Serving the Youth of Cornwall since 1948
The Optimist Club of Cornwall was chartered on November 20 1948, the late Norm Ross was the charter President. there were 59 charter members and the membership has increased and decreased over the years. In the 60’s and 70’s we had as many as 75 members, and on our 50th Anniversary we had 26 members. We are currently 26 members and are always seeking new members.
The Club’s first major project was a combined project with Cornwall, Brockville, Ottawa, Kingston and Smiths Falls to develop a boys camp at Graham lake Near Brockville. Our Cornwall Club alone sent over 200 under-privelidged boys to camp each summer until the late Seventies when support for the camp fell off and it had to be closed.
We have sponsored football teams, hockey teams many times over the years and still do to this day, our Cornwall Optimist Minor Ball Hockey League has been in operation for over thirty years thanks to Gerry Sommerville and his executives. We also have a growing minor softball league in it’s fifth’s year of operation and going strong.
Starting in 1954 we held a $1000.00 Bond a Month draw which sold out of the 2500 tickets every month, this was stopped when all the provincial loteries began to come out. The Bond a Month raised a large sum of money for our club projects over the years. In the Sixties we sponsored a Junior Pipe Band and Majorettes squad that took part in Parades everywhere, Toronto, Montreal, Expo 67 the Grey Cup Parades, St.Patricks day in Montreal and on Parliment Hill bringing much honor and recognition to Cornwall.
Some other major undertakings of the Club were fundraising for the Cornwall General Hospital , the YMCA and the Kinsmen School for the trainable in the 60’s and 70’s. We delivered Christmas Baskets to the needy for over thirty years until the Service Club Council formed a city wide program that all Service Clubs participate in and we served over 1500 families last year. In recent years we proudly raised $25,000.00 for the Cornwall Community Hospital. We give bursaries to the local High Schools, we donate to the Cornwall Treatment Center, Hospice Conwall, big Brothers/Big Sisters, Relay for Life,Childrens Aid Society and much more.
Visit our Community Projects page to learn more about what we provide the youth of Cornwall.
The Optimist Club of Cornwall received its Charter November 20th 1948. It’s Youth Work since that time has been outstanding. Among its many activities is Bicycle safety week, Youth Appreciation week, Oratorical Contest. Sponsoring Minor Football League and Optimist Junior Pipe Band, and many others projects. .
Since it’s charter The Optimist Club proposed in cooperation with the City of Cornwall and the Citizens of Cornwall a long term project to be known as Optimist Park. The Park located in the Northern section of the City of Cornwall and was commonly known as the old town and township dump is a 16.65 acres of flat land forming a plateau several feet higher in elevation than the surrounding terrain. Because of its strategic location of the park, it serve a double function; Neighborhood Park and Community Park.To achieve this, the development concept includes a mixture of uses, such as pedestrian and bicycle pathway, softball diamonds, football/soccer fields plus a hard surface area that became the skateboard park completed in 1989. Bleachers, lighting and fencing was added over the years. Two skating rinks are currently available during winter season for day and evening skating.
The last addition to this project was the construction of the Optimist Sport Centre completed in 1995. The sport centre is used for Club meetings and any sponsored youth and sports activities, girl guides and is available free of charge to youth organizations. The hall is also available for rentals such as Baby Showers , Wedding shower, Family gathering. The hall is equipped with full kitchen. The Clubhouse was renamed: The Bud Guilbeault Youth Centre after Bud’s passing in 2010. Optimist Bud was instrumental from conception to completion of the Optimist Park; Optimist Bud was a member of our Club for almost 50 years and a true visionary.
Optimist members are indeed proud of the facilities providing hours of enjoyment to the Youth of Cornwall and the surrounding communities.