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West Bloomfield Optimist Club looking to spread cheer to local children

By: Mike Koury | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published October 18, 2019

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — The long-running West Bloomfield Optimist Club is looking to do something nice for a group of local children in the upcoming holiday season.

The Optimist Club will be holding its annual holiday party 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Santia Banquet Center, which was donated for the party by owner Gino Santia. The club’s goal with the party is to provide the families and children of Keego Harbor Mobile Home Park with presents.

The park, 3170 Orchard Lake Road, has been the site of a proposed residential apartment complex that would displace the 93 families who live on the land.

Optimist Club President Curt Lawson said they just wanted to do something nice for the families and are looking for people or businesses that want to help sponsor the event to cover some costs, or who want to provide presents for the children.

“We’re well aware of the circumstances of some of these families are having trouble,” he said. “They have to move out of their homes. So we just wanna do something special for them this year, in the holiday spirit.”

The party also will be hosted by the Optimist Club of in Keego Harbor, according to club member and West Bloomfield Trustee Howard Rosenberg. He said the goal of the club is to continue the work they do in helping the youth in community, especially any kids that are underprivileged and at-risk

“The Optimist Club’s motto is ‘friend of youths,’” he said. “It’s a service organization that focuses on supporting and helping the youth in the community, and so what we do is we both focus on all young people, but particularly under-privileged or kids that are at-risk to help them so they wind up with an opportunity to achieve some success in their lives.”

Lawson, the deputy chief of West Bloomfield’s Police Department, said the club also takes children identified by West Bloomfield Youth Assistance as at-risk on field trips to places they’ve never been to, like the Detroit Zoo and the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum.

“They get a little bit of a mentorship so they’re able to go down with some of the Optimist Club members, Youth Assistance board members, some of the adults who really do care about their welfare and they wanna do what’s best for them,” he said. “They spend the day with them, but most importantly, it’s the experience itself, because they get a private tour of the DIA and to learn more about the art that’s displayed.”

Lawson is hoping to get more people in the community active in the Optimist Club so it has members for years to come.

Anyone who is looking to learn more about the Optimist Club or to help sponsor the holiday party can contact Lawson at or (248) 975-8924.