The Optimist Club
For many years after its inception in 1946, the Optimist Club of Arlington sponsored a kids coaster car race in the summer.
The race pictured shown here took place on August 19, 1950. All the participants received a t-shirt, and many went home with ribbons, but it is unknown if the boys built their own cars, or where exactly the race took place.
Optimist Clubs are local groups under the mantle of Optimist International that serve youth by providing scholarships and activities that promote good citizenship and good character. Today, the Arlington Optimist Club holds essay and oratorical contests, has a large Christmas tree sale, and sponsors many youth sports teams.
The photograph above comes from a collection put together for a 50th anniversary publication. Many photos of the Arlington Optimist Club’s membership and activities, as well as newsletters, directories and other archival material, can be found in the Arlington Community Archives. Finding aids to the collection can be found in the Virginia Room.
What About You?
Are you or a family member an Optimist? Did you participate or attend in any Optimist Club-sponsored activities, such as the coaster car race? Let us know what you remember!