A Brief History


In 1911 the first Optimist Club on record was
organized in Buffalo, New York, and was called
the Optimist Club of Buffalo, New York. In 1919 the International Optimist Club was born in Louisville, Kentucky. The International Optimist Club was the forerunner of Optimist International which is now headquartered in St. Louis MO. At present there are approximately 4,300 Optimist Clubs in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe, with the membership of over 170,000 Optimists.

In September 1923 the Belleville, Illinois, Optimist Club was chartered and became affiliated with Optimist International . Our Club is generally referred to as the “Downtown Optimist Club.”

We currently have 121 members, and are one of the largest clubs in the Illinois district, and among the largest in the world. The club meets every Tuesday, 12:00 noon at Bellecourt Place, 120 North Jackson Street, Belleville, Illinois. The Board of Directors and Officers meets on the third Tuesday of each month.

Our Club takes great pride in the achievements and progress made in promoting the young people of our community, as well as our efforts in making our Belleville area a safer and better place to live. Each year over 30,000 of the youth in our area are served by the Optimist Club of Belleville through our activities and donations.

Statistics show that for each member in our club 180 youth are served.


For more information about the Optimist Club of Belleville
please send us a note including your name and phone number to:

Optimist Club of Belleville - PO BOX 636 - Belleville, IL 62222-0636