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Tuesday, October 16th


October 22nd; Board Meeting, 5:00 pm at SDYC, 6:00 pm Last Steak Fry for 2018

October 30th; Breakfast Meeting. 7:00 am at SDYC

December 8th; Holiday Party, location to be announced

Program:  Ron Lee has made a career out of falling down … lots of times.  5,440 times to be exact and 5,439 of those times were really great!  According to Ron, the keys to happiness in life are simple.  First, Find something you like to do.  Second, Get really, really good at it.  And third, Find someone (or lots of someones) who will pay you to do it.  Sound simple?  Well, maybe not that last one.  But, if you are really, really, really good chances are someone will pay you!

Ron Lee and President Steve Doyle

Ron Lee is the co-owner of Skydiving Innovations and a 32-year professional demonstration skydiver.  “There are two types of skydiving shows,” he explained to us.  “The first is what we call a “Jump, Wave and Gone” style show.  That lasts about 5 minutes.  Then there are the Demonstration Skydiving shows, an aerial entertainment program, customized to the client’s wishes.  This is  our specialty.”

In the words of Medal of Honor winner, Eddie Rickenbacker, “Courage is doing what you are afraid to do.  There can be no courage unless you are scared.”  And, according to Ron, every jump comes with some element of fear.  Ron and Todd Lee started Skydiving Innovations in 1986.  In 1988, they were approached by some members of the Leap Frogs, the US Navy Parachute Team, about joining their operations.  The Leap Frogs are recognized as some of the best demonstration skydivers in the world.  This enabled Ron to significantly increase the offerings of his company and to create the most sought-after group of professional aerialists.  Skydiving Innovations has developed, managed and performed nearly 500 aerial demonstrations since 1986 for companies such as Wells Fargo, Callaway Golf, The NFL, Nationwide Insurance, Delta Airlines, Disney Enterprises and many more.

Ron has also taken his experiences to the world of motivational speakers, bringing his perspective about the value of risk, fear, struggle and failure as necessary precursors to personal and professional success.  In addition, Skydiving Innovations supports organizations that support military families like the Seal Family Foundation.  The Optimists thank Ron for sharing his words of wisdom and for agreeing to take David Gee on their next wing-suit high altitude dive.  We wish you both continued success!


Tuesday, October 9th


                       Professor Ron Lauderbach

  1. Next Breakfast Meeting, Tuesday, October 16th, 7:00am, SDYC
  2. Fall Festival at PLNU, Saturday, October 20th, 10:00am – 2:00pm, volunteers needed
  3. Next Board Meeting, Monday, October 22nd, 5:00pm, SDYC, with the last Steak Fry of the year to follow at 6:00pm
  4.  Holiday Party, Saturday, December 8th, 6:00pm, location to be announced


There once was an Optimist poet,

His work great, but he didn’t show it.

He bared his soul and opened his heart.

He enlightened us with the images of art.

Now grasp that spark and grow it!


Sometimes, when you run out of easy choices, when the simple solutions are not available, you just have to believe in yourself and throw that “Hail Mary” pass.  Quarterback Doug Flutie had a knack for that sort of last second heroics.  I never thought I could make such a similar pass…

Monday afternoon, preparing for our Tuesday morning breakfast meeting, I learned we were running out of options for the weekly guest speaker.  Half heartedly planning for a sorry “song and dance” routine, I lofted one of those “Hail Mary” passes and, low and behold, our All-Star historian, Poet Laureate and Optimist for Life, Ron Lauderbach made the catch, won the game and made me look good in my official Breakfast Meeting debut as this year’s Club President!  What can I say, sometimes the stars align for you!

President Steve Doyle and Poet Ron Lauderbach

Ron took up my jokingly “throwing him under the bus” comment and delivered an amazing presentation.  Ron’s fascination with poetry began at a young age. While some adolescents took to crude words on a restroom wall, Ron fostered his words into stories about his life and the people around him.  As an English teacher, Ron noticed that “great poets of year’s past” had a difficult time capturing the attention of teenage students.  He turned to more recent scribes of story telling poets to bring life and mystery into this writing format.  “If you can’t capture the readers’ attention, you can’t tell your story,” he shared with us.  “I try to open the minds of my readers by painting a picture with words.  Something they can relate to and understand.”

We are very proud to call Ron our brother in Optimism.  We are also encouraged by his determination to follow his heart and explore his love of poetry.  Ron is looking forward to completing his degree next year.  We know he will achieve this goal and we hope he will continue to catch those “Hail Mary” passes to the delight of all his fans.  Thank you and well done, Ron Lauderbach!

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018


L-R: 2nd VP Jacobs, President Doyle, 3rd VP Correia, 1st VP Fischbeck

Congratulations to all our new board members and leadership inducted at the club’s 64th Installation Dinner at the Bali Hai on Monday, September 24th!  We thank our most recent Past President Bill Bramley for leading our club through all of its successes last year, and look forward to supporting our new President Steve Doyle as he takes the reins.  Click here for photos from the Installation Dinner.

October 1, 2018 (post facto) – Funds generated at our 2018 OptimisTiki charity event were awarded to Cabrillo Elementary School at a school assembly.  This money will go toward completing the computer purchases necessary to support use by the students.  Photos from the event are posted here.

Principal Hightower is presented a check for computer systems by the Optimist Club of Pt Loma.

October 9, 2018 (7:00 AM) – Breakfast Meeting, SDYC.
October 16, 2018 (7:00 AM) – Breakfast Meeting, SDYC.
October 20, 2018 – Annual Fall Festival at Point Loma Nazarene.  Tom Lewis is seeking volunteers for booth.
October 22, 2018 (5:00 PM) – Board Meeting, SDYC (members welcome)
October 22, 2018 (6:00 PM) – Steak Fry (last one for 2018)
October 30, 2018 (7:00 AM) – Breakfast Meeting, SDYC.
December 8, 2018 (for your planning calendars) – Annual Holiday Party



Jeff F. and Larry B. thank Bonnie Dumanis for being our guest speaker.

We were honored to have Bonnie Dumanis, the former San Diego County District Attorney, as our guest speaker today.  She discussed her impressive background, as well as her vision for the future as a candidate for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for District 4 in the upcoming November elections.  Her full biography and positions on current issues may be viewed on her website.  She was accompanied by her campaign manager, Cameron Celeste, whose uncle was a stalwart member of the Point Loma Optimist Club in past years.  We wish her well as she aspires to continue her public service.



Tuesday, September 11th

ANNOUNCEMENTS:  First, a moment of silence in respect for those who lost their lives during and in the rescue efforts for the victims of the 9/11/01 attacks on the United States of America.  Thank you.

September 17, 2018 – 5:00 pm Board Meeting at SDYC, Review of draft 2018/19 Budget, all members welcome; 6:00 pm Steak Fry at SDYC

September 24, 2018 – 6:00 pm 64th Installation Dinner at the Bali Hai, Shelter Island, $20 per person, please RSVP with Bert Barclay

October 20, 2018 – PLNU Fall Festival from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, volunteers needed to manage the booth, please see Tom Lewis for more info

              Laura Shinn, Director of Facilities Planning for SDSU

PRESENTATION:  Laura Shinn, Director of Facility Planning for San Diego State University, presented the SDSU Mission Valley plan for the stadium property.  This draft plan was created to share the vision SDSU has, should they be given the opportunity to purchase the property.  The plan includes a 50+ acre San Diego River Park, a 1.6 million square foot campus research, innovation and development center, and 4,600 new residential units for upper division students, faculty, staff, affordable and publicly offered, market rate housing.  The plan also includes a 35,000 seat stadium designed for college football, professional soccer and expandable to NFL standards (should an NFL team wish to locate in San Diego).  Two hotels, a conference center, 95,000 square feet of local serving commercial space and 22 acres of public parks compliment the balance of this trolley-centric plan.

“We will present this plan to the public, as a starting point for environmental and community review,” Laura told us.  “The plan must go through a CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) level review and significant impacts will be identified and mitigated.  This open and transparent review process will ensure the community and surrounding neighborhoods, that their concerns will be heard and addressed.”  The plan, as presented, contains over 50% open space and parks.  There are large walking and biking trails, and a critical link in the San Diego River Park trail that will eventually connect Mission Bay with the headwaters of the San Diego River.  The additional campus space will provide SDSU with approximately a 50% increase in the campus space on the mesa.  “We are land-locked on the mesa,” Laura said.  “We look to Mission Valley as the best chance for us to expand in a close, proximate location.  The property is only three trolley stops away!”

                              1st VP Steve Doyle and Laura Shinn

“SDSU provides $5.67 billion per year of economic impact to the San Diego region.  SDSU accounts for 42,000 jobs and pays almost $500 million per year in local and state taxes.  This is all done with the 185 acres on the mesa.  Imagine how much more we could do if we added the 132 acres in Mission Valley!” she added.  There were over 93,000 applications received for the fall of 2018 entering freshman class.  There were 5,700 students accepted.  The average incoming SAT score of the accepted students was over 1,250.  The average GPA was 3.8.  By growing SDSU into the Mission Valley site, campus officials estimate another 15,000 students could added to the total student population, which exceeds 35,000 today!

                        Steve Doyle with Friends of SDSU

Steve Doyle, a member of the Friends of SDSU (and 1st VP of the Point Loma Optimist Club) presented the initiative, SDSU West – Prop G, that will provide SDSU wit the opportunity to expand into Mission Valley.  “Our initiative is very simple.  Our initiative directs the City of San Diego to enter into negotiations with SDSU to sell them the stadium property at Fair Market Value.  And, it requires SDSU, if they purchase the property, to build the River Park, a new stadium, go through a public process for planning and environmentally reviewing their plan, take over the cost of       maintaining the existing stadium and to do all this work without any money from the City General Fund.  Prop G is on the November 6th ballot.  Prop G has garnered the most diverse and significant group of endorsements ever seen in a San Diego local election.  And, Prop G is sponsored by a group called Friends of SDSU, who wrote, qualified, defended and now are campaigning for its adoption.  Friends of SDSU are alumni, business people, environmentalists, community activists, philanthropists, and past presidents of SDSU.  All of our members have agreed to not be financially involved with the future development of the property, if Prop G passes.  Prop G provides the best opportunity to grow SDSU.  The competing Measure, Prop E proposes a new shopping center.  The future of San Diego is in the hands of the voters.  A vision for Mission Valley and San Diego is at stake.  Do you want a new university campus, focused on research and innovation?  Or, do you want another shopping center?  Please vote “YES” on Prop G and “NO” on Prop E!”

Club members asked numerous questions and then thanked both presenters.


Tuesday, September 4th


September 11, 2018 (7:00 AM) – Breakfast Meeting, SDYC.  Topic:  SDSU West presentation.
September 17, 2018 (5:00 PM) – Board Meeting, SDYC (members welcome)
September 17, 2018 (6:00 PM) – Steak Fry
September 24, 2018 (6:00 PM) – Installation Dinner, Bali Hai Restaurant, $20/person, Hawaiian attire.
October 20, 2018 – Annual Fall Festival at Point Loma Nazarene.  Tom Lewis is seeking volunteers for booth.


A recent letter from a UC Berkeley freshman awarded one of our scholarships this spring reads, in part, “I am so grateful that there are really people looking out for kids like me in this community.  A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.  Because of you, my first year at college will be paid off.  Thank you endlessly.  Hope to make you proud!

The Installation Dinner at the Bali Hai on 9/24/2018 will start at 6:00 PM, buffet dinner at 6:45 PM, with outgoing President Bramley buying the first round.  We wish him a speedy recovery to make good on this promise, and to see him up and running at full speed again!  Please pay Bert Barclay ($20 per person) by the next breakfast meeting, so we have a good head count for this event.

Optimist SoCal Region Governor-Elect Diana Drummey addresses the attentive breakfast audience.

We welcomed the Governor-Elect for the Optimist’s Southern California District, Diana Drummey, who spoke briefly about upcoming conventions and activities. We were also pleased to welcome Bonita Chapter’s John Reid and Elaine Lucca, who are assisting in creating a PLHS Junior Optimist Club associated with ours.


Buck Buchanan of SD MOM, Gov-Elect Diana Drummey, acting President Jeff Fischbeck and SD MOM Operations Director Barbara Chavez

As our guest speaker this morning, we were delighted to host Barbara Chavez, Operations Director for the SD Military Outreach Ministries (SD MOM), accompanied by our Point Loma neighbor and friend, Buck Buchanan.  In their work with SD MOM, a non-denominational faith based charity, they provide much needed basic assistance to young military families in the SD County area. We are talking food, clothing and household items that would not otherwise be affordable for military families ranking E-5 and below, with this region’s high cost of living. They are connected to Dewey Elementary and Dana Middle Schools and make their available services known to other schools such as Cabrillo and OB Elementary which also have high military family populations. If you have used furniture, clothing or other household goods to donate that might otherwise be difficult to get to Goodwill, SDMOM will pick them up and get them directly to the military families in need! Barbara and her team may be contacted at the SDMOM website (sandiegomom.org) or via email at office@sandiegomom.org. We thank Barbara, Buck and the folks at SD MOM for their excellent support.


Tuesday, August 28th

Announcements:  September 4, 2018 – Breakfast Meeting, SDYC at 7:00 am

September 24, 2018 – Installation Dinner, Bali Hai Restaurant, particulars to come

October 20, 2018 – Annual Fall Festival at Point Loma Nazarene, volunteers being sought to manage booth

        Rico Garcia, Tom Lewis, Bill Fiedler and Art Curran

   1st VP Steve Doyle and Scott Hedencamp

Today the Point Loma Optimist Club introduced its newest member!  Scott Hedencamp, an architect and developer, stepped up to join the Club.

Scott is a native San Diegan, long time peninsula resident and second generation Optimist.  Welcome Scott!

This past Saturday, Rico, Tom, Bill and Art took part in the quarterly review of the Optimist truck and flag supply.  These gents gave the Flag Truck a healthy “once over” and then removed, inspected, repaired or replaced each of the flags and their poles, about 160 in total!  A nice bit of work to keep our equipment and inventory in good shape.  Thanks guys!

Presentation:   Today we welcomed back a friend and previous guest, Katrina Pescador, the Director of Library & Archives and the Director of Volunteer Services at the San Diego Air and Space Museum (SDASM).  Katrina had made a presentation to our Club approximately 10 year previous and remembered our group as a welcoming, fun-loving Club, always looking to learn something new … sounds like an Optimist Club to me!  Since her last presentation, Katrina has collected the title of Director of Volunteer Services to go along with her training and experience in the Library and Archives world for museums.  Katrina brings over 20 years of experience in museum management and we are lucky to have her here in San Diego.

          Katrina Pescador, SDASM and 1st VP Steve Doyle

“San Diego has a rich and extensive history in aviation and aviation manufacturing,” she told us.  “That history goes back to 1910 and is dotted with names like, Fleet, Ryan, Jessop, Lindberg, Convair and many others.  To honor this history and share it with generations to come, the San Diego Aerospace Museum was established in October of 1961.”  The museum opened in February of 1963 and quickly outgrew its original home.   By 1965, it had moved into the Electric Building, but that too had it’s size challenges.  Through the early 70’s the City looked for a new home for the Aerospace collection, and in 1977 a grant was received that would help upgrade and retrofit the Ford Building as its new home.  However, before the Ford Building rehab could be completed, a devastating fire consumed the Electric building on February 22, 1978.  Most of the museum’s contents were destroyed by the fire, including over 50 aircraft, and the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts and archival collections.

Two years later, February 22, 1980, the new Aerospace Museum opened to the public.  The growth in its collections has been unprecedented.  An annex facility at Gillespie Field was added to house the ever increasing collection of aircraft.  In 2006, the Aerospace Museum officially changed its name to the San Diego Air and Space Museum to better reflect its growing collections and mission.  “We now have the second largest collection of Air and Space material, trailing only the collection housed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.” said Katrina.  “And, we are trying to get our photographs, documents and artwork all digitized and made available on the web.  We want people to learn about aviation and space exploration.  We want scholars doing research.  We want young minds to be opened to the thrill and wonder of space travel.  It is part of our mission to make this information available.”

“If you want a tour of the SDASM, just stop by and look for one of our Docents in a red jacket.  If you have a group of more than 10, call us and reserve a time for our Docents to give you a tour.  The Air and Space Museum is open for business.  Please come see us.”

Thank you, Katrina.  With such a great presentation and such real enthusiasm, you can count on us all stopping by real soon!

Tuesday, August 14th


August 2o:  Board Meeting at 5:00 pm at SDYC

Steak Fry at 6:00 pm at SDYC

August 28:  Breakfast Meeting at 7:00 am at SDYC

1st VP Steve Doyle and Council Member Lorie Zapf

Program:  More powerful than a locomotive! Faster than a speeding bullet!  Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!  She is Superwoman!

Okay, maybe not.  Especially when she has to rely on four other councilmembers to vote for her motions!  Council Member Lorie Zapf is the representative for District 2 of San Diego.  This District includes Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Downtown.  Councilmember Zapf visited with the Optimist Club this morning to give us an update on activities and actions in our community.

“Get it done! is live and available for your phone and home computer,” she told us.  “It is the quickest way to get an issue in front of the City.  Do you have a dreaded pothole?  A cracked sidewalk?  A missing traffic sign?  Or a street light that doesn’t work?  Let us know by using the Get It Done San Diego app.  It is available in the App Store.  And, it will bring your concern front and center to San Diego staff!  I use it all the time!”

Lorie also brought us up to speed on road improvements, median improvements and other infrastructure work going on in Point Loma and Ocean Beach.  She answered questions about the Short Term vacation rentals ordinance, the rent-a-bike and rent-a-scooter problems, and a myriad of other issues before the City Council.  As always, Lorie was straight-forward and honest in her appraisal of the issues and how she would like to see them handled.

Lorie shared her passion for helping children and told us of her special appreciation for our mission and the work of the Optimist Club in supporting the children of Point Loma and Ocean Beach.  “When we can help a child learn to read at an early age, then the child can learn for the rest of their lives.  It sounds so simple, but getting started in life with a good education and an enjoyment in reading can make all the difference for a child growing up.  Thank you for all you do for the children of this community” she told us.

Lorie is in the middle of her re-election campaign to continue her service for District 2 for another 4 years.  Lorie also recently endorsed Prop G for the November Ballot.  Prop G is the SDSU West Campus Research Center, Stadium and River Park Initiative.  The Point Loma Optimist appreciate all the fine work of Council Member Zapf and wish her the best in the coming election

Tuesday, August 7th


August 14, 2018, 7:00 am: Breakfast Meeting at SDYC

August 20, 2018, 5:00 pm: Board Meeting at SDYC

August 20, 2018, 6:00 pm: Steak Fry at SDYC


Acting President Chris Jacobs welcomes Commodore Brett Hershman.

We were honored to have Captain Brett Hershman, USN, Commodore of the Military Sealift Command (MSC) Pacific, as our guest speaker this morning.  He is a Point Loma resident, with his headquarters on Naval Base Point Loma (formerly known as the Submarine Base).  The MSC’s 125 ships are manned by 8,300 relatively senior merchant marines averaging 43 years of age, and by embarked US Navy support.  The ships are varied, including hospital ships (such as USNS Mercy), shallow draft fast boats, Army pre-positioning ships (such as the USNS John Wayne), oilers and other special mission ships.  The new design fleet tugs are the MSC’s “Swiss Army knives,” which have multiple missions including such things as submarine rescue and salvage capabilities.  He briefed us on his wide ranging responsibilities in keeping fuel, food and other logistic support flowing to the fleet.  Even though our nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines can go decades between refueling, there is still the need for jet fuel, food, and spare parts that the MSC provides at sea.  Our nation’s ability to do underway replenishments all around the globe is unique, and distinguishes us from all other navies.  The Commodore described the recent 3-week RIMPAC exercises in which his ships worked with 45 allied navy ships to practice this replenishment capability.  He dazzled us with technological advances such as at-sea transfer “pills” that are pulled from a supply ship to a submarine.  They are large enough for big parts yet small enough to pass down a 21″ hatch.  Even drones are being used to do transfers at sea now!  Amazon must be envious.  We are very grateful for Captain Hershman’s 30+ years of arduous duty as a Surface Warfare Officer and in numerous conflicts supporting our national defense.  We also thank him for taking some of his very valuable time to talk with us.  Details of his impressive service are available at this link.

Commodore Hershman in follow-up Q&A with interested members after the meeting

Tuesday, July 31st


July 31, 2018: 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC

August 7, 2018: 7:00 am. Breakfast Meeting at SDYC


VP Chris Jacobs welcomes Art Curran as our newest member.

Acting President Chris Jacobs presided as we inducted new member Art Curran into the club at this morning’s breakfast.  He’s a 4th generation Californian originally from Bakersfield, and now residing in Point Loma with his wife Mari.  He is a former prosecutor and retired private practice attorney … and golfer.  Welcome aboard (and happy birthday), Art! 

What did all the following have in common (Air Force One, tongue-tied cherry stem knots, #HunterKillerSub, VW vans, Walt Disney, the Boston Braves, AUV competitions, “11” on the telephone dial, St Andrews, the White House, and Da Nang)?  These were just portions of personal factoids that members presented in lieu of a guest speaker at this morning’s breakfast.  Very entertaining and enlightening.

Scott Hedenkamp and his high school freshman daughter Jadyn were our guests at today’s breakfast.  Afterwards, she presented her very enterprising proposal to create a Junior Optimist club at PLHS that would be affiliated with the Pt Loma Optimists.  Member (and former teacher) Paula Perretta volunteered to be the initial point of contact as we put this to the Board for approval and assemble a committee to assist her in this endeavor.

Tuesday, July 24th


July 24, 2018: 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC

July 31, 2018: 7:00 am. Breakfast Meeting at SDYC


Bert Barclay presents the coveted Pt Loma Optimist Club Golf Tournament trophy to this year’s champion — member Jesse Sikorski.

President Bill Bramley opened the meeting with a resounding “thank you” to Bert Barclay and all those who made the annual Optimist Club of Point Loma Golf Tournament such a success … raising over $3500 which will go to supporting Peninsula youth.  Optimist Jesse Sikorski, the tournament winner and now the reining club champion, was presented the “Stanley Cup” of our club’s golf tournaments.  His name is inscribed on the trophy for posterity, thus joining the legions of those who went before him.  Particularly notable was that Jesse did this with a sprained ankle.  Next year we are expecting even better from him!
Next Tuesday’s breakfast meeting will be followed by a few members meeting with Scott Hedenkamp and his high school freshman daughter Jadyn, who is proposing the creation of a Junior Point Loma Optimist Club.
In lieu of a guest speaker this morning, there were some particularly good jokes, as well a sincere discussion of the benefits in donating to the Optimist Club of Point Loma as a part of estate planning.
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