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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas tree sales fund youth projects in the community

'Tis the season! The Meridian Optimist Club Tree lot opened today. The hours of operation are:
Mon-Fri 2:00 to 8:00
Saturday 9:00 to 8:00
Sunday 10:00 to 6:00

The tree lot is open until all trees have found a home. According to President Mark Sullivan, that's usually about 17 days so hurry in for the best tree around! The tree sales fund all Meridian Youth Projects for the coming year.

If your Optimist Club has a tree lot, please send us the location and hours so we can include them on the blog.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks for the special wonders of the season

It's Thanksgiving Day - the official beginning of the holiday season. It is a time when we express our gratitude for our family and friends and the freedom and privileges that we enjoy every day. It's also a time when we stop and share the wonders that we see in the world and people around us. I hope you enjoy the wonder of this short video.

Thank you for all that you do as an Optimist Club member to bring out the best in children.  Thank you for you for your special friendship.  Happy Thanksgiving and cheers to the holiday season. 

The Foundation for a Better Life is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. They are privately funded and non-commercial. Their sole objective is to promote positive values, using print and broadcast media.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Eagle, Idaho is home to a new Optimist Club

Please help us welcome the newest member of the PNW District family:  The Eagle Optimist Club.

The Eagle Optimist Club was organized on Tuesday, November 17.  They meet at 12:00 noon on Tuesdays at Chicago Connection, 344 W. State Street, Eagle, Idaho.

Sixteen charter members are working on several programs for the season.  The first is Coats for Kids, chaired by Rachel Cushing.  New and gently used coats are being collected, cleaned and repaired and redistributed to children in the community. 

Also in the works are Christmas Food Baskets, chaired by Brian Doerty.  Both projects are being coordinated with the Landing Community Center. 

The Eagle Optimist Club is currently welcoming new members and charter membership status will remain open through December. Please contact us for more information.   A charter banquet is being planned for January. 

Showin in the picture (left to right): Board Member Jessie Horney, Co-President Mike Harris, Board Member Brian Doerty, Co-President Gretchen Brown, and S/T Randy Rabehl. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lots of trees, lots of raking going on

Boise is known as the City of Trees.  In fact, as the French fur trappers came across the desert and first set eyes on the fair city, they cried "Les Bois" - the trees - and the American-ized name Boise came to be. 

Many years later we have those beautiful trees to thank for the shade in the summer and the opportunities for service in the fall. That's why teams from the Boise Noon, Eagle and Meridian Optimist Clubs all went out in force to rake-up their respective cities.  What a great way to build friendship, serve others and make our communities some of the best places to live.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Students compete for $2,500 scholarship in the PNW District Optimist International Essay Contest

District Essay Chair Karon Yaden needs your help!  She is creating a list of all Optimist Clubs in the PNW District that are participating in the Optimist International Essay Contest.  This list is so important because she receives many inquiries from students who would like to submit an essay through their local club.  Please send Karon a message now to let her know that your club is participating. 

The Essay Contest is an easy and rewarding project.  Students who have not turned 19 by January 1, 2010 are eligible to participate by completing an essay on the topic “The Internet: Today’s Evolution or Tomorrow’s Menace?”  Find the Optimist International Essay Contest rules and application form here.

The winning essay at the district level will earn the participant a $2,500 scholarship.  All first place district essays move forward to International competition where they compete for an additional $6,000 scholarship. 

It's not too late to start your Optimist Club Essay Contest today.  Read all that you need to know to conduct an Optimist International Essay Contest here. 

Optimist Clubs set their own submission deadline for club contests.  Please be sure to set yours in order to have your winning essay to Karon Yaden by February 28, 2010.  In addition to the winning essay, all club entries must include a copy of the student's birth certificate, application form and a $35 entry fee.

For more information, please contact Karon Yaden, PNW District Essay Chair today.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Are you using Twitter?

I know that many people think that Twittering is not their thing, but here is an example of how you can use Twitter to get your message out about your Optimist Club.  Be sure to follow us at http://twitter.com/newoptimistclub

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Optimist Clubs promote internet safety for children and adults

Optimist International has launched a new program to help keep children safe online. The best part about this program is it is truly designed to reach adults and encourage discussion between parents, guardians and their children. Watch the introductory video here and then contact your local Optimist Club for a full presentation.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wear your nametag and get a new Optimist Club member!

Think about the one thing that would help you serve more kids in your community.  What is it?  More members!  That's why we're excited to promote the Nametag Program for awareness and membership in the Pacific Northwest District - Optimist International.

What is it? The Nametag Program asks you and all the members of your Optimist Club to choose one day a month to wear your nametag all day as you go about your usual business.  You will discover that the nametag makes you approachable.  People will say hello and ask you why you are wearing a nametag and that's your chance to tell them all about your Optimist Club. 

Practice your elevator speech and ask them if they want to learn more.  Invite people to visit your club and when they do, ask them to join.  It's a great way to spread Optimism in your community. 

Are you ready?  Set?  Get your nametag on!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Youth Appreciation Week for Optimist Clubs

It's Youth Appreciation Week!   I'm looking forward to hearing about the great programs in your community.  Please be sure to share your pictures and a few lines about how your Optimist Club made a great day for the kids. 

The first story comes in from the Coquitlam Optimist Club.  They held a free youth skate and a walk for youth.  Youth groups raised more than $5,500 and with the average group earning about $400 for their cause.  Read all about it here. 

The second story comes from the Jerome Optimist Club where 109 students were recognized for doing the right thing.  Two of the recipients are shown in this picture as they wait to walk across the stage.

What has your club done this month for this special activity?  Please tell us about it.  Leave a comment here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

District meeting emphasizes membership retention and growth

The First Quarter District Meeting for the Pacific Northwest District is now in the history books.  Over the past weekend, Optimist Clubs from British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington gathered in Coquitlam, BC to share their passion for bringing out the best in children.  The main topic: membership.  The main focus: retention and growth.  The vehicle for accomplishing our goals: Optimist Club projects.

The weekend began with a Walk 'n Talk in the business community adjacent to the hotel property.  Armed with flyers about Coquitlam Optimist programs, visiting Optimist Club members hit the streets to invite local business persons to participate and to consider joining the Optimist Club.  It was a great way to reintroduce the Coquitlam Optimist Club to the community.

That evening, the opening session was inspirational as the Coastal Sound Music Academy Choir welcomed the Optimist district with native songs and the national anthems for Canada and the United States and Councilman Brent Edmundson offered a welcome from the city of Coquitlam. Linda Jackson, Governor explained the importance of wearing name tags to make ourselves approachable, but more important to make visitors, guests and new members feel like a part of our Optimist Clubs.  Larry Blackburn, Caldwell Optimist Club, Alan Zehntbauer, Beaverton Optimist Club and Lorraine Coots, Mason County Optimist Club each described a favorite project conducted by their respective clubs and Ed Murphy, Governor-elect introduced us to a five first timers before we adjourned to the Halloween party in the hospitality room hosted by the Abbotsford Optimist Club.

On Saturday, we approved our district budget, held a NOW Luncheon that included potential new members from Burnaby, BC and heard from our District Chairpersons for Essay, Oratorical, Internet Safety, JOOI Clubs, Leadership Development, Membership and Growth.  More information will be provided about their reports in upcoming posts.  We also met and learned from Mark Weinsoff, International Vice President for the West Region.

It was a good meeting, full of information about how members of the district leadership team are available to come to your community to help your Optimist Club grow.  There was also an emphasis on participation and it was determined that our district website would be revamped to be a better, more interactive communications tool. 

Funny, I didn't fully understand how much information was shared until I started writing this post and unfortunately I know just how much has been left out.  We will try to relay all of the information through our blogs and bulletins, but the phrase "you had to be there" still comes to mind.  I hope you were; but if not, please be sure to join us in Portland, Oregon on February 20, 2010 for our Second Quarter District Meeting so you can participate and learn firsthand.

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