What We Do
Optimists throughout the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean volunteer countless hours and contribute approximately $80 million annually, to the youth in our local communities. The energy from Optimist clubs focuses on sponsoring and coordinating a variety of youth programs addressing the unique needs of today’s kids and teens.
Click on any of the following Optimist youth programs to find out more:
The Flag Program
Since July 4, 1964, volunteers of the 80 plus member Point Loma Optimist Club have set out 168 (3 by 5 foot) American flags along a two mile section of Rosecrans Street every Sunday and Federal holidays. This street, also designated as Highway 209, forms one of the perimeters of the U.S. Naval Training Center, and is the principal route leading to the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and the Cabrillo Monument National Park.
Early every Sunday and scheduled Federal Holiday mornings, two volunteer members of the Point Loma Optimist Club meet at the parking garage to pick up the club’s flag truck. The current flag truck is a specially modified Ford cargo van. The bed of the van is extended to accommodate the eleven foot long flag poles and it has a special seat mounted on the bed for the “installer” to sit in. The members drive to Rosecrans Street where the flags are to be installed. While one volunteer drives, the other unfurls one of our national ensigns and places the pole in a hole which has been drilled in the sidewalk. Two flags decorate each block. This procedure is followed for two miles along Rosecrans. At the end of the two mile section, they turn around and repeat these steps on the other side of the street. The result is a very long aisle of American flags.
The original concept of the Flag program was presented to the Point Loma Optimist Club Board of Directors by Paul Markel. The flag program was approved during the presidency of Dick Perry (July 1963 to June 1964). The program was then inaugurated on the 4th of July, 1964, under the leadership of then President Bill Rippee. The cost to start the program was $850. This covered the cost of the flags, poles, drilling and marking of the holes. The Club received assistance in starting the program from a former City Deputy Mayor and president of a concrete company, Lee Hubbard, Jr., who donated the equipment and labor to drill and steel-line the flag pole holes.
Who We Support
For the last five years we have supported various organizations in the community, including contributions to the YMCA Capital Campaign fund in the amount of $35,000 and made a commitment to the PL Baseball Boosters for $3,000 a year for three years to improve the baseball field. Over the years, we gave $5,000 for the scoreboard at Point Loma High School and $30,000 for the artificial football field. Additionally, we have given $12,481 to Dewey Elementary and $2,208 to Sacred Hearts Academy for classroom projectors.
The Point Loma Optimist Club was started in 1954. The Club provides support to numerous youth organizations in the Point Loma area from Little League baseball to college scholarships for local high school seniors.
Additionally, the club places 150 U.S. flags along 2 miles of Rosecrans St. every Sunday and national holiday. This program together with the Sailing Program have received recognition from the President of Optimist International.
Our club is just one of 3,800 Optimist Clubs throughout the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, and abroad that are all part of Optimist International. Optimist clubs commit to “Bringing Out the Best in Kids” in their specific communities and its members follow the tenets of The Optimist Creed.
The Point Loma Club is a non-profit organization and files its tax under a group exemption of Optimist International that is classified as a social welfare organization under Section 501 (c) (4) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, donations to this organization are not tax-deductible. However, dues are tax-deductible. Activities of the Club include weekly breakfast meetings, maintenance of the flag program on Rosecrans Avenue (Sundays and holidays) and annual Children’s Christmas party. Members pay their annual dues and meal expenditures to this organization.
In June 1994, the members of the Point Loma Club incorporated a non-profit organization called the Optimist Club Foundation of Point Loma, a separate but affiliated entity of the Club. It was formed under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Several programs were transferred from the Club to the Foundation. These include the Optimist International Essay Contest, Optimist International Oratorical Contest and Optimist International Youth Appreciation Day and all fund-raising activities.
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