Scholarship winners

From left are Optimist scholarship winners Kelsie Kaufman, Keturah Delcamp, Sam Skene, and Amy Coomer, with Junior Optimist advisor Michelle Carson. Photo provided

The Clarkston Area Optimist Club awarded $8,000 in scholarships to four graduating seniors, May 22.
“We are proud to be able to give these fine young adults scholarships,” said Curt Carson, scholarship chair. “As many people in the community know, the 100 member Optimist group offers support and programs to help kids in the community. The club’s Essay Contest and Oratorical Contest provide awards as well, though you do not have to be a senior to participate.”
Amy Coomer was awarded the Henry E. Richardson Scholarship. She was the Junior Optimist governor as a sophomore and was the CHS president this year. She will be attending Eastern Michigan University
Sam Skene, winner of the James Evans Scholarship, named after Clarkston Optimists’ first president, has been a Junior Optimist since the fifth grade. He has gone to three Junior Optimist International Conventions and was vice president of the club this year. He will be attending Ferris State University.
Kelsie Kaufman, winner of the Chandler Fleming Scholarship, named after the Clarkston Optimist past president, was active in Junior Optimists all three years in high school and was on the board this year. She will be attending the University of Michigan-Flint.
Keturah Delcamp, winner of the Kathy Middleton Scholarship, named after the Optimist Member of the Year for 2018, was also involved with the Junior Optimists since the fifth grade. She will be going to Cornerstone University where she will be majoring in Ministry and playing on the school soccer team.
Funding for these programs, as well as many others, is through fundraising efforts, including the Optimists’ March Trivia Night and summer car raffle.
The club initiated a scholarship fundraising program after two of it’s founding members, Jim Evans and Henry Richardson, fell through the ice on Deer Lake.
“Unfortunately, Henry Richardson did not make it,” Carson said. “Jim and the Optimist Club decided to have a fundraiser for the benefit of Mr. Richardson’s two children and to earn enough money to get them through college. Mr. Evans and the club were successful in this endeavor and then decided to continue the fundraising efforts to assist other local graduates in their quest for additional education. To date, the Optimists have provided over $136,000 in college scholarships to Clarkston area seniors.”
Aided by club advisor Michelle Carson, CHS Junior Optimist group has grown exponentially, Curt Carson said.
“Therefore the Optimist Adult Club decided to limit the scholarships to graduating seniors who are in the Junior Optimist Club and increased the scholarships to $2,000 each,” he said. “In addition, we decided to honor some of the members of the club that have given so much back to the community, by naming the scholarships after them. We have great young adults in the area.”