2016-17 Club Projects

Our Projects 

The Austintown Optimist's Annual Christmas Party

Great Food, A Visit From Santa  and the

Fitch H.S. Choir at Rachel's. 

Austintown Intermediate School

3rd, 4th & 5th Grade   2019

"Police Are My Heroes"

             Poster Contest

The Winners were selected from 1,071 entries  


10 finalist in each grade (3rd-4th-5th) were selected from the 1,071 entries in the 2019 "The Police Are My Heroes" Poster Contest. At the Optimist Club's March 26th meeting.1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Prizes were awarded in each grade. The 1st Place Winners and their Parents were honored at our April 9th Dinner Meeting. They received recognition from the Austintown Police Chief Bob Gavalier, The Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene, Austintown Trustees, Mahoning County Commissioners and The Austintown Optimist Club who gave the 1st Place Winners a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate..

2nd and 3rd Place received $10 Amazon Certificates.

The 2019 Poster Winners

3rd Grade

    1st Place --  Brianna Wrigt

    2nd Place -- Adrianna Gromada

    3rd Place -- Sensca Coates


4th Grade

    1st Place -- Ena-Marie Bokry

    2nd Place -- Brady Hanysh

    3rd Place -- Elizabeth Sherwood


5th Grade

    1st Place -- Kylie Folkwein

    2nd Place -- Lily Ann Burns

    3rd Place -- Alexis Beaudis



First Row: Elizabeth Sherwood, Brady Hanysh, Adrianna Gromada, Brianna Wright, Seneca Coates


Second Row: Joann Sulenski (Poster Chairperson), Jennifer Houston (Art Teacher), Ena-Marie Bokry, Kylie Folkwein, Lily Ann Burns, Alexis Beaudis, Ms. Angel Owens (AIS Principal), Lynn Larson (Optimist member)

IMG_04761XXX.JPG  1 (4).JPG

Our 3 Winners with Dare Officer Bob Toth                      Police Chief Bob Gavalier and Mahoning County Sheriff               and Police Chief Bob Gavalier                                                                                                    Jerry Greene

2019 Austintown Optimist Track Meet 


(Left to Right)     1st ELIZABETH JADUE,

2019 Oratorical Winners


                 (From left to right are:)                     

           1st Place Winner:    Elizabeth Jadue

           2nd Place Winner:  Abby Hughes

           3rd Place Winner:   Mara Newell

The Oratorical Judges (L-R)

David Gunger, Darlene Schaefer, Ken Carano and Bill Sulenski

2nd ABBY HUGHES .jpg
3rd MARA NEWELL .jpg

2019 Speech Tournament

On Saturday November 23, The Austintown Optimist Club sponsored the Fiftieth Annual Austintown Invitational Speech Tournament at Fitch High School.  There were approximately 350 senior high school competitors from 21 teams in the Youngstown, Akron, and Canton areas. 


In addition to paying for the trophies, the Austintown Optimist Provided snacks and lunch for the participants, coaches and judges.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in this event.  


In the overall standings, the Fitch Speech and Debate team finished second.

Individual trophy winners from Austintown include: Declamation- Lilian Burkell 3rd place and Bethaney Bolha 6th. Congressional Debate- Abby Rader 6th place. Extemporaneous Speaking- Jenna Billet 7th place, Armand Geovennone 4th, and Jaymes Soles 1st. Drama- Cecelia Segretario 3rd place. Program Oral Interpretation- Kara Benyo 5th place. Johnna Blystone 2nd place in Original Oratory, and Carissa Hartley placed 1st in Lincoln Douglas Debate. 

Pictured from Left o Right are:

First picture:

Mr. Ken Carano, former Austintown teacher and speech team coach for over 30 years begins the award ceremony.

Second picture:

Bill Sulenski, (left) Austintown Optimist Club president accepts a plaque from the Austintown Speech and Debate Team thanking the Optimist Club for sponsoring the tournament for 50 years.  The presenters are Ken Carano (center) and Mrs. Teri Dutton Austintown Speech and Debate Team Coach.

Third picture:

Mrs. Teri Dutton addresses the speech tournament participants.

Fourth picture:

Johanna Bystone with her plaque and the sweepstakes trophy which was won by the Austintown Speech and Debate Team

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(From left to right, Optimist members are:)                     

(Back) Bob Osner, Myrna Osner, Bill Sulenski and Bill Lowery

(Front) Rick Vadino, Tim Tryon,

The Austintown Optimist and in recent years with the Girl Scouts we purchase around 200 pumpkins per year and the Girl Scouts carve and then take the carved and decorated pumpkins to local nursing and assisted living homes.  We, also supply cider and donuts. 

"The Holidays Are For The Birds"

2019 Wild Life Conservation

Saturday, December 8, 2019, the Austintown Optimist Club and Austintown Girl Scout Troop 80899, with the assistance of Girl Scout leader Tricia Hobbs completed our "Feed the Birds" project.  The Optimist Club supplied the materials to make pine cone bird feeders.  About 10 girl scouts from troop 80899 and their leaders used bird seed, peanut butter, and cord to transform approximately 150 bare pine cones into bird feeders which, on Saturday, were hung from trees at Austintown Township Park to help feed the resident birds this winter.  Afterwards, the Girl Scouts, leader, parents, and members of the Optimist Club of Austintown enjoyed orange juice and donuts in front of a fire at the Pogany Pavilion.  We would also like to thank the Austintown Tractor Supply company for their generous donation of bird seed and the Austintown Trustees and Park who support our youth oriented projects.


Picture one:  Mr. Will, Samantha Will, Tricia Hobbs, and Cayleeann Hays.

Picture two: Members of the Austintown Optimist Club and Girl Scout participants.

Picture three:  Cayleeann Hays hanging a bird feeder in Austintown Township Park.


 (Updated December 7, 2019)



Pumpkin Carve: We prepare and supply the pumpkins for local girl scout troops who carve and decorate them before delivering the pumpkins to area nursing homes for Halloween.

Christmas Party: We gather for Holiday Fellowship with a visit from Santa and The Fitch HS Choir

Essay Contest: Winners compete by writing an essay on a different subject each year IE: 2019 “Should what you do as a youth affect you in your adult life?” The winners receive awards from the Austintown Optimist.

Oratorical Contest: Winners compete by presenting a short 5-minute speech on a different topic each year

Austintown Optimist Invitational Track Meet: One of our oldest projects. We have sponsored this event for more that 39 years, selling program ads to raise funds for the trophies and awards.

Speech Tournament at Fitch High School: Students from all over Ohio compete each year. The Austintown Optimist Concession Table helps us fund the Trophies and Awards.

Respect For Law: This Optimist International program has received a new twist from the Austintown Optimist Club, Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade Students of the Austintown Intermediate School are asked to create their own poster with the theme "The Police Are My Heroes"

Our club hopes that this will develop an awareness of and respect for the law in our young people. We are truly grateful for the cooperation of the Austintown Police Department, and Trustees, Mahoning County Sheriff and Commissioners and the Faculty of the Austintown Intermediate School. In 2019 1,071 Posters were entered with 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Awarded in each Grade.

Scholarships: Presented annually to two Austintown Fitch Graduating Seniors.

Bicycle Safety HelmetsAustintown Police present youngsters with a "Tasty Citation" for a FREE KATIE'S KORNER Cone of Ice Cream as a Thank You for wearing their Bicycle Helmets.

In Addition: We sponsor a team for the Austintown Little Falcons, Austintown Junior Soccer League and Austintown Community Baseball. We also partner with the Austintown Little Falcons Football Parents.

Major Fund Raisers

Wine Taste: A night of Wine, Friends, Food and Fun held annually on the last Friday in April. It's our biggest fund raiser.

Bi-Monthly 50-50: Anyone can purchase 50-50 tickets with the winner drawing held on the Fourth Tuesday of January, March, May, July, September and November. Our share helps fund our Optimist Youth Programs.


Please help us to continue to support the youth of our community. You can Volunteer by joining our Optimist Club or being a sponsor of any of our on going efforts to be "A Friend Of Youth."


Thank You,

Bill Sulenski

Austintown Optimist Club President



2nd Tuesday Monthly
6 PM
Rachel's Restaurant
54 Westchester Drive
Austintown, Oh 44515

Business Meeting

12 Noon 4th Tuesday Monthly at

The Falcon Grille

39 N. Canfield-Niles Rd

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