Each holiday season (since 1984) Optimist members have provided some local families with groceries for a good holiday meal. The Northridge School System provides us with names of families who are particularly needy due to economic circumstances. Club members and other volunteers meet on a particular Saturday in December to buy groceries and deliver them to the families. Beginning with 2014, the program has been named in honor of Optimist member Denny Mantel who chaired the event for the past 30 years. Each year he spent countless hours organizing and leading the program, and inspiring members with his dedication. Denny passed away in February of 2014, and club members have established a separate fund in his memory to make sure that we can continue the program. The fund was established with direct donations as well as from portions of club fund raising events.
The above slideshow has photos from the shopping at Kroger and the volunteer luncheon at Marion's.
For Donations to this fund please make check payable to, and send to:
Denny Mantel Christmas Sharing Fund
c/o Northridge Optimist Club
PO Box 131211
Dayton, Ohio 45413
The 2017 event was held on Saturday, December 16, 2017. The school provided a list of 20 families for us to serve this year (approximately 60 children are in this group). The budget for the 2017 event was set at $3000 with the help of a $2000 contribution from Cargill Co, and other donations throughout the year. Volunteers met at the Kroger store at 1934 Needmore Road at 10:30 AM on the 16th. Volunteers teamed up by two's or three's, and each team shopped for a given family, and then delivered the groceries to that family. It was a great turnout, with about 50 volunteers consisting of club members/family members/friends and a large number of Cargill volunteers. Some volunteers came from as far as Arizona and Columbus to help with this special club project. Afterwards most of the volunteers met for lunch & socializing at Marion's Piazza on North Dixie at Noon. The club wishes to thank Cargill for the financial support of the program, and also to the Cargill employees and families who volunteered, plus all of the volunteers and supporters of the program. In addition to the above mentioned support from Cargill, the company also donated enough turkeys to deliver one to each recipient family along with the groceries.
Thanks to all who helped out!