Monday, Oct. 26, 2015

Happy Heroes

Super heroes unite to support Optimist Club event

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Get ready to suit up for the Optimist Club’s fundraiser supporting organizations against child abuse. The first Optimist Club fundraiser, “Calling All Heroes,” will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Nov. 5 at East Ridge Country Club and features a costume contest to provide funding for nonprofits that provide aid to child abuse victims. The Optimist Club is a local volunteer organization of like-minded men and women, banded together for community service, self-development and fellowship. They also especially aim to aid and encourage the development of youth. Optimist Club of Shreveport President Ellen Ballard said she is looking forward to the event. “The goal of the evening is to raise funds for four organizations in the community that assist with child abuse in our area,” Ballard said. “These include the Samaritan Counseling Center, Boys & Girls Club, Volunteers for Youth Justice and the Gingerbread House. Our second goal is to continue to build awareness about our club and what we do in the community.” Scott McCloud, communications consultant for SWEPCO, has been an Optimist Club member in various chapters since 1982 and said he is excited about the big night. “‘Calling All Heroes’ is the first fundraiser of its type for our club. This is a brand new fundraiser,” McCloud said. “All proceeds will go to benefit and raise awareness of child abuse.” For attending guests, McCloud said, it’ll be about raising money for a cause, while getting to have some fun of their own. “This year, we’ll have a costume contest featuring heroes,” McCloud said. “Your first thought is, of course, super heroes, so I bet we’ll see a lot of Supermans, Batmans and Captain Americas. But we also want to see daily, real life heroes, like firemen and policemen.” Entertainment for the evening includes a DJ, emcee Robert J. Wright, Aerial’s Caricature Drawing, Robin Hood Archery, Tom’s Golf Moment, Hedeman Bullriding, Peter Pan Pirate Ship ride, a dance contest, a costume contest, photo booth and more. Tickets are $50 per person. Door prizes include a raffle of a Lee Michael’s Fine Jewelry shopping spree for $1,000. A cash bar will be available along with non-alcoholic beverages such as Joker Juice, Invisible Water and Hulk Punch. Food items include popcorn, Wonder Dogs, Ninja Turtle Pizza, Bat Wings, Hero sandwiches, Iron Man sliders, Captain American Apple Pie, Thor Popsicles and much more.   “When you think about children and when you were a child they/we have heroes,” Ballard said. “Whomever it is – comic, marvel, mom, dad, a fireman, policeman, etc., this is a great way to allow adults to feel like a hero to a child and have fun while helping a great cause. “To me, children are defenseless and should never be mistreated,” Ballard said. “Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Whatever anyone can do to help a child get out of such a horrific situation is wonderful. Children are our future, and if we can get those that are in a distressed situation into a good one, we are winning for our own future and theirs.” McCloud is preparing to go dressed as his personal hero – an electric lineman. “Working with these brave men at SWEPCO all these years has shown me how dangerous their job is,” McCloud said. “They courageously take on rain, snow and lightning to get the power back on during the worst of storms. That’s a hero in my book. “One of the goals of this fundraiser is awareness,” McCloud said. “But more than that, we hope to really draw in the new generation of young professionals, who have the time and money to invest and give back in their community, but maybe aren’t sure where or how. The Optimist Club is a great cause to support.”

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