The Oshkosh Noon Optimists Club has been in existence since 1948 and had its first meetings at the Athearn Hotel. It meets now from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays at Becket's Restaurant. Please feel free to stop in at one of these meetings to see what you can do to help their youth goals.
The club’s goals have always been to help the youth of the community directly or indirectly by the means of fundraisers or donations. All their fundraising stays in Oshkosh. In past years they have sponsored many projects: Christmas tree sales, home shows, sport shows, concerts, pancake breakfasts and circus acts. Contributions have been made to Big Brothers/ Big Sisters, DARE, the Boys & Girls Club, Y.M.C.A. (Special Youth Programs), just to name a few.
The Winnebagoland Barbershop Chorus prides itself in its many service activities and giving back to the community as well. On an annual basis, they award college scholarships for students majoring in music education, provide funding for high school students attending Young Men In Harmony Camps, and pay for hearing aids and assistive listening devices for children in need who have hearing impairments.
Each May the barbershoppers host a Youth in Harmony Festival at Webster Stanley Middle School that attracts more than 30 young men who love to sing, in hopes they will join a barbershop group either now or in their future.
The barbershoppers also raised more than $8,000 to support the Oshkosh Alliance Youth Barbershop Chorus, which competed in the first International Youth in Harmony Festival/Contest in San Antonio, Texas a few years ago. The unique chorus, created to participate in the festival, included 39 young men from ages 13 to 20. The group consisted of students and alumni from Oshkosh West High School and a few students from other area schools and were directed by students as well. The chorus included some youth with special needs who helped bring out the best in everyone.
The inaugural Barbershop Dinner Concert consists of a fantastic sit-down dinner, with piano music performed by Dennis Sphatt followed by the 2012 Packerland Division Chorus Champions directed by Todd Oxley; and including four quartets: 2012 Packerland Division Quartet Champions "The Cheery-O’s," the always humorous "4 Bits of Fun," "Westhaven," with its '60s sound and TV singing stars "One Button Short."
Tickets for dinner and show are $35 each. The cash bar starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 and the show at 7:30. A limited number of tickets are available, so contact Don at (920) 231-6856, Jackie at (920) 426-5928 or Pat at (920) 722-7312.