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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Proclaim Optimist Club Day in your hometown

Is your Optimist Club celebrating a milestone anniversary this year? Has your Optimist Club been serving your community for 10 - 15 - 25 - 50 - 75 years? Then why not tell your city, township, county or state all about it with a proclamation from the mayor?

Here's a tip from the Morganton, North Carolina Optimist Club. Make your club's anniversary date a special day every year by proclaiming it Optimist Day. For Morgantown, that day is today, March 29. With a proclamation from Mayor Mel Cohen, the day recognizes the Morganton Optimist Club for the vast achievements and impact the organization has had in the local communities. The proclamation and the News Herald in Morganton goes on to describe the projects and activities that serve the community, benefit children and makes Morganton a better place to live.

What a simple act - yet worthy of plenty word of mouth marketing and lots of stories in print. Why not make it an Optimist Club Day in your town soon?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Issaquah Optimists announce essay contest winner

The Issaquah Optimist Club has adopted the Optimist International Essay Contest as one of their signature events. As reported in an earlier post on this blog, Issaquah Optimists find their target audience, they work closely with the high schools to promote the contest. Of course they work equally as hard to get the word out about the results.

It was no surprise to get a press release announcing their club winner. According to Club Essay Chairman Paul Demars, Gretchen Stroh, a Senior at Stillaguamish Valley School in Arlington, WA submitted the winning essay on the "Power of Youth." Please click on the link to read the full story.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Learning the Optimist Lexicon

Have you ever noticed the glazed over look on the faces of the new members in your club when you start talking about CFR, Zones, Honor Club, Governor, Lt. Governor, CPA, CRA and the many other words that fall naturally into the language of the veteran Optimist Club member? Some that have been around ten years or more can even be confused and I have to admit myself, I had no idea what the President's Pride report was until I took a few minutes to look it up online at optimistleaders.org.

Club presidents and bulletin editors, this message is especially for you! Let's help our members learn the lingo. Let's start talking about and writing about all of those words that are unique to Optimist International and service in our Optimist Club. Jean Jensen, editor of the Gresham Optigraph is one step ahead of us. In the March edition she explains a few club and district keywords. What a great tool for new and veteran members alike!

Here's a quick start on your own Optimist dictionary:
  • CFR: Club Foundation Representative - A person appointed by the president of an Optimist Club to encourage charitable giving to the Optimist International Foundation.
  • CPA: Community Projects Award program - A scrapbook that outlines a program or project conducted by an Optimist Club. It includes a step-by-step plan, budget and pictures of the project and is submitted to the District for awards purposes. Most important it stays in the Club's library for the next chairman to use for the project.
  • CRA: Club Roster Adjustment - a form completed by the Club Secretary/Treasurer to add or delete members or to update members' contact information.
  • Governor: The Chief Elected Official of the District.
  • Honor Club: A recognition given to Optimist Clubs for administrative excellence and club growth in membership and service. Honor Club status means your club is serving your community with an expectation of service extending into the future.
  • Lt. Governor: The locally elected official representing a zone.
  • Zone: Clubs that are grouped together in a geographic region.
  • President's Pride Report: Your Club's annual report that summarizes everything that has been accomplished during the year.
Questions? You can find out more at http://www.optimistleaders.org/.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Optimist Clubs praise the power of positive thinking

We say it all the time. Every time a group of Optimist members gather, we recite the Optimist Creed together and promise to talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person that we meet. Why is it when times get a little tough - okay, really tough - we forget about our Optimist roots?

Please take three minutes and watch this report from the CBS Evening News regarding how Optimism can change your way of thinking and change your life. High Five to the Muskegon, Michigan Optimist Club and President Mike Seltzer for speaking up about the power of positive thinking.

Friday, March 13, 2009

PNW Optimists regional meetings come to a close

PNW Optimists gathered on Saturday, March 7 for the third and final regional meeting for the second quarter of the 2008-2009 admnistrative year. Almost forty members celebrated the successes of their Optimist Clubs in Twin Falls, Idaho.

The hospitality was first-rate thanks to Robin Stanhope and her posse - a combined group of Twin Falls and Jerome Optimist Club members sometimes known as the Jerome Falls Optimist Club. Other highlights were:
  • Governor Peter Smith honored the Meridian Optimist Club for first quarter membership growth
  • Immediate Past Governor Steve Andersen recognized the Meridian Optimist Club and the Nampa Optimist Club for being Honor Clubs in 2007-2008
  • Wayne Bohrn was recognized by Past Governor Steve for his outstanding service to the Optimist International Foundation

  • Lt. Governors Traci Brandenbourg, Ken Wall (represented honorably by Cindi Wall), and Kirk Farnsworth gave zone updates

  • Luree Evans, President, Twin Falls Optimist Club, showed a great club video prepared by one of the Twin Falls members for recruiting new members
  • Linda Jackson, Governor-elect encouraged clubs to hold elections and submit reports. She also gave a presentation on how happiness encourages membership growth
The next meeting of our distinguished group of Optimists will be on May 15-16 in Hood River, Oregon. Register today and be a part of the worldwide movement to bring out the best in kids.

Please click on pictures to enlarge (left to right): Entertainment from local students, a picture of the group, Dr. Tom Hammond and Sue Thompson relax after eating giant potatoes, Steve Andersen and Wayne Bohrn pose for the Foundation photo, Mike Grey and Steve Andersen celebrate the Nampa Honor Club award.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Be a part of a worldwide movement to bring out the best in kids. Ask me how!

This is my 100th post to the PNW District Optimist Blog! Hooray! That means there has been a lot of positive activities that benefit kids around the the world, but especially in British Columbia, Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Thank you to all of our Optimist Clubs for all that you do.

I have found out that we, as Optimist Club members, do a lot of word of mouth advertising of our activities. Given the chance, we'll talk about our projects and the positive impact our activities have on our communities until the cows come home. If you give us an opening, we'll even tell you how much fun we have as members. ,

This post is about how you might create that opening. You can create a passive marketing opportunity every time you send an email just by adding a line below your signature such as "You can be a part of the worldwide movement to bring out the best in kids. Ask me how."

Here is one way to add a signature line in MS Outlook:

  • Choose "Create new message"

  • In the toolbar of the new message dialogue box choose "Insert"

  • From the drop down menu choose "Signature"

  • In the signature dialogue box choose "New"

  • Write your signature and choose "Save"
    Choose default signature for "New messages" if you want your signature on every message you send

  • Click on "Save" and "Ok" to return to the create new message window

Click on the illustrations to enlarge.

Thanks to Steve Andersen, Immediate Past Governor for the suggestion.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March is for Optimist members in the PNW District

During the PNW Distsrict Optimist Regional Meetings, Governor Peter Smith has asked us to focus on new member recruitment. One of the key strategies is the use of the ever-popular NOW program.

NOW, or New Optimists Wanted, is a tried and true program that works. I believe the program is successful because:

It has a personal touch. People are invited and encouraged to attend a NOW event.

It creates excitement. Optimist members are passionate about the projects their club performs. A NOW event puts that excitement together in a structured form and allows us to share our enthusiasm
with others.

It creates urgency. The keyword is NOW. Your presentation should emphasize that your prospective members are wanted and needed now. You can close the deal and attract more Optimists when that
need is relayed to others.

NOW events come in all shapes and sizes. Some clubs choose a dinner format while others are informal networking events. It's up to you to know your audience well enough to choose what will make them feel the most comfortable. One word of caution: don't do something that you wouldn't do in a regular meeting. You want your new members to find a similar atmosphere when they share their time with other club members on a regular basis.

Every club needs new members to rejuvenate club activities, revitalize club meetings, and help us renew our promise to provide more service to more kids through our Optimist Club. Are you ready? Hold your NOW event now.

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