Craig Bender speaks at JC Breakfast Optimist Club meeting

Lonnie Clark, JC Breakfast Optimist Club member shakes the hand of Craig Bender, director of the Military Affairs Council at the clubs last meeting.

Craig Bender, director of the Military Affairs Council, was the guest speaker for JC Breakfast Optimist Club’s Nov. 17 Celebration of Optimism at the Hampton Inn.

Bender stated that he “works closely with Fort Riley organizations to maintain and build positive relations with soldiers and their families and the Geary County community.”

Spouse reciprocity is an opportunity for military spouses who are stationed at Fort Riley to be granted teacher licensure within 15 days of application for a Kansas Teacher License. 65th District House of Representative Lonnie Clark helped get this process in place.

Bender said that most recently he and others have also been “working with Lonnie Clark to get a Veterans home in Junction City located at the Tom Neal Industrial Park near Interstate 70. Twenty-five to fifty acres with infrastructure is already available for this facility. One hundred twenty jobs would be created if that facility were created.”

To show support of this facility, local citizens should send a letter to Representative Lonnie Clark at 300 S.W. 10th St.; Room 352-S; Topeka, Kansas 66612.

A report of the successful fundraisers at JC BBQ & Grill on Nov. 15 and the Ladies Bunko Night at the Hampton Inn on Nov. 16 was shared with the group. Appreciation was expressed to all who support the work of the Optimist Club, which donates money to 17 different youth organizations in Geary County through these fundraisers.

Bender said he has recently taken Fort Riley spouses on a “Spouse Welcome Bus Tour.” The purpose of the tour was to “show off local business and things to do in Junction City/Geary County.”

Club member Dana Wiegand sponsored Marcia Fiorentino, Freshman Success Academy Principal at Junction City High School, as a new member. Club members were reminded that there will not be a meeting on the day before Thanksgiving.

The JC Breakfast Optimist Club meets in the Hampton Inn Meeting Room at 1039 S. Washington St. in Junction City. Visitors and new members are always welcome and receive a free breakfast on their first visit. Breakfast is ready after 6 a.m. and the meeting begins at 6:50 a.m. and adjourns at 7:30 a.m.

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