The 16th Annual Belleville Optimist Rodeo will be held at MidAmerica Airport on June
13th and 14th. The rodeo starts at 7 pm each night. The rodeo is an International
Professional Rodeo which attracts contestants from about 20 states and we usually
have 2500 to 3000 spectators for both of the nights. It is truly a professional rodeo
with thrills and spills both nights. MidAmerica Airport is on Interstate 64 exit 23.
Deerfield Special Essay Contest
North Shore Special Education District (NSSED) partners with the Deerfield
Optimist Club in sponsoring an essay contest for the special education
students in grades 6 through 8. The students are given a new topic every
year to write a one page essay for judging by the Optimist Club members.
In 2010 there were nearly 150 essays submitted. The best essay of each
classroom is chosen, and then the top three essays are chosen. Each student
receives a framed recognition certificate. The best in class and the top
three essays receive an engraved plaque. All the students and their families
are invited to a free buffet supper at Deerfield High School. This is
a very rewarding event, because special education kids do not get many
"pats on the back".
The annual Oratorical contest is a passion of the Optimist Club of Des Plaines. We're over 50 years old, and have participated in this event for decades.
It's our tradition to work directly with the contestants over a period of several weeks and teach them to write and deliver a speech. Because of this, we always have a large turnout of youth-frequently near 40. This means we need to conduct a preliminary contest and a club contest before sending the winners to the regional. (We're the only club in our zone that competes, so the club winner advances to the regional).
An undertaking like this requires a lot of work, but it's really worthwhile. A quick guide is below:
After the event: We do our best
to get photos and a story about the contest into our local paper, make
sure that their school is informed, and sometimes have them present their
speech to the city council. It takes a lot of work with a coordinated
effort, but it's the most worthwhile thing the Des Plaines club does.