Palisades Optimist Club Donates $15k to Local Organizations

 Total of 20 Westside organizations were awarded the funds. 

By Toi Creel

The Palisades Optimist Club is giving back, helping a multitude of local organizations.

In late April, the Club was able to donate grants totaling $15k to local nonprofits and organizations. “Usually it’s more,” said  Rick DeWeese, President of the club. “We [normally] join in with the Palisades Roadrunners that put on the Fourth of July parade up here, but they didn’t have a parade last year [due to Covid].”

The group has been around for more than 60 years. “Our main goal is to help the children and we use most of our grant money for that purpose. We support the Optimist home over in Eagle Rock as well.” Most of their funding comes from grants and goes to local charities and schools, though the organization has had to slow up on its generosity over the past year. Many of their major fundraising events, such as their annual race and parade, were canceled due to the pandemic. 

“It’s very hard on everybody and it’s been hard on our Club. We haven’t had any meetings for a year and a half. We usually are very involved in local politics and charities.” 

Despite this fact, DeWeese said the Club has still been able to accomplish some of its normal activities. “We still have an Optimist Club essay. We did some things by Zoom. Hopefully, we can get back to normal.“

The grants were given to the following youth groups:

  • Optimist Youth Homes
  • Marquez Elementary Robotic Team
  • Palisade High School (Pali Ambassadors)
  • Palisade Optimist Foundation (Pali High 2 Scholarships)
  • Palisade High Wrestling Team
  • Palisades High Band Program
  • Palisade Optimist Club Essay Contest (3 Winners)
  • Palisade High Career Awareness Day
  • Paul Revere Middle School Roads to the Future Program
  • Palisade High Enrichment Programs
  • Palisade High Booster Club
  • Pacific Palisades Little League Baseball Association
  • Marquez Elementary Star Programs
  • Palisades Americanism Parade Association (July 4th)
  • Palisades Presbyterian Church (Youth Programs)
  • Palisades Optimist Club Oratorical Contest (3 Winners)
  • Palisade High Special Education Programs
  • Bryan’s Smile
  • Gold Glove Charity
  • Palisade Village Green Committee
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