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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mission Optimist Club offers free swim nights

I knew they sponsored free skating events, but what I didn't know is that the Optimist Club of Mission, BC also sponsors free swimming for youths up to 18 years old.

Youth Free Swim Nights are every Friday from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, May 1 to August 21 at the Mission Leisure Center. What a great way to keep our kids safe and active on Friday night!

^5 Mission Optimists

Monday, April 27, 2009

An Optimist Scholarship Program sponsored by YOU

Here is a great way to link your name or to honor someone you respect with some of the greatest activities that Optimist International performs. Make a gift to the Optimist International Foundations to endow a scholarship.

Starting in 2010, the prizes for the Optimist Oratorical, Essay and CCDHH scholarship contests will raise to $2,500. In order to help make the change, the Optimist International Foundations have created an opportunity for donors to name the scholarship that they fund. Naming a scholarship may happen in one of two ways:

  1. An agreement to fund the $2,500 scholarship annually for a five-year period. The donor signs a contract specifying payment for the upcoming year no later than December 31 of the previous year.
  2. An agreement to fund an endowment of $50,000 to permanently fund one $2,500 scholarship. Again, the donor signs a contractual agreement.

Find out more by contacting the Optimist International Foundation at 800-500-8130 and asking for Judi Smith, Executive Director or Rachael Lowes, Development Director. This opportunity is available through the St. Louis Office for all Foundations that support Optimist International.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Enjoy beautiful Hood River with the Optimists

It is time to be thinking about the next PNW Optimist District Meeting! On second thought, don't just think about it, register now!

The PNW Optimists will gather for the third quarterly meeting on May 15-16 in Hood River, Oregon. You won't want to miss the District Optimist Oratorical Finals. This year's topic is "For me, Optimism is..." so I'm looking forward to some positive thoughts from our young public speakers.

We also elect our Lt. Governors for the 2009-2010 administrative year at this meeting. Are you ready to share your passion about Optimist Clubs? Being a Lt. Governor is the best way to get started and learn to share your Optimist story. Let the candidate qualifications committee know of your interest today.

Governor Peter Smith and his team are planning an informative and enjoyable meeting. See you there.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Optimist Club benefits from prominent spokesperson

Have you ever heard of Jeffrey M. Leib? Neither had I until I came across this interview, but people in W. Bloomfield, Michigan know and respect him. Mr. Leib is an attorney and among his many accomplishments, he was also the first president and a founding member of the Optimist Club of W. Bloomfield, Michigan in 1971.

This post, however, is not about Mr. Leib. It is about what it takes to get your Optimist Club recognized in your community. Our Optimist Clubs perform fabulous projects, but only sometimes do our newspapers take notice. One sure way to get your Optimist Club noticed is to garner the endorsement of a prominent citizen. That endorsement means even more when they speak about our cause - Optimist Clubs - with passion.

Take the Jeffrey M. Leib interview for example. With 1.5 pages devoted to the purposes and projects of Optimist Clubs and the positive impact they have on youth, it is easy to see how an Optimist Club makes a difference. Add in the story of Mr. Leib's active community involvement and you can see how Optimist Clubs have always been a priority in his life. If I were a reader, I would want to be involved with such a cause. How about you?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Meridian Optimist Club sponsors Idaho Junior Golf Tournament

Calling all junior golfers! The Meridian Optimist Club is sponsoring the first ever Meridian, Idaho Optimist Junior Golf Tournament on June 9, 2009. The event is a pre-qualifying tournament for the Pacific Northwest District Optimist International Junior Golf Tournament. According to coordinator Bob Thompson, the Meridian Optimist Club hopes to encourage more Idaho players to participate in the tournament series. "We want them to have an opportunity to play close to home, gain a little tournament experience, and possibly win a sponsorship to the district tournament," he explained.

First place finishers in age divisions Boys 14 - 15 and 16-18 and Girls 14 -15 and 16-18 will receive an expense-paid trip to Hillsboro, Oregon for the PNW District Tournament on June . Golfers who qualify at the District level event will advance to the Optimist International Junior Golf Tournament at the PGA National Resort & Spa, July 23 - August 2, 2009.

Download a registration form for the Meridian Optimist Club Junior Golf Tournament.

Find out more about the Optimist International Junior Golf Tournament.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

BC Optimists promote talented youths

We thought they were fabulous when we attended the 2008 PNW Optimist District Convention in Chilliwack. Who were they? All of the wonderful, youthful performers arranged by the Chilliwack Optimist Club. There was a ragtime band with some blues and soul added in to keep us dancing. There were classical musicians and vocalists who shined. We were told it was because of the local high school music director and the community's emphasis on arts, but I think the Optimist Clubs' involvement has a lot to do with it.

Over the past month, the Optimist Clubs of Mission, Chilliwack and Burnaby have sponsored talent contests for the kids. Here are two articles about the contests. I hope to have more to report on the events soon. Please send your pictures, press releases or links to videos to linda at newoptimistclub dot com.

Talent Show Announced
Talented Youth win at Optimist Event

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Optimist Clubs celebrate Easter

Many Optimist Clubs hold them, and all will agree these fun events are the fastest projects your Optimist Club will ever do. What are they? Easter Egg Hunts of course!

Official time: 1 minute 43 seconds. That's how long it took for the little hunters and gatherers to make their way to the finish line with their candy at the Meridian Optimist Club Easter Egg-Off. Caseloads of candy were spread out in four age groups and hundreds of youngsters up to ten years old raced through the course collecting their treasure. Many also garnered specially marked prizes and got to choose from tables full of gifts donated by Meridian, Idaho businesses. The Meridian Fire and Police Departments joined in the fun. You can watch the slide show and enjoy it too!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Optimist Essays published in Albany newspaper

High Five to the Optimist Club of Albany, Oregon for striking a deal with the Democrat Herald to get the top three essays from the Optimist Club Essay Contest published in the local newspaper and online for all to see. It really is a great prize for the winners to be able to see their work in print. But it also a great way to put positive news forward in your community. So far the first and second place award winners have made the paper. Click on the links to read the full essays:

The Power of Youth - 1st Place by Kristen Bergey "Travel, Work Shape Outlook"

The Power of Youth - 2nd Place by Taylor Trout "Ability to Work is the Power of Youth"

The Optimist International Essay Contest began in 1983 as a way for students to express themselves around a central theme or topic. In addition to developing their writing skills, students have the opportunity to win college scholarships ranging from $650 to $6,000. All contests must begin at the club level. There are more than 3,000 Optimist Clubs around the world. You can find the club nearest you by clicking on the Optimist Club directory or visiting www.optimist.org.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Purposes of an Optimist Club

Do you know how when you decide to buy a red car you suddenly begin seeing red cars everywhere? I've recently noticed that more and more of our Optimist Clubs are sharing the Purposes of an Optimist Club on their bulletins and web sites. I don't know if they were publishing them before and I had missed it, or if we have all suddenly decided to revisit our founding principles, but I think it is important that we remind ourselves why we gather as Optimists. There are methods to how we propose to bring out the best in kids. They are:

The Purposes of an Optimist Club

To develop optimism as a philosophy of life, utilizing the tenets of the Optimist Creed;

To promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs;

To inspire respect for the law;

To promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people;

To aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world.

Share these thoughts with others. Apply the purposes to the projects that your Optimist Club sponsor and perform. Embody the spirit and action of Optimist Clubs around the world and I am certain your club will grow and succeed.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dynasty of public speakers at the Vancouver Optimist Oratorical Contest

The Optimist Oratorical Contest is by far my favorite Optimist International program because it emphasizes the importance of communication. The participants learn to gather their thoughts, write them down and then present them in a manner that is engaging and informative. All the while Optimist members, parents, and other community members get the opportunity to hear what kids think and discover how they process their thoughts. We also get to marvel at their ability to stand in front of a crowd of strangers and improve every time they deliver their message. And some come back every year, improving and impressing us every time.

In Vancouver, Washington there is a family of public speakers, the Jones'. Last year we met Clareesa Jones as she took first place at the District Optimist Oratorical Contest. This year, three more Jones girls participated in the Vancouver, WA Optimist Club Contest. Shown left to right are Larry Smith (judge), Sonia Jones (1st Place), Ariel Jones (2nd Place), Lynn Helsel (judge), Merci Jones (4th Place), Claudia Dalton (judge), and Max Hsaio (3rd place).

The Zone contest will be held on April 11 at 10 am. Watch streaming video of the Optimist Oratorical Contest here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Evening mixers add fun for Optimist Clubs

Does your Optimist Club offer social meetings as well as business meetings? Of course every meeting should offer a good mix: ample opportunity to network with your friends and colleagues, the opportunity to learn something from a guest speaker about initiatives and other organizations in your community, and an appropriate amount of club business. Some clubs have found that they enjoy a more social setting on occasion.

One of those clubs is the Boise Noon Optimist Club. Whenever a month has a fifth Tuesday (their regular meeting day) they meet at night for a social gathering instead of a regular noon-hour business meeting. According to club leaders, this allows spouses and other people who don't or can't attend at noon the opportunity to come and enjoy Optimist fellowship and get caught up on what their Optimist Club is doing. It also gives the club a change of scenery. Sometimes that is all that is needed to spark new interests.

This week was one of those Tuesdays. Bulletin editor Wes Callahan sent us a few pictures of the Boise Noon Optimist Club enjoying themselves at Fuddruckers. From top to bottom: some of the Boise Noon Optimist Club members, Essay Contest winners are congratulated by President Cindi Wall, and sponsors welcome New Member Dawn Bassett and Ken Hauntz.

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