The Fond du Lac Evening Optimists Club was chartered in June 1949. The mission of the club is to provide hope and positive vision by bringing out the best in youth, our communities, and ourselves. It takes organizations like ours and other agencies working together to develop our youth and make positive changes.

In order to support the development and growth of our youth, the Fond du Lac Evening Optimist Club raises money through two major fundraisers each year: the Father’s Day Car Show and selling beverages and food including our famous steak sandwich at our Fond du Lac County Fair Stand. Other smaller fundraising events include brat fries, meat raffles, and driving courtesy carts at Walleye Weekend.

Our Club, with just over 50 members, has actively given back to the community in many ways. The organization’s assistance can be seen around Lakeside Park with renovation of the Lighthouse, the Memorial Garden area and the Hiker statue and in Lallier Park. Donation recipients from 2021-2023 include:

    • Ag Ambassador Program
    • Back to School Program
    • Big Brothers/Big Sisters Fond du Lac
    • Boys & Girls Club
    • Broken Bread Food Pantry
    • Buttermilk Festival Fund
    • Cardinal Singers
    • Christo Rey Ranch – kids event
    • Coats for Kids
    • Fairest of the Fair
    • Fond du Lac Ag Society-Fairest of Fair
    • Fond du Lac Area Y Screen
    • Fond du Lac Cty Sheriff – teddy bears
    • Fond du Lac Fire Dept – kids books
    • Fond du Lac Library – Visit w/Santa
    • Fond du Lac Police- Explorers
    • Fond du Lac Running Club
    • Fond du Lac Santa Program-Library
    • Fond du Lac youth fast pitch
    • Fond du Lac Youth Girls Fastpitch softball
    • Fondy Food Bank 
    • Fondy Junior Football
    • Food for Thought
    • Girls Scouts of Manitou
    • Gottfried Prairie & Arboretum-Butterflies
    • Holyland Food Bank
    • Hope on the block project
    • KFIZ – Halloween Party for kids
    • Miss Fond du Lac Program
    • NAMI Fond du Lac – Kids books
    • Natl Fire Safety – kids books
    • Nocked N Locked
    • Optimist International Childhood Cancer
    • Rawhide Youth Services
    • Sabish Elf Project
    • Salvation Army – Emergency Brown Bag & Family Gifts
    • Salvation Army Food Bank
    • Shop with a Cop
    • Sleep in Heavenly peace
    • South Shore Chorale
    • St Katherine Drexel Shelter
    • United Way FDL
    • WE Empower
    • Wisconsin Bookworms
    • Women’s Empowerment Series
    • Youth for Christ


Club members meet every second and fourth Wednesday at 6:30pm. Meeting location rotates between local restaurants and our new Fair Stand on the grounds of the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds.

The 2023-24 Officers of the Fond du Lac Evening Optimist Club are:

President: Sandy Tryon

Past President: Theresa Leisses and Tricia Bonlander

1st Vice President: Open

2nd Vice President: Open

Secretary: Tricia Bonlander

Treasurer: Lynn Nickel

Current Board Members Include:  April Bonlander, Todd Wetzel, Tom Scannell, Tim Pierce, Tim Froh, & Deb Spoerke 

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