Youth Activity Projects


Youth Appreciation Week
One week each year is designated “Youth Appreciation Week.” The club celebrates this week each year by awarding scholarships to area high school seniors. A committee of club members and school administrators select the seniors based on their academic and extra-curricular accomplishments. Parents, faculty advisors and the winners are honored at a luncheon where the scholarships are presented. Click here for additional information.


Youth Sports and Youth Activities
Optimists serve as promoters, coaches and counselors and help finance various youth sports activities such as the Garner Road YMCA Basketball Club.  Other youth activities such as “Take-A-Kid-Fishing” at the Optimist Farm involve many Optimists and many more area children.   The club also maintain the beautiful 69 acre Optimist Farm and make it available for sports, camping and other uses by youth organizations such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.


Mile of Hope
The Mile of Hope is a Childhood Cancer Campaign project sponsored by the Club along with other Optimist Clubs in Eastern North Carolina. It provides a weekend "get away" to the beach for twenty-five children with cancer. The children and their families, from eastern NC, enjoy a break from their hospital routines for some sun, fun, food, fellowship, and an optimistic vacation.  Visit the Mile of Hope Website and Facebook Page for more information.


Essay Contest
The Club sponsors this contest to give young people the opportunity to write about their own opinions regarding the world in which they live. The approach can encompass a young person’s personal experience, the experience of his or her country, or a more historical perspective. The topic, selected each year by Optimist International, is intended to give young people the room to develop their own views around a central idea. Non-Optimist community leaders make up the panels of judges that select the winning students. The best are recognized at a luncheon with their parents and faculty representatives. This year the first, second and third place winners will receive cash prizes of $500, $300 and $100, respectively In addition, the first place winner's essay is submitted to the District competition for a $2,500 college scholarship.

Essay Contest Application and Rules

                     2015-16 Essay Contest Winners

Oratorical Contest
The Club sponsors this speech contest to inspire today’s youth to motivate and inform others through the art of public speaking. The contest topic is chosen each year by Optimist International. Non-Optimist community leaders make up the panels of judges that select the winning students. The best are recognized at a luncheon with their parents and faculty representatives. This contest provides Club winners with the opportunity to compete at the District level for a college scholarship. Click here for details of this year's local competition and below for the:


Note:  Mail completed applications to:   
                                Bob Hassebrock, Contest Chair
                                5412 Old Towne Road
                                Raleigh, NC  27612


Optimist International Junior Golf Championships
Every year more than 7,000 boys and girls compete in Optimist district qualifying tournaments. The best of these golfers advance to the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships – which are held at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Youngsters in our community have the opportunity to play in this prestigious event and meet other young athletes from all over the world. The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships provides youngsters cultural learning opportunities, competition, a week of golf, and, best of all, lots of fun!


Junior Optimist Club
Junior Optimist Octagon International (JOOI) is a dynamic coalition of youth volunteers. JOOI members represent the times well, by making their communities better - one service project at a time. With more than 16,600 members in over 660 communities, JOOI members are constantly working to promote positive change in their communities. The Optimist Club of Raleigh is proud to sponsor the Octagon Club at East Wake High School



Raleigh - Optimist