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Friend_of_Youth-high-resEstablished in 1941, the Downtown Optimist Club of Meridian has been serving the Meridian and Lauderdale County Community in a multitude of ways. Internationally, Optimists conduct 65,000 community service projects each year, spending $78 million in their communities.  Annually, six million kids are positively affected by Optimist programs.

Since all Optimist Clubs are autonomous and run by members who are part of the community they serve, every Optimist Club has the flexibility to serve the youth of their area in any way they see fit. This gives The Downtown Optimist Club the ability to see a need and react to it immediately.

Members of the DTOC are local business leaders who have dedicated themselves to improving their community by providing a helping hand to the youth of our community. Our members are active in the community and are always on the look-out for new ways we can assist youth in whatever they are trying to achieve. Our motto is “Friend Of Youth!

DTOC Participation & Support:

  • Junior Golf
  • Crestwood T-Ball
  • The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships
  • The Bill Herndon Scholarship for Meridian Community College
  • The Hull Memorial Golf Tournament
  • Boys & Girls Club of Meridian
  • Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringers
  • Salvation Army Angel Tree
  • Meridian Police Department Shop With A Cop
  • And many more…

Our club was founded by civic leaders who started a tradition of service that continues until today In honor of those founding members of the Downtown Optimist Club, we are posting their names with the hope that their contribution to our community will never be forgotten.

Official 1941 Charter Roster

Downtown Optimist ClubOrganized: July 12, 1941
W.H. AbrahamW.E. Kittrell
Rev. J.H. AveryDr. Tom Lawrence
B.W. BickertFrank Lull
M.Q. BovardJames C. McNeal
John L. CastleWalter H. May
Thomas L. CheathamTom W. Moore
H.W. Clift, Jr.Charles Mosby, Jr.
Sam DavidsonW.N. Mynatt
DeWitt DentonH.B. Renfroe
L.T. DonnellyE.M. Rich
George W. Ethridge, Jr.Louis Rothenberg
John R. FerrillJ.T. Sherman, Jr.
H.W. FletcherDr. Guy T. Vise
Joel W. ForresterSam C. Watts
Lee M. HarrisOscar Yarbrough
Hardee Johnson, Jr.

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