Club History

History of The Optimist Club of Del Mar – Solana Beach

The Optimist Club of Del Mar – Solana Beach is a chapter of Optimist International, which was founded in 1918, and it is one of 31 Clubs in the Southern California District.

The Club is a community service group dedicated to “Bringing Out The Best In Kids.”

The Club's early members included distinguished Del Mar and Solana Beach residents, Admiral Lew Hopkins, former Mayor of Del Mar. General Bill Stone, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church Treasurer, Nancy Ewing, a well known Del Mar historian, Bill Rector, a NASA space pioneer, and Jim Ferrara, who represented Del Mar on the San Diego Water Authority Board.

People hear “Optimists” and think it's just someone who always see the positive side of things, but in this sense, it is much more than that. The Optimist way of life is about belonging to a community service group with youth as it's main focus.

Weekly meetings feature guest speakers, and programs with emphasis on community interests and services.

The Optimist Club of Del Mar - Solana Beach on going projects include Childhood Cancer Campaign, helping children as they battle for their lives in Rady Children's Hospital, The Ronald McDonald House, Pediatric Hospice, and. the American Cancer Society Summer Camps for Children with Cancer.

The Club sponsors Local Cub Scouts, Essay, and Oratorical Contests. We support Torrey Pines Dollars for Scholars, a scholarship geared toward children who have excelled in many ways but may not meet the standards for a traditional scholarship.

For the past 25 years our Club has hosted the Vic Kopps Children's Challenge, awards elementary students, grades 1 through 6, who are outstanding in any of the following categories: arts, community service, humanities, courage, fellowship, or science. Each winner receives a $200 United States Savings Bond.

The Optimist group also supports the Winston School, Solana Beach Library, Reality Changers, San Diegito Heritage Museum, Miracle League, Whittier Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Wounded Warriors, Shop with a Cop, and Casa de Amistad.

The groups main fundraiser is an annual golf tournament, which is scheduled in the fall at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club Executive Golf Course, with a poolside bar-b-que, raffles, silent auction, putting, and skill contests. This annual event funds the majority of the community service project, and allows the Club members to support youth in the Del Mar, Solana Beach communities.

New members are always welcome. Come and join us. Share new ideas to benefit our local kids.