Optimist Club prepares for Camp Eagle’s Nest

West Knoxville Optimist Club will be preparing a big meal to send to Camp Eagle’s Nest Tuesday, July 31.

Camp Eagle’s Nest is for patients from East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Hematology and Oncology Clinic.

“I just think … it’s a huge display of their courage, and it’s a moment where they get to celebrate and get to be kids, 100 percent kids,” Cynthia Cormany, West Knoxville Optimist Club sergeant at arms, said.

“The Sunday they show up for camp, we prepare a cookout supper: hot dogs, hamburgers, that kind of thing, for all the kids and the counselors that are at the camp,” Chris Albrecht, Club intermediate past president, said.

“Seeing those kids puts your own problems in perspective real quickly,” Albrecht said regarding the children at Camp Eagle’s Nest.

Cormany said the children have strong spirit.

“It’s … testimony of their personal strength. They’re facing serious stuff,” she said.

The cookout dinner is not the only event in which club members help Camp Eagle’s Nest. Although messy games night is a project of the Optimist Club of Knoxville, West Knoxville Opti-mist Club members also often participate.

“That’s when they get the kids all involved with games where they’re dumping chocolate syrup and all kinds of stuff all over each other. The kids have a blast,” Albrecht said.

“It’s hilarious. Just don’t wear your best clothes,” Bud McKelvey, club member and Farragut Public Works director, said to other members.

“We’re always looking for new members,” Cormany said. “We want this to grow stronger and we need for it to keep youth to it and energy … It’s better for the community.

“The stronger we are, the better the community’s going to be,” Cormany said regarding the club.

To become a member, contact Dan Green, president of West Knoxville Optimist Club, at 865-567-2420, or Cormany at 865-616-7565.

“There is an international website, but it’s just best to go ahead and contact one of us so we can go ahead and invite you to a meeting quickly,” she said.