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.