Norbert E. Moniz Sr.: A life of service, leadership, and inspiration, dies at 93 

Norbert E. Moniz
Norbert E. Moniz

Norbert E. Moniz, a longtime resident and former president of the Optimist Club in Canyon Country, has died at 93. 

Norbert had a wonderful, large and loving family, said a statement released by his son, Norbert Moniz ll.  

In 1976, he joined a much larger and extended family of Optimists, when he became a member, then president of the Optimist Club in Canyon Country. 

For over 45 years, he dedicated time, service, leadership and inspiration to many Optimists to positively impact the lives of children and their communities. 

In the early years, this club sponsored a bloodmobile and mobile clinic for the Santa Clarita Valley communities. 

Over the years, the club provided funds and gifts to help many “in-need” families receive gift cards for food for Christmas, to have new school supplies for children and teens, to give financial aid to local families in need and with children with cancer and to other youth-serving programs.  Norb inspired the Optimist Club’s members to expand their fundraising activities to support their children and youth programs, the family statement said. 

For example, members held a youth golf tournament, they developed and sold a cookbook, they volunteered at a local high school canteen during football seasons, collected toys and food for Christmas-time distribution to families, and held an annual bowling event for youth in the Optimist Youth home. 

In 2010, Norb led the club in sponsoring its first Annual Charity Auction. 

After 10 years, with live and silent auctions, the fundraising efforts brought thousands of dollars to support children and youth programs in the SCV. 

In 2014, in addition to Norb’s work with the Canyon Country Optimist Club, he helped establish the Santa Clarita Optimist Foundation, a tax-exempt organization. Its mission is to “bring out the best in Santa Clarita’s kids, today and tomorrow by providing support for youth in need.” The foundation provided scholarships to students graduating from local high schools who performed exceptional service to their community and school, help for children and youth in need (Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Childhood Cancer, Santa Clarita Parks and Recreation’s S.C.O.R.E. Program,  Carousel Ranch — Equestrian Therapy for disabled children), and financial aid to local families in need who have children with debilitating illnesses or other similarly profound life challenges.  In 2015, Norb spearheaded the foundation-sponsored “Safety Town-Santa Clarita” for young children. This safety/injury-prevention program for children 4 1/2 to 6 years of age was held every summer through 2019. Scholarships were available for children in need to attend. 

In 2020, with the COVID-19-related closures of traditional school classroom teaching, Norb imagined helping in-need children living in the SCV and Antelope Valley communities have a fun Halloween. 

Over two years, with local business donations, the SCOF and Canyon Country Optimist Club packaged and distributed over 1,500 “Superhero” capes and masks to elementary school-age children. 

Over the years, Norb became a member of multiple clubs in California — Canyon Country, Tehachapi-Four Seasons, The Greater Santa Clarita, Ventura-East, Newhall-Santa Clarita Valley, and Van Nuys. 

He was a long-time board member of the Optimist Youth Home in Los Angeles. 

Norb held 27 officer positions in his lifetime of Optimism. He served as a “Builder of Excellence” of five new Optimist Clubs in California from 1997 to 2013, including Arvin, Kern Valley, Ventura Untouchable Fire Fighters, Canyon Country and Fillmore-Piru. 

He served as governor of the Pacific Southwest District (1986-87), and for his outstanding and distinguished leadership he was also recognized as the No. 1 governor and district in all of Optimist International. 

Beyond his community, he served as Optimist International Vice President in 1991-92 and served on the international board of directors. 

Norb was instrumental in starting the first Optimist Club composed of all women in 1987, prior to the Montreal Convention when the board approved women joining Optimist Clubs. 

Adelaide, Norb’s wife, and love of his life, was also involved in leadership as an Optimist for many years. 

She was a member of several clubs, club president, distinguished lieutenant governor of the Pacific Southwest District, chair of the Childhood Cancer Campaign, and member of “Optimisses,” which supported many youth projects. 

Norb and Adelaide were recognized by Optimist International in 2019 for over 40 years of dedicated Optimist service and leadership. They both received certificates of recognition from the state of California and county of Los Angeles dignitaries. 

The statement added: “Norbert E. Moniz truly deserved recognition for his caring and devoted service and help ‘to bring out the best in kids!’” 

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