Malibu Optimist Club honors students

Students of Malibu Elementary receive certificates for character and community involvement. Photo contributed.

Malibu Optimist Club held its annual Youth Appreciation honoring 23 students on character and community involvement 

The Malibu Optimist Club held its annual Youth Appreciation honoring 23 students grade 5 through 12, for their fine character and community involvement. 

The International Optimist Club recognizes students for their exemplary character and positive attitude, positive contribution to society, and honors students who encourage exchange between young people and adults in the community.

Teachers, principals, and counselors from Malibu schools, including Principal Lila Daruty from Malibu Elementary, Principal Chris Hertz from Webster Elementary School, Principal Richard Nambu from Our Lady of Malibu, Principal Melisa Andino from Malibu Middle School, and Patrick Miller from Malibu High School.

Malibu Optimist Club Chair Bonnie Lockrem said the virtual recognition was held on Nov. 18, 2021.

“We had an exceptional turnout; we had almost 100 attendees on the zoom call, which included the parents, grandparents, and all their relatives, so we’re delighted that the families of the students were able to understand why the students won the award,” Lockrem said.

Lockrem said the students were able to adjust to zoom fairly quickly and were still able to do community projects such as a beach clean-up. Lockrem noted they have different programs every month that honors youth.

“A lot of the credit goes to the teachers, the principals, and the counselors for being able to identify these students,” Lockrem said. “We were grateful to have McDonald’s, Malibu Yogurt, and Lily’s Malibu give gift certificates since we weren’t able to actually take the students out as we used to.”

2021 Youth Appreciation Award Recipients

Malibu Elementary School

Sadie Regan       

Madison Grace O’Hara

Webster Elementary School

Carolyn Kim      

Leila Trujillo

Our Lady of Malibu

Henry Hill      

Andrijana Beman

Lars Stapelberg        

Finlay Wells

Maddie Foster

Malibu Middle School

Derek Vindler         

Freyja Jacobsen

Sawyer Keegan       

Mayeeda Wang

Piper Smith          

Joshua Spiess

Malibu High School

Grant Folkerts          

Caidyn Ovsiowitz

Kate Baker 

Stephen Smith          

Kade Kelly   

Keira Petkus        

Leila Iredell         

Linda Morazan 


Chartered in January 1960, the Optimist Club of Malibu’s original mission was to provide positive role models and mentors to the young men of Malibu. The motto at that time was “Friend of the Boy. “

Today’s motto, “Friend of Youth,” embraces the inclusive nature of our local community and of our club. The Optimist Club still continues to serve the children of Malibu but now includes the youth in Camp Miller in the surrounding Santa Monica Mountains as well as a co-sponsor of the 100+-year-old Optimist Youth Home in Eagle Rock. For more information, visit