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How local Optimist club helping to empower young men at Bald Ridge Lodge
Sawnee-Cumming Optimist Club
Janna Shacklett, second from right, president of the Sawnee-Cumming Optimist Club, presents a check for $2,500 to Angela Dikes, executive director of the Bald Ridge Lodge, along with club members Randy O’Dell, left, and Grady Howard, at the Lodge’s basketball court.

The Sawnee-Cumming Optimist Club recently donated $2,500 to the Bald Ridge Lodge, a Forsyth County home for boys aged 12 to 21 who are facing adversity preventing them from living at home.  The check was presented to executive director Angela Dikes by the club’s president Janna Shacklett.

The donation came from proceeds of the club's Flags 4 Education program. American flags are placed in front yards during six national holidays.

The Bald Ridge Lodge is a nurturing, home-like environment for young men who need protection, direction and supervision. They receive counseling, educational support, and independent living skills training.

The boys leave with the knowledge and confidence they need to excel in life, according to a news release.

“Bald Ridge Lodge is so grateful to receive the funding provided through the work of the Sawnee-Cumming Optimist Club’s Flags 4 Education Program and volunteers,” Dikes said. “These funds will make a significant difference in the lives of young men by making it possible for them to live in a safe and therapeutic environment where they can learn to make positive choices, continue their education, build healthy relationships, and learn skills for successful adult living.”

Dikes said the support is “empowering these young men and transforming families through the work of Bald Ridge Lodge.”

“Flags 4 Education has been an amazing program that helps us raise funds to support great nonprofit organizations like Bald Ridge Lodge,” Shacklett said. “For all of us who volunteer on six national flag holidays delivering hundreds of American Flags all over Forsyth County, it’s just another creative way Optimist Club members use fundraising to support community programs.”

To help keep the American Flag flying. subscribe to Optimist Flags 4 Education at

The Sawnee-Cumming Optimist Club meets the first and third Thursday evenings of each month.

For information about Optimists, contact club president Janna Shacklett,