DTOC Members Mark Scarborough and Butch Wright were both honored today for their long time service and commitment to the Downtown Optimist Club when they were both surprised with presentations of Life Memberships. Scarborough joined the DTOC in January, 1984 while Wright joined in March, 1987. They have both been mentors to many members and have contributed their time and talents to help the club grow and remain strong over the years. The DTOC was founded in 1941 and it could not have succeeded at being a Friend of Youth for so long without the contribution of many members such as these over the years.
This brings the total of active DTOC Life Members to five. The active list includes Scarborough and Wright as well as Tommy Duncan who joined in December, 1979, Jay Haynes who originally joined in July, 1992, and Paul Tarver who joined in July, 1993.
At the International Convention in 1936, the enthusiasm of a few farsighted Optimists led to the development of one of the most prestigious and helpful programs in which any Optimist may engage…the Life Membership Plan. At its inception, the plan was designed to provide funding for the expansion of Optimist Club activity through development of new Clubs; while serving as an honor to those Optimists who either chose to purchase a Life Membership or for whom others wished to make the purchase out of respect, as recognition, and reward. Funding now supports numerous Optimist programs to better serve youth in the community.
Since, 1936, the program has grown until now there are over 21,000 Optimists who proudly claim Life Member status and each year approximately 150 new Life Memberships go into effect.
When a Member becomes a Life Member, it is both an investment in the future of Optimism and an honor and privilege to the Life Member. The contribution to Optimist International growth and development is clear, for the Life Member Plan provides a substantial sum annually to the net monies available for financing growth programs (both New Club and growth within Clubs).
The privilege and honor to the Life Member is found in the recognition as a contributing Life Member (quite often presented in recognition of service to one’s Club) and an exemption from the portion of the Member’s dues which is equal to what a Club pays per Member in International Dues.