National Capital Optimist Club
Friend of Youth


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The purpose of the National Capital Optimist Club is to develop Optimism as a philosophy of life; to promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs; to inspire respect for the law; to promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people; to aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one's self in service to others will advance the well-being of man, his community and world.

National Capital Optimist Club History

The Washington National Capital Optimist Club was chartered in September of 1937. At that time, it was the second Optimist Club in Washington, D.C. and the third formed in the Washington, D.C. and Virginia area. Currently, the only older surviving Optimist Club in our surrounding area is the Richmond Optimist Club. We now call our Club the National Capital Optimist Club (NCOC).

In the early days, most of the funds raised were provided to support the Boys Club of Greater Washington in D.C. and the National Training School for Boys. The Club members were actively involved with their programs. Later, the Club members became actively involved with the Viking Mat Club, a boy’s wrestling organization, and Camp Fantastic, a program for youth with cancer.

NCOC was originally a luncheon club, holding meetings downtown at the Touchdown Club and later at Blackie’s House of Beef. The Club became a dinner club in the late 1980s. New members were required to have a Club sponsor in order to join. Many were businessmen associated with Peoples Drugs Stores. The installation of members was a black tie affair.

Today, NCOC holds monthly dinner meetings the first Monday of each month to plan fundraisers and service projects and to socialize. Our main fundraising activity is the operation of the Christmas tree lot every December. Once a year each Club member selects a non-profit youth service organization to be the recipient of Club funds, culminating in an Awards Night dinner. We also have a joint venture project with the Germantown Black Rox collegiate baseball team. We also have a golf tournament fundraiser in the spring.

How big is Optimist International?

Optimist International is one of the largest service organizations in the world. With over 4,200 clubs and more than 150,000 members, Optimists raise $45 million annually to spend on community projects that serve over six million youth in our communities.

To learn more about Optimist International, click on the logo below.

Optimist International Logo



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