Coming Events

This page connects you with the upcoming events that the Oakridge Optimists are involved with.  Scroll down to review some of our past events.

Our next event will be held on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 at the Double Tree Hotel.  For all the details see our trivia night page.

2019 Optimist International Essay Contest
What:      The Essay Contest is sponsored by Optimist International 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 their country or a more historical perspective. In addition to developing skills for written expression, participants also                         have the opportunity to win a college scholarship! One District Scholarship of $2,500.
Topic:       The topic for the 2018-2019 school year is "When All the World’s Problems are Solved, is Optimism Still Necessary?.
Who:        Students under the age of 19 after October 1, 2018.
When:      All writers must hand in their essays by Thursday, JANUARY 31, 2019.
How to Enter:  Interested students must contact Optimist Don Lucas by phone (226) 663-4854 to register.  They need to submit an essay on the noted topic.  See the Application Form for rules.

2019 Optimist International Oratorical Contest
What:      Beginning in 1928, the Oratorical Contest has become the longest-running program of Optimist International. The contest is designed for young people to gain experience in public speaking                    and provide them with an opportunity to compete for multiple college scholarships with a pre-assigned topic.
Topic:     The topic for the 2018-2019 school year is Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?
Who:       Students under the age of 19 after October 1, 2018
When:     The club contest was held on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 915am at the Byron Public Library.
Result:     Selected winners at the club level will compete at the Zone level.  Contestants have the opportunity to go on to contests at the District, Regional and World levels.  District Scholarships: First Place: $2,500 • Second Place: $1,500 • Third Place: $1,000 with a chance to win up to $22,500 at the World Championships level.
How To Enter:  Email Optimist Don Lucas by phone (226) 663-4854 for details.  See the attached application form for rules.

Past Events

2018 Charity Golf Tournament
The tournament was held at FireRock Golf Club on Sunday, September 16th and was a big success with 32 teams registered and a host of sponsors, donors and volunteers to make the day complete.  We raised enough money to give $10,000.00 to Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontarion and have just a little left over to support the many other programs that benefit youth in our community.  Pictured in this photo are Taylor Longfield from RMH, Optimist President Rick Gillespie and Optimist Golf Chair Ramona Fudge.  

Here is a bit of what Taylor had to say.  "Just wanted to take a minute to pass along our gratitude.  Oakridge Optimists has been a HUGE support to the House and families with sick children.  This year marks the sixth year that the Annual Golf Tournament has donated to the House – that’s a grand total of $60,000 – WOW!  Because of you we’re able to help give families more time together, a gift that is priceless.  Thank you for your continuous support, from dinners at the House – I know the baked chicken was a hit last night – the golf tournament proceeds, other donations and giving, etc. you are truly one of our Champions."

Thanks go out to all of these sponsors and donors.  Have a look at a few pics.

Hole and Contest Sponsors:  Chapman Real Estate TeamByron Pizza, Joe Kool's, Oxford Dodge, Melchers Construction,  Crossings Eatery and Pub, Scott Galpin and Stewart MacDonnell Real Mortgage Associates, Downs Law, jpw systems inc.,  R.J. Lyons Real Estate Appraisal Services, Western IT Group, Paula V. Adams Law, Real Canadian SuperstoreFord Keast Chartered Professional Accountants, 3 D&M Contracting, Ivest Equity Oakridge Optimist Soccer Club,  Breakfast Sponsor:  McDonalds  Dinner Sponsor:  Spriet Family CompaniesPrize and Other Donors:  FireRock Golf Club, Tim Horton's, Boston Pizza, Crossings Eatery and Pub, Steam Whistle Brewery, Keyline Industrial Ltd., Muskoka Brewery, Caradoc Sands Golf Course, Culligan Water, Molson's, Paula V. Adams Law, Kelsey's Fanshawe Park Road, Team Works, Montana's, Double Tree by Hilton, Bennett Truck Rental, Domino's Pizza, Farley-Brodie Associates Inc., City of London, Jenny and Optimist Drew Hauser, Optimist Bill Adams, Dad Club London, Kate Brown, Picard's Peanuts, Chatter's Hair Beauty Salon Masonville, Stephen Lehman (In Fashion, JAS Shoes, Life Style), Beer Town, Westown Shoe Clinic, Western IT Group, 3M Canada, Western Auto Service and London Hydro.  

Oakridge Optimists partner with Western Frosh

Oakridge Optimist Community Park on Valetta Street was the scene of a big clean up on Saturday, September 8th.  Optimist volunteers partnered with over thirty Western University frosh to pick up garbage, clean the Optimist office in the arena and clean out the concession booth near the splash pad as part of Western’s Orientation Serves Day.  One of the more important features in the park that got a make over was the newly installed Optimist Memorial Bench.  It is located near the field house and was placed there as a place for quiet reflection and is a symbol of recognition for Optimist members that have passed.

The Optimist Club formally “adopted” the park last year and we are responsible for having a minimum of two clean ups each year.  The first occurred in conjunction with Clean and Green in April.  

London saw thousands of first year students coming to Western and Frosh Week serves to give them an orientation to the campus and the community.  Western’s OServes program partnered with over 50 organizations and had almost 2,000 students volunteering to support these local programs across the city.

The Optimist Club would like to thank the students who helped us and send a big welcome to London to each of them.

London Food Bank
Our club members and families volunteered at the London Food Bank on May 8th, 2018.  Many thanks to Optimist Murray Bain for organizing.

2018 Optimist International Essay Contest
Topic:       The topic for the 2018-2019 school year was "Can society function without respect?.
Result:      Anika Garg won our Club contest and went on to win at the District level as well.  Congratulations Anika on taking home the $2,500.00 scholarship.

2018 Optimist International Oratorical Contest
What:  The topic for the 2017-2018 school year was "Where are my roots of Optimism?"
Who:  Students under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2017
When:  The club contest was held on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 930am at the Byron Public Library.
Result:  Winner - Aaliyah Cromwell from Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School on left, 1st runner up - Revya Chhibber from Matthews Hall on right, 2nd runner up - Matthew Lantis from St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary School in the centre.  Congratulations to each student who participated.  The top two speakers will go on to the Zone Contest on April 25th at 700pm at the RCAF Hall on Crumlin Road in London.
On May 12th, our very own Revya Chhibber competed at the Mid Western Ontario District contest and placed first.  Congratulations Revya!  She competed at the Regional s on June 28 but did not make the World Competition.  Well done Revya!

2018 Trivia Night
We sold out all 70 tables at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel.  Thank you to our guests, volunteers, committee members, donors, sponsors and advertisers for your support that helped us raise over $30,000.00 that will fund our programs and donations that support the youth of our community.

2017 Golf Tournament 
This year's event was a great success with 34 foursomes and a cheque for $10,000.00 given to support Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario.  A big thanks goes out to all of the golfers, donors, sponsors and volunteers.  Have a look at a few of the pics here soon.

2016 Oratorical Contest
The first round of competition will be held on Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 at the Byron Public Library at 9:30am.  You must be under the age of 18 years and be a current student at a school within the Oakridge area.  The topic for your speech is "How my best brings out the best in others."  Top competitors from our contest may go on to compete at the District and International levels and could win a valuable scholarship.  For more information contact Optimist Don Lucas at 226 663-4854 or by email at

Our tournament is held each year on the third Sunday in September at Firerock Golf Course.  For all the details see our golf tournament page.

Reunion Breakfast Meeting
The club held a special breakfast meeting onSaturday, December 14th at Jim Bob Ray's.  Special guests included our Lieutenant Governor and the District Past Governor.  We had almost a dozen past members join us for a plentiful buffet breakfast served by the great people of Joe Kool's.  President Bruce's agenda included updates from several Optimist members who chair the many activities our club undertakes. Members had lots of time to reminisce and view photos and other memorabilia from years past.

6th Annual Oakridge Optimist Charity Golf Tournament
Our 2013 golf tournament was held on Sunday, September 15th, 2013 at FireRock Golf Club and was a huge success that raised over $8500.00.  We gave all of that and more in a cheque for $10,000.00 to Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario right here in London.  Thanks to all of our volunteers, sponsors, donors and golfers who made all of this possible.

9th Annual Oakridge Optimist Trivia Night
Our 9th annual, and best ever, trivia night fundraiser was held on Saturday, February 2nd, 2013 at the Hellenic Centre in London.  Over 50 volunteers hosted 440 trivia players at 55 tables. The players were challenged by 10 rounds of trivia questions and had opportunities to bid on silent auction items, raffle draws and lots of free contests.  Al Boudreau of London won $1977.00 with ticket number 278134 in our licensed 50-50 draw.  Thanks to our major corporate sponsors (Chapman Real Estate Team, Oxford Dodge and Scotiabank), advertisers, donors, volunteers and players for helping us raise almost $30,000.00 that will be used to support youth health, recreation, safety and education programs that benefit so many people in our community.  Please have a look at some of the images taken that night.  Coming Soon!

2013 Oakridge Optimist Trivia Night

5th Annual Oakridge Optimist Charity Golf Tournament
Our annual tournament was held at FireRock Golf Club on Sunday, September 16, 2012.  We enjoyed great weather and the company of 104 golfers.  Thanks to them and our sponsors, donors and volunteers we raised almost $9,000.00 that has been donated along with other fundraising efforts to ChildCan, Sunshine Foundation, Solidarity Experiences Abroad and many other local Optimist programs that benefit the youth of our community.  I hope you enjoy some of the images captured that day.

2012 Oakridge Optimist Charity Golf Tournament

2012 Oratorical Contest
Our club contest for public speaking was scheduled for April 27/12 at the Byron Public Library. Speaking contestants from Ms Kelly McKenzie's STA Grade 11 Public Speaking Class entered.  That morning at 9:30 there were nine orators and many classmates plus Ms McKenzie as spectators.  Carolyn Cameron, Diane Price and Tony Stacpoole were the speech evaluators. Optimist wife Judy Lucas plus Optimists Doug Mackay, Ron Fisher, Stewart Blair, Rick Gillespie, Don Draper and Don Lucas took part in the contest organization.
All the speakers were wonderful and showed great skills of Public Speaking!  Mary Austin placed first and Nicole Murphy achieved second place.  Following the contest we all had a PIZZA LUNCH before the students returned to STA and we Optimists wrapped up the morning.  As a consequence of our club Contest both Mary Austin and Nicole Murphy were selected to speak and represent of club at the May 1st ZONE 9 Contest on May 1st.
Mary and Nicole competed against five other contestants representing London Middlesex, London Fanshawe and London East Optimist Clubs.  Mary placed third but Nicole was chosen in second place and as a result, Nicole was asked to speak in Holstein at the District Oratorical Contest on May 12/12.  At that contest, Nicole Murphy, even with her broken collar bone, placed third and received a scholarship of $1000 for her post-secondary education!!!
WHAT A SUPER REPRESENTATIVE FOR OUR OAKRIDGE ACRES OPTIMIST CLUB THIS YEAR. Way to go, NICOLE! (see her with the arm sling in the District photo)
Thanks again to Optimist wife, Judy Lucas, for all her help and driving skills to the different contests.
Submitted respectfully by
Opt. Don Lucas
Oakridge Acres Opt. Club Oratorical Chair
Participants in our club's contest.  Participants of the Oakridge Optimist Club Contest
 Zone Contest 2nd Place winner Nichole Murphy (centre), 3rd Place winner Mary Austin (right), both from our club's contest.
  Nichole Murphy (4th from right), third place at District Contest and winner of $1000 scholarship.

London Clean and Green 2012
Join the Oakridge Optimist Club at Oakridge Optimist Community Park, 825 Valetta Street as we spruce up our park. Bring your work gloves and dress for the weather. We will have everything else. You can check out more details at or contact Optimist Mike at

On April 17th 2010 the Optimist Club of Oakridge Acres will be participating in the 2010 London Clean and Green.  We will be organizing activities at the Oakridge Arena (Oakridge Optimist Community Park).  For details see our Clean and Green Page.
The club celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007.  As part of those celebrations a legacy committee was struck to design projects that leave a lasting impact on the Oakridge community.
For details on the projects please see our legacy project page.