Thank you for joining the St Cloud Morning Optimists "Lessons in Leadership seminar" on

Wednesday, September 7th at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4310 County Road 137, St Cloud

Come to learn more about the real situation of war-torn Ukraine

Our speaker is Irina Fursman

Irina Fursman, is founder of the Institute of Cultural Affairs in Ukraine. She will speak about her experiences in Russia, Crimea and the Ukraine.  Born in the USSR, Irina spent the first half of her life in Russia, Crimea, and Ukraine. She moved to the US in 2002. She and her husband, Richard Fursman, Ed.D., have initiated civic leadership engagement and education programs in Ukraine and across the US. Her efforts to help the people of Ukraine has earned her the distinction of being on the “Enemies of Russia” list.  


Ms Fursman will be accompanied by 18 Ukrainian students from her "Global Synergy Group", who are in the US as part of the Ukraine-Minnesota Community exchange program. Her message is riveting and one you won't want to miss. Hear from the students about their real war-torn Ukraine. 

                         The purpose of Optimist International is to promote optimism in our youth, our communities, and ourselves.

We invite you to enhance your leadership skills and to become an ambassador for positivity in our community.



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On September 21, St Cloud Morning Optimist Club recognized nine youth in our community with a Youth Appreciation trophy for all the volunteer work they do for organizations in our area. 

The winners were Aunna Jackson (sponsored by Boys and Girls Club)not present for photo,   Hope Schuler (Cathedral), Evan DeWenter (Boys and Girls Club), Ben Noble (Boy Scouts) not present for photo  Katherine Mersinger (Girl Scouts) Fazio Salah

(CentraCare Jr Volunteers), Favour Gerald-Ugwu (Centra Care Jr Volunteers) Abigail Diaz(sponsored by Big Brother and Big Sisters, Katrina Hedburg sponsored by Higher Works), 

Youth Appreciation Week

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Achievement in Education

The St Cloud Morning Optimists presented Achievement in Education Awards on August 3 to six community member who work with children in many aspects of education, whether in the classroom, the athletic fields or discussion on how to be a better student. 

Emmett Keenan has worked with students at Cathedral HS as Athletics and Activities Director since  1998. Emmett has also contributed to numerous activities in the community in which he was recognized with many rewards.

Bob Karn is a Language Arts teacher and coach at Cathedral HS starting in 1969 and still on staff.  He was elected to five Minnesota Hall of Fame awards.

Courtney Loso and Traci Haugen teach at Kennedy. These two women tirelessly plan activity days monthly and to celebrate our students for their hard work.

James Turner  James biggest strength is connecting with others and building relationships. He works tirelessly making home visits ensure a student's safety and well being and connecting with parents and guardians to build trust. He attends student athletic events, co-curricular activities, graduations and  performances

Carl Jensen  Carl's experience and wealth of skills contribute to the up keep and ongoing maintenance of our building and grounds.  Carl is an understanding, kind hearted leader who goes above and beyond. Carl is a tremendous asset to the Apollo Community

                                                                    Friend of Youth Awards

The St Cloud Morning Club presented Friend of Youth Awards on July 13 to individuals and businesses in our community who have made outstanding contributions to youth in our area.

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1) Leighton Broadcasting was nominated by Boys and Girls Club. Amy Minerrath presented the award to Robyn Bright.

2) Jayne Benish  was nominated by Promise Neighborhood. Lucina Hudson presented the award.

3) Jenna Kingsley was nominated by the YMCA. Nick  presented the award.

4) Patty Funk was nominated by Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Jackie Johnson presented the award.

5 Mike Hofmann was nominated by Central MN Council of Boy Scouts.  Wade Bastian presented the award.

6) Sheri Gohmann was nominated by Central MN Council of Boy Scouts. Melissa Stritchers presented the awards.

Four individuals who were not present for the awards.

7) Hannah Fussy was nominated by Promise Neighyborhood

8) Dale Wahnschaffe was nominated by the Optimist Club.
9-10) Jason and Tracy Stock were nominated by the Optimist Club.  Jason is a teacher at Sauk Rapids HS and Tracy is an Education Specialist in District 742.
Melissa Stritchers and Wade Bastian will present  these awards at a later time.

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The St Cloud Morning Optimist Club presented nine scholarships to seniors in our area schools. Congratulations to the students that received these scholarships.
                                       T ech High School - Jay Gustin 
                                       Apollo High School -Taylor Wald
                                       Apollo High School - Taya Stroot Duea
                                        Sauk Rapids Rice - Bruce Paulson
                                        Foley High School - Kristi Brenny
                                        Albany High School - Marissa Gourde
                                        Cold Spring - 2 Scholarships Sara Humbert and Zachary Harris
                                        Cathedral High School  - Olivia Tadych
                                        Christian School - 

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Recognizing Jackie Robinson Day

On April 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson broke Baseball's color barrier when he made his historic MLB debut. Jackie was the first African American to play Major League Baseball in the US in the 2oth Century. Every year on April 15, baseball honors Jackie's legacy by celebrating his life, values  and accomplishments. Jackie wore # 42.  The St Cloud Morning Optimist Club provided T shirts with the number 42 printed on the back or the shirts, so children in our community could tell others why Jackie was so important.

Oratorical Contest

St Cloud Morning Optimist Club held their Oratorical Contest on March 24, 2022 at the Boy Scout Office 

We had two contestants.  They were Lilly Seamans age 16, from Sauk Rapids HS and Karl Lexvold age 16, home schooled in Kimball MN.  Both students can participate at our district contest on April 29 in Watertown SD.  The winner of the district contest will receive a $2500 scholarship from Optimist International. Congratulations to both contestants.  We wish you well.

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Thank you to the St. Cloud Morning Optimist Club for donating $15,316.90 to District 742 for the Optimist Park expenses! Funds will be used for picnic tables, benches, trash cans, and more! After the park is upgraded, come to see the improvements we have made. This park is a city park, school park, and Boys and Girls Club playground.
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