PLS Optimist Club

Promise yourself, “to wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.” This is the eighth stanza of the Optimist Creed. And while every stanza applies to everyday life, this one especially seems important in these current times.

How can anyone see you smile behind your mask, you wonder? A smile changes an entire face and raises it up, so trust that your smile will be seen and likely returned.

Here, after much delay, are the scholarship recipients from the Class of 2020.

Optimist Club Scholar Award: William Allan, Trevor Brezen, Jaden Chant, Anna Curtler, Zachary Eduvas, Taylor Flaata, Chloe Ginkel, James Haas, Kaiya Kielb-Young, Josie Kropp, Alissa Laurienzo, Joslyn Machalek, Conor Miller, Jeffrey Miller, Julia Ondracek, Rachel Ring, Griffen Santer, Danae Swedberg, Lynn Tran, Julia Wieskus, and Veronica Wolfe.

Optimist Club Legacy Scholarship: Brianna Elbon and Charles Yagla.

Optimist Club Service Scholarship: Grant Hatten and Elizabeth (Ella) Nelson.

Junior Optimist Scholarship: Bryanne Pinkowski.

Optimist Jim Speiker Memorial Scholarship: Jacob Zollar.

In memory of Jason Miller – Optimist Club Scholar Jason Miller Award: Carter Busch. In memory of Dr. Sue Ann Gruver – Optimist Club Scholar Sue Ann Gruver Award: Alexander Nelson.

EXCEL Scholarship Awards: Josh Aspelin, Payton Beasley (Sue Heaton Award), Queenster Dwumah, Aaliyah Guy, Tayler Netzke, Ryan Shipley and Gabriella Siats.

We wish these graduates and the entire class of 2020 a bright future. Every single one of us is facing a challenging world right now. But think about the positives and the achievements that are borne of adversity. We need to encourage the youth in our community to go forward and make the best of their present and their future.

It is amazing to see the flexibility that people are showing by attending online meetings and keeping in touch with family and friends virtually. We commend the teachers and staff of our schools as they approach the 2020-2021 school year. Stay positive as you face these challenges of online learning. We also commend the students as they approach a very different school year this fall. You can do it!

The PLSOC has postponed most events with the exception of the Lakefront Park cleanup held once a month. Some of our meetings have been held virtually and our book club has met at the park while maintaining social distancing. The club will hold fall meetings virtually for the time being. Speakers will be announced soon. Buy your pull-tabs at Extra Innings, Boathouse Brothers Brewery and Lakers Tavern & Pizza and support our youth.

For more information contact President Kathy Dawson at For more information on Optimist International go to Like us on Facebook: Prior Lake Savage Optimist Club. Visit our website:

“Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances.” -Maya Angelou.

Stay positive, smile and we will get through this!

Shawn Richey is on the Public Relations Team for Prior Lake-Savage Optimist Club.