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Optimists Club still needs members to gain charter

Organizer hopeful of Imagination Library in Dixon

DIXON – A rebirth of the Dixon Optimist Club is six members away.

Dixon resident Michael Murphy, who is organizing the effort to rebuild the community service club that disbanded in 1999, said 15 members are needed to create a charter with the Optimists International. So far, the Dixon effort has nine.

Meeting times and locations have changed since his effort started. Club hopefuls plan to meet at 1 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month in the upstairs banquet room of Mama Cimino’s, instead of Wendy’s, where they first met.

Murphy’s first project in mind is to establish a Dolly Parton Imagination Library program. The imagination library delivers free books to children from birth until age 5, with an emphasis on learning how to read early in life. The message of the Optimists is to help youths.

The program, however, needs a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization to launch it.

“We’ve been putting out advertisements, and I sent out emails to principals, teachers and day care centers,” Murphy said. “We’re hitting the bricks to find folks, because we can’t do any fundraisers without our charter.”

Murphy discovered the reading program in Sterling. There, the United Way of Whiteside County is in its 11th year of sponsoring the imagination library, which delivers a free book a month to 1,300 children.

Sterling and Rock Falls both have Optimist organizations.

To learn more

The Dixon Optimist Club's next meeting is 1 p.m. Jan. 16 in the upstairs banquet room at Mama Cimino's Pizza, 116 S. Peoria Ave.

Call Michael Murphy, 815-994-8467, for more information on the new club.

Go to for more information on Optimists International.

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