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Good Neighbors: The Greater Lansing Optimist Club is making a positive change

Posted at 12:49 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 12:50:09-04

LANSING, Mich. — They say a positive mindset brings positive things. I’ve got proof that’s true, and it’s this week’s Good Neighbors.

With shovels and axes in hand, these optimists, as they like to be called, are volunteering to help transform three rain gardens outside Lansing’s Radisson Hotel.

Mary Wahl is a member of the Greater Lansing Optimist Club. She joined the group so she could be around like-minded people.

“I think people need to know there's something you can do to help, and there's something you can do to make the community better, and it makes us better at the same time.”

The Greater Lansing Optimist Club is a group dedicated to focusing their time and energy on the positive things in life, like giving back to our community.

Bill Wahl, Mary’s husband, says doing so makes a difference in his life too.

“What do you want to look at? Do you want to look at the ugly or find the joy?” Bill said. "For some people, it’s a tough choice, but it’s a choice.”

The Greater Lansing Optimist Club was started in the middle of the pandemic by a few friends, who decided it was time to put a little more positivity out into the world.

Casey Jacobson says as soon as they started the group, they had lots of ideas on how to make a difference in the community.

“We did care packages for the teachers that were just working so hard during Zooms. We painted and stained the park at Lake Lansing and all the playground equipment. We've helped them mulch," Jacobson said. "You know, gosh, we've done backpacks and collecting of books for different communities like that for different communities and projects for different organizations.”

One of those projects is planting rain gardens outside Lansing’s Radisson Hotel.

As optimists, the group loves to make people smile, and they like to recognize others who do the same.

That’s why they surprised John Hazzard, the maintenance supervisor at Lansing’s Radisson Hotel, with the first-ever Optimist Hero Award.

Jacobson says Hazzard is just a great guy and deserving of such an award.

“He was just super helpful to us like he's been helping us all along. There were really no major criteria other than he is an optimistic person. Every time I talk to John, he is so happy, and he's so willing to help in any way he can," Jacobson said. "He's been here for 30 years at Radisson. 30 years in maintenance, and I think that's huge!”

Whitney Roberts, the marketing and communications manager for Downtown Lansing Inc. says the group isn’t just good neighbors, they are great neighbors!

“They love the community, and they just make great neighbors because they have come down, and they've adopted three planters this summer in downtown Lansing, and they show up with so much love to give for the community," Roberts said.

We couldn’t agree more! We want to say thank you to the Greater Lansing Optimist Club for bringing more positivity to the community.

You are this week’s Good Neighbors.

For more information on the Greater Lansing Optimist Club, visit their Facebook page.

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Bob Hoffman

Bob Hoffman

9:44 PM, Nov 26, 2018

Good Neighbors Host

Bob Hoffman