Meet An Optimist

Meet Clarkston Optimist Dawn Schaller.  Dawn has been an Optimist for about two years but has been volunteering with the club for four years. 

“I like the Optimist Club and the good things they are doing for the kids in Clarkston,” said Schaller, “My favorite project is Friendly Forest, it’s a great kid’s event.  I began volunteering at Friendly Forest when my daughter was asked to be a character in the park for the event, I just came along to help.”  Schaller has chaired the event for the Clarkston Optimists, who partner with the Independence Township Parks, Recreation, and Seniors to put the event on each October.

For Dawn and her husband Mike, the Clarkston Optimist Club is a family affair.  Mike is one of the great Optimist cooks and Dawn always helps with the braut wagon.  She especially likes working at the Renaissance High School Field Day in June and preparing hot dog lunches for the kids.  Dawn can be found in July helping with the SCAMP Field Day lunch and the games with the SCAMPERS. 

Dawn worked almost 20 years in the IT service field for IBM and shares many of those skills when needed with the Optimist Club.  She has designed the program for the last two Clarkston Optimist fundraisers.

Her message to people new to the community is, come out and join the Clarkston Optimists and meet some great people.  Schaller said, “By participating in the Optimist events, we’ve met a ton of people and made many new friends.  When your child(ren) leave school, you have time to volunteer or if you don’t have children, joining the Optimist Club is a way to do something for the kids in your community.”


The Schaller family works together to make Clarkston a better place and they enjoy being members of the Clarkston Optimist Club.  

Upcoming Events

Optimist Trivia Night 

You are invited to the Optimist Dinner & Trivia Night at Deer Lake Athletic Club on Saturday, March 4 at 6:00 p.m.  The Clarkston Optimist Club support the youth of the Clarkston community with Student Citizen of the Year in Clarkston Schools and Everest Academy. The club provides scholarships, Oratorical Contests, Essay Contests, lunches for SCAMP & Renaissance High School Field Days, an ice rink in Depot Park, Friendly Forest, Christmas Elves project for Renaissance High School, Respect for Law Days for students to view the courts, and grants for additional work with students.  This is our big fundraiser, and we invite you to come and HELP US, HELP KIDS!

Trivia Night will be lots of fun for everyone! 


2017 Clarkston Area Optimist Grant Application 


Click Here to View


Due March 10


Optimist Oratorical Contest – “What the World Gains from Optimism”.  Four to five minute speech following the rules from the website.  Open to all students within the attendance area of Clarkston Community Schools and Everest Academy.  Homeschooled and students who live in the attendance area but attend other schools are welcome to participate.  Oratorical contest is held in March.  Watch the website calendar for registration date.  Club awards for local winners and the Michigan District/State  winners receives  two $2,500 scholarships and one winner receives the opportunity to participate in the NE Regional Oratorical Contest. 


Weekly Meetings
7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
8047 Ortonville Rd.
(Campbell Richmond American Legion Hall)
All are welcome, just come and join us if you are interested in working in your community!

22 Outstanding Student Citizens
04 Optimist Party, Deer Lake Athletic Club
10 Optimist Grants Due