Growing optimism

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From left: Junior Optimist Club outgoing President Kate Mahon, Junior Optimist International President Raquel Ravaglioli, Optimist Club Past President Mark Ball, installation officer John Profant, Optimist Club President Anne Payne and Junior Optimist Club President Katie Rollins.

More than 50 people attended a ceremony on Sept. 29 at Zuma Canyon Orchids as outgoing Optimist Club President Mark Ball handed the gavel to incoming President Anne Payne. Also, Kate Mahon, outoing president of the Junior Optimists Club at Malibu High School ceded her reign to Katie Rollins.

Awards were given for the past year’s multiple accomplishments. Many members were lauded for their outstanding contributions to the community through the group’s sponsorship of citizenship awards for local students, essay and speech competitions, Respect for Law Day, Educator Recognition Week and college scholarships for high school seniors.

Raquel Ravaglioli attended the event. She is the past president of the Malibu High group. She recently attended the international convention in Montreal, where she was elected international president of the Junior Optimists.

Payne wrote in an e-mail to The Malibu Tmes, “Having the young people involved is not new to the Optimist Club because we are ‘Friend of Youth’ in our mission statement and focus. The young peoples’ group has revitalized the service club. More and more parents and grandparents have become involved in the club’s activities The Malibu Optimists now have college through senior citizens and all ages in between.”

The Malibu club, which was formed in 1960, still has two charter members, Judge John Merrick and retired school principal Ron Merriman. The junior club was formed recently and has more than 25 members. Some middle school students attended last month’s event and are considering forming a middle school version of the club.