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Cerritos Optimist Club Launches Public Fundraising Drive for Youth and Families in Need

Staff Report

The Optimist Club of Cerritos recently launched its fundraising drive to help the youth and families in need in our community. The Club plans to give $2,000 in Ralph’s gift cards to four area churches to distribute to those who need a helping hand during the holiday season. They also plan to do this periodically throughout the coming year.

Prior to the COVID Pandemic, the Club members delivered bags of toys and gifts each year just prior to Christmas. In 2019, they delivered more than 14,000 pounds of food, sundries and toys to about 30 families, including 80 children. In 2020, they provided hams to area churches to distribute at their food banks.

The Optimist Club of Cerritos is connected with the COC Foundation, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt charitable organization. The COC Foundation was formed by members of the Club for the purposes of raising funds from individual and corporate donors.

All donations are tax deductible and are used to fund youth programs for the Optimist Club and to help youth and families in need in the community. The COC Foundation has a separate Board of Directors and is independent of the Club. Members of the Optimist Club hold an annual golf tournament to raise funds for the COC Foundation.

The Optimist Club organizes and conducts events throughout the year for youth, including an International Essay Contest, International Oratorical Contest, Youth Appreciation, Elementary and Middle School STEM, Middle School Track Meet, and Halloween Trunk or Treat in Artesia.

With COC Foundations funds, the Club also supports the Octagon Club at Cerritos High School, the Distinguished Young Women Program, Public Safety (honoring Police and firefighters), ABCUSD Adult Transition Program, ABCUSD Disadvantaged Children Program, Childhood Cancer, and more.

“The Club is an affiliated with Optimists International (OI), an organization which is over 100 years old,” said Jack Evans, Past President and Historian of the Club, “and the Cerritos Optimist Club has been serving youth in the Cerritos area for over 50 years.”

If you would like to donate to the COC Foundation to help the youth in our community, please call Club President, Mani Fernando at  562-402-4700. The Optimist Club meets for breakfast at 7 a.m. on the 1st, 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at Denny’s in Artesia. New members are always welcome to join. For more information, please visit the Club’s website at: www.cerritosoptimstclub.com.

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