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Optimist Club of Brooklin, Ontario

Library and Community Centre

Optimists, Bringing out the best in kids

Optimist Club pledges $100,000 to future Brooklin project

Dec 13, 2012 - 4:30 AM

A friend of youth in Brooklin

The Brooklin Community Centre and Library has been open for business for a couple of years now, but the Brooklin Optimist Club has made good on its promise to contribute $100,000 to the cause.

Officials at the youth-focused community service club presented a cheque in the amount of $25,000 to Whitby councillors on Monday, the final installment in the club's promised contribution. The presentation prompted a well-deserved round of applause from a room filled with appreciative Whitby residents.

The Optimist Club couldn't be a more willing and more suitable partner in the $14-million project, focusing as it does on promoting the potential of youth through events, local activities and programs. The Brooklin facility serves the entire community, of course, but also provides a sanctuary for local youth. The state-of-the-art centre features the spacious and well-stocked library, a youth centre, gymnasium, craft room, a banquet hall, along with smaller meeting and program rooms.

It is here that the community comes together in various pursuits. It strengthens the bonds among youth, but also among the generations. Seniors can be seen spending time there alongside teens and toddlers. Adults mingle with their contemporaries and everyone else. It is truly a meeting place, a forum for fellowship.

It's notable, too, that Whitby is one of only five platinum-level youth-friendly communities as determined by the Play Works Partnership, a group comprised of organizations concerned about the future of youth in the province. It defines 'youth-friendly' as a community that supports and provides opportunities for growth and development among youth ages 13 to 19.

Given the long-serving efforts of Optimists in the community and the foresight of Town of Whitby officials in fostering a municipality that acknowledges and celebrates youth, that designation isn't at all surprising.

But aside from all of that -- accolades that are certainly well-deserved -- the Brooklin Community Centre and Library is a much-loved, much-used and much-admired facility that serves local needs. It provides a safe place for youth, a meeting place for the community and a creative space for all.

The Optimist Club has made good on its pledge to raise and contribute this sizeable sum to the project. It has also lived up to the motto of Optimist Clubs around the world: Friend of Youth.

------------------------------------------- Whitby This Week

Brooklin Community Centre and Library, Optimist Gymnasium

By Parvaneh Pessian | Dec 14, 2012 - 4:30 PM

Brooklin service club meets Town's challenge

Donation of $100,000 made to Brooklin Community Centre and Library

BROOKLIN -- As soon as members of the Brooklin Optimist Club heard that a new multi-functional facility was being built in their community, they immediately wanted to get involved.

By the time the Brooklin Community Centre and Library opened its doors on Nov. 15, 2010, the club already had its sights set on an ambitious goal to contribute $100,000 to the cause.

"All the money we raise in Brooklin stays in Brooklin for Brooklin programs and when we saw the new project for the Brooklin Community Centre development, we wanted to have a lead hand in it," says club member Brian Wick.

At a council meeting on Dec. 10, the organization presented a cheque for $25,000 to the Town of Whitby -- the fourth and final installment toward its total pledge.

"We were challenged by the Town to come up with $100,000 and we've done it," Mr. Wick announced, garnering a round of applause from a room full of Whitby residents.

Established 25 years ago, the Brooklin Optimist Club is composed of about 30 members who strive to help youth reach their full potential through fun and educational activities. The club is best known in the community for its Summer Day Camp held at Brooklin Memorial Park, as well as youth dances at the new Brooklin facility.

The 3,716-square metre, two-storey Brooklin Community Centre and Library includes a spacious branch library, seniors' activity room, youth centre, preschool program space, a large gymnasium, craft room, banquet room and smaller meeting and program rooms. Infrastructure stimulus funding made it possible for the centre to be built as federal, provincial and municipal governments each poured up to $4,853,333 into the project, for a total investment of more than $14 million.

"The hallmark of a great community is the participation and involvement of community organizations and service clubs," says Peter LeBel, Whitby's commissioner of community and marketing services.

"Our new community centre, which has now been open for two years, is an outstanding facility and award-winning facility ... dedicated to all of our community but with a particular focus on youth, and as a result of our partnership with the club, we've been able to see enhancements in some of our programs and activities."

The Town of Whitby is one of only five platinum-level youth friendly communities in Ontario as declared by the Play Works Partnership, which is made up of organizations concerned about the future of youth in the province. The recognition program defines a youth friendly community as one that supports and provides opportunities for the growth and development of youth ages 13 to 19.

-------------- Reporter Parvaneh Pessian covers the town of Whitby for Metroland Media Group's Durham Region Division



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