Dolly Parton Imagination Library in conjunction with Mecklenburg County Smart Start

                      (If you do not live in Mecklenburg County, checkout the Smart Start in your county.)

In 1995, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.   For more information about how the Dolly Parton Imagination Library works here in Charlotte, please contact Champagne Selman at or 704-943-9780. or visit the website and sign up your 0-5 year old child.   They get a FREE book each month mailed to them in their name. 

Organization Profile

What We’re Doing

The Club has been very busy, but due to COVID we were not able to run our concession stand at the Bank of America stadium during Panthers' games and other activities held there such as soccer matches and college football games. Once they open, please come visit us at our Stand #107.

Looking for members who are interested in working to help the youth of the community. We meet once a month on the second Tuesday at Greater Bethel AME Church on the second level. The church is located at 5232 The Plaza in Charlotte, NC 28215. Our meetings start at 7:00 pm and last about 90 minutes. We would love to have you be a part of our organization. Right now we are meeting through Zoom. Please contact the president or the secretary for Zoom information if you would like to join us. You do not have to live in Charlotte.

​​When Eastland Mall closed, it left little for the youth to do. Prior to being demolished, they could go there to the movies, the ice skating rink, concessions, shop and just “hang out” with their friends.

We saw a need and in 2016 we partnered with the Garinger High School and conducted our first Tennis Camp. By incorporating the Nutrition Program, parents were able to provide a healthy breakfast and lunch for their children each day while they were out of school.

The tennis camp has provided a safe haven for these children, where they not only learn to play the game of tennis, but develop other skill-sets such as good sportsmanship, team building, reading skills, oratorical practices and book reporting.

The 2017 - 2019 Camps were held at West Charlotte High School. Hopefully, we can get back to the eastside at Garinger High School depending upon COVID.


Carolina Cardinals Optimist Club

Founded: February 4, 2016

President:  Kay Givens

President Elect: Ebec Ratcliffe

Secretary: Pat Sharpe

Treasurer: Coach Brenda Slade

JOI Advisor:  Shanoah Parker

OI Foundation Rep:  Peggy Lide

Corresponding Secretary: Christian Johnson

Public Relations Chair - Bobbi Hague

EIN: 81-1600502