|Optimist Coleen Walker|
WE ARE INDEED members of one of the most dynamic clubs in Optimist International because we have made it so. Since our charter on March 25, 1999 club #78-329, the Sunset Optimist Club of Liguanea (SOCoL) has never failed to make its mark as a voluntary service organization.
On Tuesday, March 25, 2014 when we gather to celebrate the 15th anniversary of our charter, in essence it will be an expression of appreciation to the over 100 persons who have declared themselves Optimists through our club. For one reason or another, many are no longer on our club roster but we appreciate them anyway for it has been a journey. And from that journey of many challenges and triumphs, we can unashamedly boast in several areas. One area worthy of pride is leadership. SOCoL has been blessed with leaders whose unique style and approach have kept us steadfast in bringing out the best in kids.
President No. 15, Optimist Tetrice Prendergast is standing on the shoulders of some special people - each in his/her own right and own way. Charter president Optimist Charles Reid led the new club for six quarters with solid hands and vision. Reid was followed in the 2000/2001 year by the indomitable Dennis Brown. Then came the matriarch of the Walker clan, Coleen (01/02) whose son and daughter, Kenneth M. Walker, Jnr. and Karlene M. Walker held the presidency in the 04/05 and 05/06 years respectively. Both were to later become Lieutenant Governors of Zone 4 in 2007/08 and 2013/14.
Before that though, little miss go-getter, the quintessential Optimist, Heather Chin (later Walker) had taken over the 2002/03 presidency mid-way from Kisha Sawyers. Chin became the second president to serve for 6 quarters continuing on to the 03/04 administrative year. She was also the first of five SOCoL presidents to have become Lt.G of zone 4. The others included the classy, compassionate and effective 07/08 club president, Optimist Latoya Wade and the visionary team player, Optimist Patrick Prendergast who served as club president in 2009/10.
Chin-Walker and Wade also moved on to become District Secretary-Treasurers to power-of-one-governor, Optimist Dwight Phillips (2011/12) and making-a-difference-governor, Optimist Lynden Buchanan (2012/13).
Other members of the illustrious SOCoL presidents club are the unassuming, Optimist Joet Powell (06/07) and fun-loving hard-worker, Optimist Philbert Perry (08/09). The charismatic and innovative, Optimist Marc- Maurice Frankson (2010/11) was followed by the hands-on dedication of Optimist Glaister Green (2011/12) and immediate past president, Optimist Lavern Brown, whose dedication and motivation always lifted the team.
At 15 then, yes we can sing of our leadership in Optimism. We can also crow about the quality of our volunteerism - the tremendous value of our time, personal experience, and more than 1.5 million dollars shared with hundreds of children and young people. Standout projects include Dare to Care, Eve 4 Life, Marie Atkins and Providence Basic Schools, Mathew 25:40, School of Hope, Bustamante Hospital for Children, and the UWI Hospital Children Ward. The work we do with junior optimists at The Queen's High and Kingston College as well as Rousseau Primary is also deserving of boast.
Let us recommit to the hope and positive vision of Optimism as we journey together in empowering our children for the next 15 years.
See more on the Sunset Liguanea Presidents Club here
Sunset Optimist Club of Liguanea
Uncovering the gifts of our children