Karen Krietlow of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) was our guest speaker for our August 5th Optimist meeting. She told us about their Annual Block Kids Contest. The purpose of the contest is to educate elementary students and promote interest in the construction industry. The contest is run much like a modern day construction project. . Each contractor is led to his or her job site by a foreman, where he or she will build a Lego construction project. Projects will be judged by building inspectors on the basis of originality and explanation of the project. All participants will be using plastic interlocking Lego building blocks and other materials. There will be a first place winner from each grade level and the overall winner from the five finalists. The project should be construction related such as buildings, structures or equipment used in construction. Kids in grades K-5th grade are eligible to preregister for 60 entries this year. The cost is free. The event will be held Oct. 9th. Registration at 9:00 AM and contest will start at 10:00 AM. The Optimist Club is excited to look for opportunities where we can be of service to this great program.

For more information go to:

The Sioux Valley Optimist Club has provided sets of the book and plush toy to kids facing fears, worries and questions they may have as they go through cancer treatment at Sanford Children’s Hospital. We are pleased to be a partner with this program to help a child conquer their fears during a struggling time in their lives.
The Sioux Valley Optimist Club works to help kids build self-confidence and become more optimistic. This week, the Sioux Valley Optimist provided two 4th of July craft activities for kids to be included in the Food for Sioux Empire Kids meal deliveries. We also gave the students a copy of the Optimist Creed. We challenged the students to “Promise yourself to do ten things outlined in the Optimist Creed that will help you create the life and career success that you want and deserve”. It suggests that optimism is related to action – action you can take to become more optimistic and to build your success.
The Swami Challenge is a major fundraiser put on by the Optimists for the Boys and Girls Clubs and other youth organizations in the Sioux Empire. 
The Sioux Valley Optimist Club is proud to be a partner in helping to support this organization.
The Sioux Valley Optimist Club is proud to support David Jal and the Khor Wakow Project with a donation of $1000 to help initiate a process of positive change for the children of South Sudan

Chloe Clements spoke to the Sioux Valley Optimists about the Accurate and Conscious Education Academy (ACE) is a new local nonprofit mixed age K-8 private school that caters to minority students. Their mission is to recognize and explore the potential of every student through culture, opportunity and access regardless of economic status.
ACE Academy aims to provide quality education that acknowledges the importance of culture while addressing the unique challenges posed to minority students and their families.

Bowling for Kids 2019

The 2019 Bowling For Kids was a huge success.  Thank you to everyone who participated and to all the event sponsors for helping Sioux Valley Optimist raise money for kids in our community!

Introducing our New Club President! On Sept. 24th, Rich Jensen was installed as the club’s 2019-20 President for the Sioux Valley Optimist Club. Rich, as were the Officers and Directors for the club, were installed by Dave Martin, past DMM District Governor and the gavel was presented by past Sioux Valley Optimist Club President, Patrick Erickson. We thank our past officers for their service to the organization. Congratulations to the new officers and we wish them the best in the coming year!

The Sioux Valley Optimist Club of Sioux Falls was hosted by the McCrossan Boys Ranch for our weekly lunch meeting this Monday. Christy Menning, Director of Development for McCrossan Boys Ranch spoke about the ranch and gave our members a tour of the facility. Sioux Valley Optimist Club presented the McCrossan Boys Ranch with a check to support their youth program. We are very proud to be part of this great organization supporting youth in our community!

PGA TOUR Champions Event

McKenzie Swenson, volunteer coordinator for the Sanford International spoke to the Sioux Valley Optimist Club about volunteer opportunities at the PGA TOUR Champions event. The event is September 16th-22nd at the Minnehaha Country Club, Sioux Falls SD.

EmBe Youth Essay Contest Winners

2019 Golfing for Kids Tournament

Sharing time at Christmas with the students of Horace Mann Elementary


Dennis provided cake at the Sioux Valley Optimist Club celebrating the
September birthdays.  Happy Birthday Gunther!

The Sioux Valley Optimists welcomed Norbet and Andrea Terlau and Fong Roemeling as our guests.

2018 Sioux Valley Optimist Golfing for Kids Golf Tournament

HAPPY BIRTHDAY this month to: Patrick, Carla, (not pictured) Gita, Jeff and Darryl.
And guest speaker: Nolan, with Simon Says Give, joined in the picture as he turned 13 this month!

Nolan Fleming of Simon Says Give of Sioux Falls spoke to the club about his non-profit organization providing a Birthday gift that is something the child needs, and a gift that is something that the child wants for fun! The box has plates and napkins, cake mix and frosting and everything needed to host a birthday celebration. Congratulations Nolan for a great job helping kids in our community!  We are proud to support Nolan’s efforts.

Dave Martin was recognized at the 100th Optimist International Convention in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on July 9 for the Personal Growth & Involvement Award. This was a Level 10, the highest level of that program. Congratulations Dave!


Happy Birthday Tom!


2018 Sioux Valley Optimist  Flag Day Celebration at Children’s Home Society

2018 Sioux Valley Optimist Elvis Tribute
The Sioux Valley Optimist Club would like to thank all of our guests, friends, supporters, sponsors, volunteers, staff, the Event Committee, Orpheum Theater, Optimist members and Board of Directors, and Everett Dean for helping make our 2018 Elvis Tribute Fundraiser a success.  Your support makes it possible to achieve our mission of helping kids in our community!

HAPPY June BIRTHDAYS to Tom Roberts (right) and Greg Honl.

Thank you to Dennis (left) for always making the amazing cakes!


WELCOME Freeman Park as a new member! Formerly a member of the Watertown Optimist Club.


WELCOME Cera Rensch as a returning member. So glad to have you back with the change in your work schedule!


A little Banjo history, a little foot tapping music – thank you to Doug Hagen for helping us look at the
sunny side of everything and make our optimism come true…music for our soul!



The Sioux Valley Optimist Club encouraged area students to take part in the Optimist International
Essay Contest on the topic of “Can Society Function Without Respect?”
The winners at the local level this year were: 1st Place-Faith Burns, 2nd Place-Alexis Stoffers and
3rd Place-Jayci Holsing. Congratulations to these students for their outstanding achievement.


Hawthorne Elementary




Sioux Valley Optimist Bowling for Kids

A great time had by all at the 2nd Annual Bowling for Kids Fundraiser at Eastway Bowl!

In addition to welcoming new members the SVOC friends enjoyed another fun social time. Thank you, Rich and Janice for always providing “learning” opportunities!
It’s National Hoodie-Hoo Day today, February 20 and we prepared for it with hat decorating and poem writings. Check out some of the poems that were written here

Let’s HOODIE-HOO Winter out of sight today….1st day of SPRING is only one month away! #hoodiehoo #optimists #svoc #springiscoming

See some of the Hoodie Hoo activities here





Learn more about the BLUE JEANS & Bling fundraiser here


Optimists Dave Martin, Dennis Schmitz and Greg Honl served dinner for 40 kids at the Youth Center, The meal was prepared by their cook Marissa Ageton and Dennis Schmitz. A check from Sioux Valley Optimist was also presented to Director Rob Shaw to cover the cost of the meal.


A great time was had by all at the 2017 Optimist Christmas Holiday Party.  The ugliest sweater went to Gita H. and champions were awarded for our “Christmas Hink Pink” contest.


The Titan Junior Optimist Club was chartered on November 21 at New Tech High. Governor-Elect Dave Martin chartered the club and installed their officers and board. Thank you to Angie Wahl (Committee Chair), Gita Hendricks, Dave Martin and Greg Honl who have worked on building the Titan Junior Optimist Club since last spring.


Emily Gulbrandson, Volunteer Coordinator, and Jill Pudwill, Director, from Fostering Hope. The Fostering Hope committee, chaired by Melissa Tordorff, organized the club’s participation in a Fostering Hope JUMP event on Saturday, December 2 to help the foster children create and wrap Christmas Gifts from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. SVOC is also donating 100 TLC toys for the JUMP event and $500 to help defray expenses.


Sioux Valley Optimist Club meeting at the East 10th Pizza Ranch. Tom Roberts shares a few new Christmas stories with their members. We always enjoy hearing the stories and working with Children’s Home Society in our joint efforts to Bringing Out The Best in Kids!


The TLC Toys project is a really fun opportunity for the Sioux Valley Optimist Club to provide high quality wood toys to children of our community through great local agencies. 

 TLC Toys is a non-profit organization consisting of 20+ retired men who use their skills to manufacture high quality wooden toys.  TLC Toys has given away a collective total of 388,182 through 2016, valued at $7.1 million dollars, almost all of which is donated materials.

 The Sioux Valley Optimist Club partnered with TLC toys in 2016 and over the last two years, have distributed over 1,100 of those toys to the Children’s Home Society, Compass Center, Fostering Hope, Family Visitation Center, VOA Child Care Services, Bright Start, Lutheran Social Services, Children’s Inn and the Sanford Children’s Hospital.  These agencies have done an excellent job in ensuring these toys find a deserving home.


Resa Fincher of the Junior Achievement program spoke about its mission to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy, with hands-on activities on such topics as financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness. JA presents programs to children in grades K-12.They are always looking for volunteers – business owners and leaders, parents, retired teachers and grandparents.

Great Fun at our Sioux Valley Optimist Halloween Family Feud Party!

Hungry Hearts Fundraiser was held at The Barrel House to benefit the Sioux Falls School District Lunch Program and ensure that no child misses a meal at school due to financial circumstances. The Sioux Valley Optimist Club (represented by Cindi Johnson and Gita Hendricks) presented Mark Fonder with a contribution of $750 toward their goal. The Sioux Valley Optimist club is also committed to ensuring that the youth in our community do not suffer from hunger. Thank you, Mark and The Barrel House for your commitment to helping in efforts to Bring Out The Best in Youth, Our Community and Ourselves!Thank you to Sunshine Foods for your continued support, helping to
provide a Birthday celebration to kids of Children’s Home Society.