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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

PNW Optimists think about the new year

It's only a couple days away! That's right, 2009 really will be here before you know it. In the Pacific Northwest, many people are still digging out from the big snowstorms that made Christmas wonderfully white, but our Optimist Clubs are thinking about the new projects and new opportunities that will come with the new year.

Opportunity #1. Optimist International Essay Contest - The official topic is "The Power of Youth" and all clubs should encourage students who are under the age of 19 as of December 31, 2008 to participate in this scholarship contest. Club contests should be completed by January 31. District contests must be completed by April 15.

Information for club chairpersons .
Information for contestants.

Contestants, please note that you must submit your essay to an Optimist Club. Click here to find a club near you.

Opportunity #2. Attend a Regional Meeting - With deference to weather and economy, the PNW District offers regional meetings in February so that more people can attend this motivational activity.

Find the meeting nearest you and participate!

Be sure to check back often as we update the opportunities for all Optimists to be involved!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Optimists double as Santa's elves

Optimists throughout the United States and Canada took turns helping with Christmas cheer. One of the most popular Christmas-related activities was Christmas tree sales. Many Optimist Clubs use the profits from Christmas tree lots as their budgets for the year. It's not unusual for a small club to raise as much as $25,000 in a little less than three weeks.

One hundred percent of all profits are then returned to their local communities in the form of scholarships, youth programs and community projects.

Some other Optimist elf activities
are helping Santa write Christmas letters, wrapping presents, collecting and delivering food baskets, sponsoring a local headquarters for Santa photos, hosting breakfast with Santa and by providing warm coats and shopping trips for kids.

Please share photos of your Club's Santa project by sending your pictures to the PNW Blog.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Optimist Club Christmas wish

'Twas two days before Christmas and all through the land
Optimists were shopping and wrapping and making great plans
For when the holidays are over and the good deeds are done
An Optimist knows their work has only just begun

There are essay and oratorical contests to bring out the best in youth
There are golf tournaments and easter egg hunts for those with a sweet tooth
Most important of all good cheer will reign
Throughout the year as new friendships are made

Every Optimist member knows when we come together as one
We serve our communities and still have great fun
Our Optimist Clubs will prosper and accomplish more tasks
When you join us in service, it is all that we ask

Best wishes to you and yours for a happy holiday and joyful new year.

Please click here to find an Optimist Club near you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Spotted! Channel 7, Optimists and Trees

The Meridian Optimist Club was up at o'dark thirty this morning with meteorologist Larry Gebert of Idaho's Channel 7 NBC News. Fans of the news channel know that "Where's Larry?" is a common question as he travels about Southern Idaho to help promote good causes and recognize good people and deeds.

On tap this morning was the Meridian Optimist Christmas Tree Lot promotion. Optimists - and Larry, a Boise Noon Optimist member - were on hand at 250 Overland Road, Meridian, ID at 4:30 a.m. This picture was snapped just minutes after 5:00 a.m. as busy Optimist members moved trees to make a great display. Trees range in price from $35 to $85 and all patrons who bring two or more non-perishable items for the Meridian Food Bank receive a $5 discount off their purchase.

The Christmas Tree Sales are the main fund raiser for the Meridian Optimists. One hundred percent of all fund raising proceeds are returned to the Meridian community in the form of community service projects and programs that involve, benefit or recognize children.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why do Optimist Clubs have Bulletins?

Some people prefer to call them newsletters, but many Optimist Clubs cling to the term bulletin for obvious reasons. A bulletin is a regular missive that tells you what is going to happen. A newsletter usually tells you what has happened. A bulletin arrives in a timely enough manner that you can participate. A newsletter arrives after the fact so that you find out what you missed.

So what's the best solution? How about a little of both.

Make your club bulletin a call to action. Invite people to participate in whatever is happening: club meetings, club fund raisers and club projects; and tell them how to do so. Include phone numbers and email addresses. Don't forget to give directions to the activity, tell them where to park and what day and time to be there.

Make your club bulletin a promotional tool. In newsletter fashion, be sure to tell your readers what happened, who participated, and what they missed by not being involved. Create excitement for the next time your club gathers for an activity.

Make your club bulletin available. Post it online, send it via email and offer to send it through regular mail. Don't be stingy with your mailing list. Include everyone that might benefit from knowing what your club is doing. That includes non-members too!

Looking for some ideas for your club bulletin? Visit http://www.pnwoptimist.org/Bulletins.php and become inspired.

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