Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

November 15, 2012

Optimist Club thanks YMCA and 4-H for contributions

Tess Rowing
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — In celebration of the now Mayorally-mandated Youth Appreciation Week, the Greensburg Optimist Club presented representatives from Decatur County 4-H and the Decatur County Family YMCA with plaques Thursday morning.

The Optimist Club has received a certificate from Mayor Gary Herbert, making Youth Appreciation Week official. The event is now considered a yearly occurrence, Nov. 12 to 18.

In celebration, several local businesses have agreed to provide special discounts, including Wolf Theatre, the YMCA, and Parkside Lanes.

Optimist Club co-chair Bill Wenning presented the plaques, which were intended to thank the organizations for being integral parts of the Decatur County Community.

“Each of us are an accumulation of the things we’ve learned in our lifetime,” said Wenning.

The community has a responsibility for creating opportunities for youth to learn, said Wenning, and 4-H and the YMCA have fulfilled that responsibility for many years.

4-H extension educator, Heather Millett was given an opportunity to speak before the ladies and gentlemen of the Optimist Club. Decatur County has more than 600 children in the 4-H program, according to Millett, and 190,000 children participate in the state of Indiana.

4-H is also the only youth development program connected to Purdue’s technology advancement. Millett spoke about many changes planned in 4-H, including a third-grade program intended to prepare children for financial responsibility.

YMCA CEO Diane Hart-Dawson followed Millett with a summary of some of the YMCA’s programs. The Decatur County YMCA works with 5,000 children, according to Hart-Dawson. There are 100 children in their preschool program, 30 percent of whom receive financial aid in order to participate.

The YMCA also provides $61,000 a year in scholarship money. Camps are organized during school break periods, and there are also a number of youth sports programs, the CEO said.

In addition to the YMCA’s paid staff, there are more than 200 volunteers who help run the programs, particularly in the area of sports.

The Optimist Club also shared three thank you letters, which thanked the club for scholarship money, the Youth of the Month award, and a letter of thanks from Big Brothers Big Sisters.

A club member announced that Greensburg Junior High is in need of judges for the upcoming science fair. The science fair will be 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Dec. 12, with a lunch following.

The yearly Daily News Cheer Fund is also planned to be at Main Street Market, Dec. 14 and 15.

Contact: Tess Rowing 812-663-3111 x7004