Optimist Club Celebrates 60th

09-optimists-Vieau + MartiniThe Pacific Palisades Optimist Club, founded in 1956, held a birthday celebration on April 28, at the DoubleTree Suites in Santa Monica. Cocktails, dinner and dancing were all part of a plan to celebrate not only the club, but also two of its charter members: Palisadians Hal Vieu, 95; and Dr. Mike Martini, 91.

Invocations were given by Optimist member and Lutheran Church Pastor Wally Mees and by Martini’s son, Monsignor Richard Martini.

Current club president Kane Phelps welcomed members and spouses. As usual, Kane was heckled by past presidents, but it was all in good fun.

Vieu and Martini were honored with a video of their accomplishments, assembled by longtime member Rich Wilken.

Dr. Martini was a club president in 1960 and Vieu succeeded him. The two men received a framed photo that included well-wishes from current members. They were also the first on the dance floor, pushing their wives, who were confined to wheelchairs. Hal and Beverly have been married 71 years on July 27, and Mike and Elaine will be married 67 years on June 11.

The Optimist Club is a worldwide volunteer organization, dedicated to “Bringing out the best in kids.” It welcomes new members. The Pacific Palisades club meets every Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. at Aldersgate for breakfast, a few laughs and a speaker.


Hal Vieau (podium) is recounting humorous tales of earlier Optimist escapades. He is surrounded by (left to right) Jeff Vieau, Bill Snyder, Kane Phelps, Dr. Mike Martini and Debbie Harrington. Photo: Bart Bartholomew

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