Service clubs have long had the reputation as places for old white guys to get together to schmooze and tell bad jokes.
While that reputation may still hold at least some truth with some clubs, particularly one local service club, it is getting to be less and less the case for most service clubs. Even though most such clubs have become coed and ethnically more diverse many such clubs are suffering from declining membership, at least partially because of such reputations. Unfortunately, that is true of local clubs, too. Many are remaking themselves by returning to their original missions, which were serving their communities. Local Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions and other groups seem to be returning more and more to their chartered missions of service.
The Optimists, however, have long battled the overriding service club reputation by being a social club second and a service group first. The motto of the Optimists the world over is "friend of youth," and our two local Optimists clubs have been serving Imperial Valley youths since the clubs' inceptions.