Newsletter – December 21, 2023

December 26, 2023

Jet Kilmer, today’s guest speaker,

spoke to the 12 members present about her passion forMusic on the March”, a program that she created and fed through the Grand Blanc Chamber of Commerce and our sister Optimist Club in Grand Blanc. Responding to a need in the local middle schools for student access to affordable and functional instruments, Jet began soliciting “formerly used but now idle” instruments donated for the students, restoring them to good condition, and placing them in the school for loaning to the students who otherwise might not be able join the band. At a time when music is one of the first casualties of budget cuts and narrow focus on the “3Rs” in schools, the well-researched  importance of music in facilitating learning and appreciation of virtually all the other subjects, as well as skill development, social relationship and collaboration, and self-esteem have been under-emphasized and under-funded. Many families and schools just do not have the resources for teaching, storing, and equipping would-be music students and budding musicians. 

By garnering support from the local community – former musicians, former “experimenters”, advancing students who have acquired new skills and new equipment, and even pawn shops – have supported Jet’s cause with donations of new, used , damaged but reparable instruments for use by Grand Blanc Middle Schoolers. One school alone loaned out 90 instruments, and Jet has worked with the schools to figure out how to identify, mark, repair, outfit, encase, maintain, and store the instruments. This community leader also hopes to expand the reach of hers and similar efforts onto other schools and communities, and our Club will consider whether and how we can assist. 

President Cindy Sullivan announced that she had dropped off 55 sets of hats and mittens for Whaley Childrens Center on behalf of the Club.

Cindy gave monetary gifts from the Club to Debbie and Tammy, who have taken good care of our breakfast members for many years. (See photo below.)

Our members Steve Schlott, Phil Holmblade, and Jeff Gauger assembled 4 more beds for appreciated kids and families identified by Sleep in Heavenly Peace. (A total of 147 for the year, per SHP!) A Club-sponsored “Build Day” for SHP will be at Signs by Crannie on February 3.

Cindy Sullivan delivered a compliment to Lieutenant Governor Bill Reaves for his Optimist sweatshirt, and Bill brought in a similar sweatshirt AND matching polo shirt for Cindy this morning.

Bill, the bearer of good news as well as good gifts, reported that CANUSA has committed to help us out with the Summerfest beverage tent again this year.

Angela Williams from “ will be our speaker for the next (and last of 2023!) meeting, talking about Wines for Humanity on December 28.

We are sad that long-time Club member Dan Maynard passed away within the last few days, and he named the West Flint Optimist Club as a beneficiary of memorial donations. The Club recalls Dan fondly and extends its condolences to his family.

Until next time, “Promise Yourself…”

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