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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Optimist Clubs install officers

'Tis the season for all Optimist Clubs to pass the gavel forward to a new leader. My friend Buzz Buswell from the Tennessee District shared a story with me about the transfer zone. In relay races, the transfer zone is the ten meters before and after the stationary runner who stands waiting to receive the baton from the moving runner. The hand-off is blind and without looking back, the departing runner receives a signal from the approaching teammate and begins running with his arm extended straight back to receive the baton. The approaching runner firmly places the baton in his teammate's hand, but continues to hold until the departing runner takes the baton from their grasp. All of this happens within the transfer zone. All of this has to happen in order for the team to win.

According to Buzz, the end of one Optimist year and the beginning of the next is like that transfer zone. In order for your club to succeed, you have to support and encourage each runner - each leader - to grasp, run and hand-off that baton in sync. Buzz ends his story by saying, "We are in a continuous relay race for the children of our communities. Maintain your drive, look ahead, pass the gavel and keep going for all you are worth. A year from now, you can pass the gavel to your teammate with the knowledge that we are all in this together. It's not your year or my year. It's another fine year to be an Optimist."

Above: Retiring president Michelle Cox swears in Pamela Schmidt at the Auburn Optimist Club Installation Ceremony.
Pictures left to right: Tracy and Scott Brandenbourg accept their roles as Lt. Goveror and Club President at a Clue-themed installation banquet for Jerome. Cindi and Ken Wall of Boise Noon attend their first meeting as another Club President and Lt. Governor team. Sue Thompson presides over her first Meridian Optimist Club meeting as president. Please send us your photos so we can add them to our page!

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