Logo for Palmetto Optimist Club
Palmetto Optimist Club
Bringing out the best in youth, the Sumter, SC Community and ourselves.
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Make a difference in the life of a child.
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[email protected]

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Descriptions and photos of events including: Battle Buddies, Reading in the Park, Bicycle Rodeo, Flash Mob Rock Painting Party, and Junior Optimist Club. For dates, times and locations of future events, please click on one of the calendar links above.

Battle Buddies​​ is our way of promoting the Optimist International Respect for Law program, as well as health and fitness. We partner kids with local law enforcement, first responders,  and military personnel to navigate an obstacle course designed specifically for the kids of Sumter. This free, fun, annual event is open to children of all ages and includes face painting, dancing, karaoke and demonstrations.
Battle Buddies event for Palmetto Optimist Club
Battle Buddies event for Palmetto Optimist Club
Battle Buddies event for Palmetto Optimist Club
Battle Buddies event for Palmetto Optimist Club
Reading in the Park! The literacy of the kids in Sumter is of prime concern. This annual event invites kids to the park to get a free book or two and spend some time enjoying nature and reading. Local authors and volunteers are encouraged to read aloud as well as listen to children read. Books-A-Million holds a book drive in the weeks before the event to ensure all kids go home with a book.
Palmetto Optimist Club member holds up a book titled Be Positive
Reading in the Park organized by Palmetto Optimist Club
Reading in the Park organized by Palmetto Optimist Club

The Bicycle Rodeo is held once during the Iris Festival in May as part of Safe Kids Day and again in December as part of the Cycles for Christmas program sponsored by the Sumter Evening Optimist Club. Kids learn and practice valuable skills, especially how to be safe while riding their bicycles.

The Flash Mob Rock Painting Party promotes the arts as club members head off to a local park or part of town with rocks, paints and brushes. Families paint rocks to be hidden around town and found by others. Part of The Kindness Rocks Project, this event allows kids to really feel a connection to their community. 

Flash Mob Rock Painting Party by Palmetto Optimist Club
girl pretends to eat painted rock watermelon at the Flash Mob Painting Party
painted rocks for Flash Mob Rock Painting Party
The Junior Optimist International Club (JOI)  provides school age children the opportunity to learn leadership skills, learn about civic reponsibility and to help their community. Kids run the club and make decisions with the help from an adult club sponsor. Parents are welcome. Contact [email protected] for more information.

Meetings are every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 7pm in St. James Lutheran Church.
Text POCJOI to 81010 for event alerts.
Junior Optimist member shows off macrame made of plastic bags
environmentally friendly macrame rug made of reused plastic bags
Young environments from JOI enjoy a rest on the macrame they made from plastic bags
Logo for Junior Optimist International or JOI