promotion of Non-Violence
  • Youth Appreciation
  • Youth Safety

There are 114,000 individual members who belong to 3,500 clubs. Optimists conduct 65,000 community service projects each year, spending $78 million in their communities. Annually, six million kids are positively affected by Optimist programs.

Optimist International

Colorado/Wyoming Optimst District

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the Optimist Club of Littleton meet?

The club meets regularly at 7 am on Friday mornings at East Community Center located at 5933 S Fairfield St, Littleton, CO 80120.

Is the club open for new members to join?

Absolutely! We are always looking for new members to help Bring Out the Best in Kids! Come to a meeting and see if we are a fit for your needs. Contact Us with any questions.


The Optimist Club of Littleton meets every Friday morning at 7 am at East Community Center. See address and map below.

New and prospective members welcome!

Friday Morning Meeting Address

5933 S Fairfield St, Littleton, CO 80120

Club Mailing Address

Optimist Club of Littleton, PO Box 621, Littleton, CO 80160-0621

Call Us (Member John Hammer)