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Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcome 2011

Photo credit @thedailywhat 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How about one more Santa story?

The Jerome Optimist Club served more than 250 children at the Annual Breakfast with Santa on December 18. Santa Claus is shown here with his many volunteers.

Breakfast was held at the Jerome Catholic Church with food donations from Ridley's Food and Drug and Subway.  The Jerome Optimist Club sends a big thank you to all helpers and especially to Santa for making the day very special for all.

Thanks to Traci Brandenbourg for the photo.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Check out those banners!

The Boise Noon Optimist Club has been going through some reorganization over the past few months. It's a huge club with over 300 members, but like many clubs, they found that the number of members attending weekly meetings was declining.

In an effort to attract more participants, they have adopted an afternoon and evening schedule. Evenings are both business and social - one week is the Board Meeting and one week is pure fun; and the noon meetings are the traditional meeting style that our veteran clubs do so well. 

Merry Christmas to you

Christmas Day! Make a joyful noise to the world.

We wish you happiness with a little Christmas music mix:
Michael Buble - Let it Snow
Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas is You
The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole

Please click here to watch on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

PNW District named Distinguished District

The Optimist International Board of Directors met December 10-11, 2010 in St. Louis, MO. For the first time, the meeting minutes; officer, committee and staff reports; and financial documents have been published online.

In his year-end report, Immediate Past International President Mark Shriver reported on the recognition earned by Districts and their leaders in the 2009-2010 administrative year.  Six districts earned Honor District recognition and eight districts earned Distinguished District recognition.

  • The Pacific Northwest District was recognized by the Optimist International Board of Directors as a Distinguished District. 
  • Linda Jackson, PNW District Governor 2009-2010 earned the Outstanding Governor award for leading the West Region.
  • Mark Weinsoff, Vice President 2009-2010 earned the Vice President recognition for overall percentage membership growth. 

The special awards edition of the Leadership Hotline will be released in January 2011. In addition to the awards announced in this notice, it will contain the full report of Optimist Clubs earning Honor and Distinguished recognition.

The PNW District will recognize all recipients at the 2nd Quarter District Meeting. Please register to attend today.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Santa visits the Coquitlam Optimist Club

Beavers, Cubs, Sparks, Brownies and their families enjoyed Breakfast with Santa yesterday compliments of the Coquitlam Optimist Club. Find out all about it with this post from Annette Smith on the Coquitlam Optimist Club blog  here: Scouts and Guides enjoy Breakfast with Santa 

Shown to the left are Past District Governors Hal Griffin and Earl Pollock. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Supermarket sweep!

The Pasco Tri-Cities Optimist Club sent their elves on a shopping trip today to purchase supplies for Christmas baskets.  Enjoy some of the pictures from club secretary Lareena Roberson here:

Thanks to Lareena Roberson for the pictures!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Middleton Area Optimist Club: Wii Charter Banquet a Success

Estela Cabrera, Secretary/Treasurer, Middleton Area Optimist Club has written a great article about the Wii Charter Party held on December 11. Please click on the link to read all about it on the club's blog:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shop with a Cop is fun for all

Shop with a Cop participants

The Gresham Optimist Club held their first Shop with a Cop for 2010 on Saturday, December 11.  Coordinated by Optimist Club members Sharon Strickland and Joe Anderson, fifteen youngsters were treated to a day of shopping at Target. Each child was paired with an Optimist Club member or police officer to help them pick out gifts for themselves or their families.

After the shopping trip, everyone enjoyed lunch at Burgerville thanks to Burgerville manager Kevin Schmid.

Burgers and fries please. 

The next Gresham Optimist Club Shop with a Cop will take place on Saturday, December 18, 9:30 a.m. at Fred Meyer in Gresham.

Thanks to Jean Jensen, Editor, Gresham Optigraph for the story and pictures.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Nametag Guy dares you to care

This past summer, Optimist Club members at the International Convention in Denver, Colorado were treated to a special keynote address by Scott Ginsberg, the Nametag Guy.  Scott takes his approachability message to the next level with this excerpt that asks if you and your club dare to care. His premise is that your Optimist Club will be more joinable if you show your members that you care about them.

Especially during the holidays, Optimist Clubs demonstrate their caring nature to their communities. It only takes a few kind words or an extra phone call to show your members that you care about them too. What do you think? Do you have any first-hand experiences to share? How does your Optimist Club show they care about their members?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Auburn Optimists bring Santa to town

A tradition has returned to Auburn, Washington just in time for the Christmas season. The Auburn Optimist Club has opened the Santa House at B Street Plaza. It will offer varying hours from now until December 22 for children and their parents to visit and have their picture taken with Santa Claus.  Visitors can plan a visit by calling 253-315-3025 for the schedule.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ho, Ho, Hello!

Here's a pretty simple Christmas project that your Optimist Club might do even on short notice.

The Roseburg Optimist Club has set up a hotline straight to Santa Claus. He's a really busy guy during this time of the year so the hours for the Roseburg area hook-up is rather limited; but he hopes to hear from as many children as possible on Tuesday, December 14, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Why not give Santa's scheduler a buzz and see if you can arrange a time in your community?

See the Roseburg Hotline to Santa flyer here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Twin Falls Optimist Club is keeping kids warm

The Twin Falls Optimist Club Coats for Kids project has seen a boost this year with some good press relations both in print and on television, not to mention the severe dip in temperature that occurred over the past two weeks. Here's a quick look at the project from KMVT News - Twin Falls.

Want to know even more about how this fantastic project works? Click here to see an article from the Magic Valley Times highlighting the experiences Perrine Elementary School Principal Bill Brulotte and Babbel's Cleaners, an important player in the project.  Contact information for Committee Chair Patsy Bland is included.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What's up with our CPA Books?

Blue and white clipart image of a flower shaped, ribboned award displaying 1st place, Click here to get more Free Clipart at ClipartPal.comAre you wondering what happened to your CPA (Community Project Awards) Book that you mailed to the district in September?

Not to worry! A number of great books were collected by Lorraine Coots, 2009-2010 Membership Retention Chair. Lorraine's thoughts were to have the books judged by individuals outside the Optimist Club organization.

What a great thought! As I write this, the books are being reviewed and critiqued by our sponsors, stakeholders, and community members-at-large to determine their impact on our communities and their potential for engaging others in our cause.

Lorraine will provide the winners to Optimist International as they are due and she will report the outcome to the PNW District at the Second Quarter District Meeting in the Seattle area on January 21-22, 2011.  Many thanks to Lorraine for introducing a new approach.

Immediate Past Governor Linda Jackson will also announce Honor and Distinguished Club awards at that time. I hope you join us!  Registration details should be available soon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sandy Optimist Club recognizes FFA students

This year, the Sandy Optimist Club honored a group of students at the club's Annual Youth Appreciation Night. The recipients were the members of the Sandy High School FFA.
The chapter recently returned from the national FFA convention in Indianapolis, where they competed against 34 other teams in the agricultural issues development event. According to Bob Felix, editor of the club newsletter The Sandyside Up, the students 'have a wide diversity of activities.'  He explained, “It’s not only for themselves and for their animals.”

Please enjoy the presentation on YouTube. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Let's all say thank you to the amazing kids around us

Optimist Clubs have the unique opportunity to work with amazing children every day, but once a year, the Optimist Club of Jerome, Idaho takes time to say thank you to those kids who are known for doing the right thing. They might be good students or athletes, but they don't have to be. All the Jerome Optimist Club requests is that someone in the community recognize the student for doing something special, performing a random act of kindness, or simply just doing the right thing. The Rotary Club likes the program so much that they contribute to the awards given to the students.

This year 142 students were recognized by the Jerome Optimist Club, the Jerome Rotary Club, the Jerome County Sheriff's Department and Idaho's Fifth Judicial District at an evening ceremony. Please enjoy the slideshow and then take a moment to hug and say thank you to someone near you. 

Thank you Jerome Optimist Club and photographer Traci Brandenbourg for sharing your project with us. Thank you for recognizing these outstanding students!

Let's all say thank you to the amazing kids around us every day. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's a Wii Charter Party!

The Middleton Area Optimist Club is celebrating their affiliation with Optimist International and the Pacific Northwest District with a Wii Charter Party.  Everyone is invited to attend for dinner, a motivational presentation form international speaker Vincent Kituku and lots of fun with karaoke and a Wii Tournament.

Please make your plans to attend today.
Saturday, December 11, 2010, 6:00 p.m.
Middleton, Idaho

Please click on the flyer for complete details.  You can register online at www.middletonoptimistclub.blogspot.com.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Albany Optimist Club salutes veterans with a community breakfast

One week ago, the Optimist Club of Albany, Oregon coordinated one of their major community outreach efforts: The Veterans Day Pancake Breakfast. Today there were pictures posted on Facebook commemorating the event.  I pulled out a couple that made me smile.

Thank you Albany Optimists for your service and especially for recognizing our veterans.  Click here to be a friend of the Albany Optimist Club on Facebook and see more photos.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eagle Optimists complete Coats for Kids drive

The Optimist Club of Eagle, Idaho completed its annual Coats for Kids drive by donating over 150 coats to the Landing Community Center. The drive was coordinated by Eagle Optimist Club member Brian Doerty. Coats were collected from donation barrels located at businesses and schools around Eagle and will be used to keep local children warm during the cold winter days ahead.  

Children or their parents may stop by the Landing at 175 E. Mission Street to choose a coat. There are also a number of hoodies and sweatshirts that are available. All are being provided at no charge. 

Along with the children, in the picture are Clint Koefoed with the Landing Community Center; Lindsey Pretty Weasel, Washington Trust Bank; and Mark Sjobeck, Custom Care Cleaners. Custom Care Cleaners donated cleaning for all apparel.  All are members of the Eagle Optimist Club.  

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Optimist Clubs targeted for the Seattle area

Governor Ed Murphy says, "We need Optimist Clubs in Seattle!"

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan statistical area is home to 3.3 million people and 3 Optimist Clubs. With that kind of data, Optimist International has offered to help generate excitement for new club building in the Seattle area. 

The plan: Optimist International President Danny Rodgers, Optimist International President-elect Jack Creswell, and international committee members Essie Johnson, Mark Weinsoff, Jim Oliver and Sue Creswell will present a week-long new club building seminar on January 17-21, immediately before the Second Quarter District Meeting on January 21-22 in the Seattle area. 

During this time six communities will be targeted for new Optimist Club growth. The core piece of training is walking and talking in neighborhoods and businesses to invite people to an informational meeting in the evening where they will learn more about the potential for community service that an Optimist Club offers. 

At least six people are needed to commit to follow up with the potential new growth communities for six weeks following this conference and then on a quarterly basis for one year once a new club is started. 

Does this sound like something you would like to do? If so, please sign up for the Webinar: 
Targeted Growth Conference-Seattle
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 
12:00 to 12:30 PST
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/993620480. Space is limited

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Experience Optimism: With grateful hearts

Have you ever wondered why the red poppy is a symbol for veterans and of Veterans Day in the United States and Canada? 

 Read all about it here: Experience Optimism: With grateful hearts.

Thank you to our veterans. You deserve our gratitude every day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Skate for free

On Thursday, the kiddos can skate for free in British Columbia as the Abbotsford and Coquitlam Optimist Clubs sponsor Annual Free Skating events.

Abbotsford youth will skate at the Abbotsford Recreation Centre, 2499 McMillan Road from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and Coquitlam youth will skate at the Coquitlam Recreation Center, 633 Poirier Road from 1:30 to 3:30.

Skating and skate rental are free. Both clubs ask that participants bring a non-perishable food donation for the community food banks.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Larry Blackburn named PNW District Optimist of the Year

Immediate Past Governor Linda Jackson presented Larry Blackburn with the PNW District Optimist of the Year award during the first quarter district meeting. She explained that as President of the Optimist Club of Caldwell, Idaho, Larry was a Builder of Excellence for the newest member to the PNW Optimist family, the Middleton Area Optimist Club. Larry and club membership chair Anita Welchel worked to bring in 19 new members to the Caldwell Optimist Club and perhaps most important, Larry was and is an avid phone caller. He makes sure that everyone is invited to every meeting enhancing their attendance and retention efforts.

The inscription on the award read "In recognition of your exceptional ability to share your optimism with others" because that is exactly what he does.

This year Larry is serving as the Lt. Governor for Zone 7. Congratulations on your award and thank you for sharing your optimism.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Celebrating Optimist style

Forty-three years ago the Optimist Club of Beaverton, Oregon was chartered and Vern Williams was there. His legacy as a charter member was honored today by his fellow club members as they came together during a regular club meeting to celebrate his 90th birthday.  Writing about the event on Facebook, fellow club member Susan Nordstrom said, "So many turned out to talk so highly about him, he and his beautiful wife Pat had a great time this morning! Just so great to be surrounded by such a great "extended" family of such incredible people!"

Yes, indeed. That is what optimism is all about: sharing our joys and dreams. Happy Birthday Vern from  friends in the Pacific Northwest District. 

Slideshow provided by Beaverton Optimist Club President Alan Zehntbauer.  Thanks Alan!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PNW Optimists meet in Poulsbo

The first quarter district meeting for the 2010-2011 Optimist International administrative year is now, as they say, in the history books. And of course the Pacific Northwest District has a pretty awesome history to share.

Governor Ed Murphy waited until the end of the evening to pull out his historical Abe Lincoln garb, and in the meantime we got to hear from some pretty awesome people:

  • Our new District Board of Directors, made up of the Executive Board and all Club Presidents, was installed by Rocky Jackson, Optimist International Vice President. 
  • Lorraine Coots and Charlie Kissler explained how to host a successful NOW (New Optimists Welcome) activity. In March, 2010 their clubs Mason County and Pasco Tri-Cities gained 14 and 12 new members respectively. It takes at least 4 weeks to do it right; compile an invitation list, make connections and arrangements, hold the activity and follow-up. It's a great way to make your club feel proud of their accomplishments at the same time. Click here to download the NOW planning guide.
  • Gay Enyeart and Jean Jensen continued their patented training to help club leaders be successful. 
  • Former NBA player Swen Nader, now known as the Coach's Coach gave a rocking keynote presentation on the meaning of SPORTs. He was engaging and funny and in his words the word 'sport' is an acronym for:
    • S - Skill: Proper and quick execution 
    • P - Physical Conditioning: The ability to push yourself one more step
    • O - Obsession: Commitment to become the best you can be
    • R - Repetition: There is no substitute for hard work
    • T - Teamwork: The strength of the wolf is in the pack
  • Ardis Moody and Brett Rosenberger were spot on in a presentation and discussion about Bridging the Generation Gap. According to our new friends from the Nebraska District, Traditionals, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y must learn to communicate by understanding the personality traits that separate them.  They say that Gen Y's want to be involved in projects, plenty of them, and the bigger the better. We're Optimist Clubs - we can do that! 
In between we found time to conduct PNW District business including passing the budget for 2010-2011 which focused on future meeting planning with extra funds dedicated to a new club building conference to be held in Seattle in January. Finally, we heard from the Lieutenant Governors and Committee Chairpersons for the coming year.

With a nod to the successful year just behind us, Immediate Past Governor Linda Jackson reported that according to the Scoreboard, the PNW District finished the year 3rd in membership growth of all Optimist International districts. For a comparison, our district growth percentage of 107.57% is higher than any districts the previous year.

While it was too early to discuss recognition for all clubs, it was not too early to recognize the Optimist of the Year for 2009-2010. Congratulations to Larry Blackburn, Immediate Past President of the Optimist Club of Caldwell, Idaho.  The Caldwell Optimist Club added 19 members and Larry was personally involved in recruitment, retention, and new club building.

Speaking of new club building, the newest member of our Optimist family was introduced. Welcome to the Middleton Area Optimist Club of Idaho. They were represented at the first quarter meeting by President Patrick Halpin.

Be sure to represent your club at the next district meeting scheduled for January 21-22, 2011. Details will be posted on this site as soon as available.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Find your Leadership Portfolio online

Are you a club or district leader wondering where your leadership package for 2010-2011 might be? For the first time ever, Optimist International elected NOT to send them via the mail, but instead they have uploaded an entire leadership portfolio online for you to access as you need and wish. They save on printing and postage; you save on printing, and most important, the information is downloadable to your own hard drive or available to access online at any time.  Isn't technology wonderful?

Please access the Optimist International Club and District Leadership Portfolios here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Experience Optimism: What motivates people?

The October edition of the Optimist Leadership Hotline has a short segment describing the Recognition Program for 2010-2011. It explains that the principles come from the book Drive by Daniel Pink. Please click on this link to see a video with a quick synopsis of the book - Experience Optimism: What motivates people?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Former Nebraska District Governor will share what it means to just do it

Ardis Moody
Will you be joining us in Poulsbo on Friday? I hope so!

The Leadership Development Team has put together some inspirational training for the Pacific Northwest District 1st quarter meeting including a special session about bridging the generation gap. Ardis and Brett from the Nebraska District will be with us to share a presentation they gave at the Optimist International Convention.  Here's what the convention brochure had to say about their presentation:

Just Ask vs Just Do It – Bridging the Optimist Generation Gap
Are you looking for new, younger members to help make your club projects more successful?  While we as Optimists have been inviting people to join our clubs and participate in our meetings (Just Ask), companies like Nike have been appealing to the younger generation to become active and involved in things that make a difference (Just Do It!)  This workshop takes a look at generational differences and how revisiting our attitudes and strategies may provide us with ways to revitalize, strengthen and energize our organization.
 It's not too late to register.  Just do it! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Plan to attend the Optimist International Convention...yes already!

I was a little surprised to hear Christmas music as I was shopping at the mall last week, but I guess I shouldn't have been. After all, Optimist Clubs that sell Christmas trees have had trees on order for months. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Optimist International is already heavily promoting how every Optimist Club member should celebrate the 4th of July in 2011 - with fireworks and friends at the Optimist International Convention!

The Optimist International Convention will be held in Baltimore Maryland, July 3-5, 2011.  It's a great time to meet with people who think a lot like you, find out about the great things that are done around the world by other Optimist Clubs and learn how to develop and share your leadership skills with others. Find out all about the location, activities registration and travel at http://www.optimist.org/e/Member/convention1.cfm.

Make your vacation plans today. Let's show the PNW District Optimist spirit in Baltimore. Contact International Convention Ambassador Carol Murphy to find out more.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Question of the day

Are you wondering where to find Governor Ed's hat? Well, look no more.  Here is your link to PNW District Optimist and Optimist International logos. We will be adding more to this marketing page as the year progresses so be sure to check back occasionally.

If you are just interested in the hat for now, please click on the picture to save it to your computer.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Attention bulletin editors

The photographer doesn't usually get to be in the picture. That's why I wanted to share a picture of the Boise Noon Bulletin Editor with you.  Please meet Barb and Walt Callahan, editors of "The Nooner." Walt is a prolific photographer and shares pictures of the Boise Noon Optimist Club every week with an ever-growing email list.  Thanks Walt and Barb for your dedication!

If you are the editor of your club's bulletin this year, please be sure to add the following folks to your email list:
If you would like to try out some contemporary technology, please consider using the Optimist Club blogs attached to this website as a new way to tell your story.  Email Linda to get started with your club's blog today.   

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

An open letter to all Optimist Club members

Dear Optimist:
Isn’t it great to be an Optimist? Aren’t you truly happy that one day, someone thought enough of you to invite you to join an Optimist Club? I know that being an Optimist has been a tremendous blessing to me. It has been great for my heart. What a privilege it is to serve you and all other Optimists as President of Optimist International. Wow!

Chances are that you, too, are an Optimist leader. Congratulations! I think it is awesome that we have the opportunity to lead together this year. Leadership is many things. It is setting the example. It is making decisions. It is building and maintaining a team. Leadership is about listening – with your heart. Leaders are inspiring – with words well delivered, and the silence of fierce determination. Leadership is staying in the arena. I promise you that I will do all of these things every day as your President – and I invite you to do the same.

It is very important that you and I develop new ways of service and membership so that we can attract those we have not yet reached. All of us as Optimists have an investment in this organization and should be a part of the solution. Our growth must be real and sustained. Together we can make this happen. 

I hope that your Club is easy to join and easy to belong to while also providing amazing opportunities to bring about positive change in the youth of your community and in your Members. I urge you to embrace all of the available technology to facilitate meaningful communication. Stay on the lookout for new ways to respond quickly and effectively to our ever-changing and increasingly challenging world.

I look forward to the opportunity to meet you face to face so that I can say, “Thanks for all that you do.” I am excited that we are on this journey together. I promise that it will be an exciting year. While we can’t know everything that will happen, we can be assured that in the end, every heart we touch and every life we change will know that Optimists do indeed bring out the best in kids.

Very truly yours,
Danny Rodgers
2010-2011 Optimist International President

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Meet Coach Swen Nater in Poulsbo

It's hard to believe that the First Quarter District meeting is less than three weeks   away! That's right, we get to come together very soon - October 22-23 - to kick off another new year of optimism.

The first quarter meeting of the 2010-2011 administrative year will be held in Poulsbo, Washington at the Sons of Norway. Your registration includes all workshops, dinner on Friday, lunch and dinner on Saturday. The Poulsbo Inn and Suites offer a complimentary breakfast.

Click  to enlarge and print
Governor Ed has arranged for a special luncheon address from Swen Nater, former professional basketball player, coach, author, poet and motivational speaker. Coach Swen will talk to the group at lunch and share his "Lessons Learned from John Wooden." Known as the coach's coach, he specializes in youth sports. Find out more about Coach Swen at this link.

Don't miss out on this exciting weekend of Optimist learning. If you have not yet registered, please click on this link to do so now.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Ed Murphy, Governor 2010-2011

As we celebrate a new Optimist administrative year, I want to thank each and everyone of you for all of the hard work that you have done in the last year to make the Pacific Northwest District one of the top districts in the entire Optimist organization.  Congratulations to Linda Jackson on such a great year as Governor of our district.  We are so grateful for all of your hard work, it has paid off.

As we enter a new year, I look forward to serving as your Governor.  Thank you for the opportunity and trust that you have placed with me.  I am wise enough to know that it is really all of the hard work in the background that makes a district successful.  Whatever I can do to help you achieve your goals to help more kids - please let me know. 

I hope to see all of you in Poulsbo on October 22nd and 23rd.  We have a great program in store for you.  Come hear Swen Nater - 2 time National NCAA champion and 12 year NBA pro.  Swen teaches coaches how to train kids to be not only great athletes, but also great citizens.  Swen learned from the greatest coach of all time playing for Coach Wooden and the UCLA Bruins.  You will not want to miss Swen speak.  

Looking forward to a great year and to continue the success that we have had this last year.

In Optimism,

Ed Murphy
"How are the children?"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Dyan Graybeal and Sue Oliver will serve as co-presidents for the Boise Noon Optimist Club for 2010-2011. Bulletin editor Walt Callahan caught them taking a quick break before the beginning of the year.

Coquitlam Optimist Club honors scholars

The Coquitlam Optimist Club recently held the Robert Simms Memorial Annual Scholarship dinner and presented ten graduates with scholarship awards. Please click here to find out more on the Coquitlam Optimist Club blog.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Twin Falls Optimists having fun...again

Zorro and fair damsel Cathy
The Twin Falls Optimist Club held their installation of officers on Saturday, September 25.  The usual cast of characters were there - members, incoming officers and board members, committee chairs, retiring officers, board members and committee chairs - and Zorro.

When I asked Bulletin Editor Donna Bohrn for an explanation she said, "Zorro always has a tradition of dressing up in costumes for our banquets. All the club looks forward to his yearly costume."

Zorro, a.k.a Dennis Bowyer, was on the dais this year as he was installed as club secretary/treasurer.

Kayleigh Godfrey
Joining him as club president is the enthusiastic Kayleigh Godfrey. Her promise: We will have a club that is full of energy and excited members. 

And as always, Kayleigh, we know that you will have a lot of fun in the traditional Twin Falls fashion. Or at least your secretary/treasurer will.  Congratulations!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gresham Optimists name Optimists of the Year

Don Weston, President, Gresham Optimist Club of Oregon named Teresa and Fred Wallace as co-recipients of the Optimist of the Year Award. He recognized the fundraising and project ideas, along with their optimistic attitude as the reason for choosing them for this honor. Teresa and Fred are new to the Gresham Optimist Club after many years volunteering with the Optimist Club of Lloyd Center. Congratulations!

Don Weston, Teresa Wallace and Fred Wallace
Has your club named an Optimist of the Year? Please send us their picture so we can add it to the blog.  

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A year of favorite things

Linda Jackson, Governor
It’s that time of year when we cross T-s and dot I-s and make sure that our Optimist Clubs receive the proper acknowledgement for the work they have done to make our communities a better place to live. That means we should complete the steps to Honor Club before September 30:

  • Pay all of your club’s outstanding financial obligations to Optimist International –As Leadership Development Chair Gay Enyeart said at the very beginning of the year, “You know you have to pay it; just do it.”
  • Complete and turn in your Community Projects Awards (CPA) book – This is a great opportunity to share your favorite project with other clubs so they can follow your steps to success. District Membership and Activities Chair Lorraine Coots has provided an excellent outline to help you get started. Click here.
  • Submit your President’s Pride report online – This report lets you brag about all the great things your club has done. It’s a summary/Annual Report that you might want to share with your club members and the businesses and individuals who have helped your Optimist Club throughout the year.
  • Add those last few members to help you do even more in the coming year – It’s more fun to belong to an Optimist Club when we have friends and family serving with us. Add at least one more Optimist Volunteer to your club’s roster before this administrative year comes to a close. 
It is such an honor to be able to serve in a leadership capacity for our Optimist Clubs. I hope that your year has been all that you hoped for.

As governor, I have had the great opportunity to learn more about the exciting projects that our clubs do and share your passion for service. I’ve enjoyed writing about them on the District blog and hope that you have enjoyed the new informative format at www.pnwdistrictoptimist.com. We will continue to expand this site in the coming year and I would love your help to write even more articles about Optimist Clubs in the Pacific Northwest.

Over the past twelve months our district has grown and that is such a marvelous thing. As of this writing, there are approximately 100 more Optimist Club members volunteering in our communities than there were at this time in 2009. Thanks so much to every club who has cared enough to retain and replace your members. Without members, we can’t do the projects that we hold so dear.

We have also added two new clubs to our family. The Middleton Area Optimist Club and Eagle Optimist Club are proudly serving in Idaho. And I am cautiously optimistic that new clubs will be serving in Olympia, Washington and Hillsboro, Oregon very soon.

As we head into the season of installation banquets and transition to new leaders, please do so with the upbeat, positive attitude that sets Optimist Clubs apart from all other organizations. Helen Keller said, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” I know from personal observation, Optimist Club members live by that example.

Thank you for all that you have done this year. Thank you for making your Optimist Club one of your favorite things.
- Linda Jackson, Governor, 2009-2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Soccer players recognized for their contributions to the community

They were soccer players on the Burnaby Optimist Club soccer team way back in 1995. Now they have been memorialized in the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame. Congratulations to the team represented here by Yvonne Nichols, Kim Gray, Al McKay and Bre-Anne Graham with Mayor Derek Corrigan as their accomplishments were further recognized by the city with a carved paving stone placed at City Hall.

Isn't it fun to find out a little bit of Optimist history?

Picture courtesy of Burnaby Now. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What hat will you be wearing in Poulsbo?

The new administrative year is fast approaching! This is the time of year that a lot of us wear more than one hat as we get ready to pass the gavel to the next club or district leader or hand over the materials from our favorite project so the next committee chairman can take their place.

It's also the time of year that we register for the 1st Quarter District Meeting.  This year it will be held in Poulsbo, Washington on October 22-23. Click here to register online, make hotel reservations and find out more. 

What will happen at the first quarter meeting? Here are some of the activities:
  • Greet Region 7's International Vice President Rocky Jackson as he takes on his new position for the 2010-2011 year
  • Review and accept the district policies and new budget
  • Learn about membership recruitment and retention ideas and district growth strategies through new club building
  • Find out more about do-it-yourself club blogging
  • Learn what you need to know to conduct the Optimist International Essay, Oratorical, CCDHH contests and the Junior Golf Championships at the Club Level 
  • Hear motivational speakers
  • Cheer Ed Murphy III, Governor, 2010-2011 and all of our PNW District and Optimist Club leaders on to a great year 
Come one, come all. Join us in Poulsbo.  See you there!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It is an honor to be part of an Honor Club

About this time every year, I get a little nostalgic remembering my experience as an Optimist Club president.  Like many club presidents, I hadn't been a member for very long when I was presented with the opportunity to lead as well as serve.  It was an honor to be chosen and I remember my experience fondly and with pride. Here's an article that I wrote for the Optimist magazine way back in 1998 that described what being an Honor Club President meant to me:
A purple and gold rectangle bears my name on my Optimist Club's banner. I wouldn't want it any other way. Representing a year of dedication and commitment, that symbol set in motion a career in Optimism.
I chose to be president of my Optimist Club even though others had turned down the opportunity. I smiled and said yes when asked to serve because I knew our Optimist Club made a difference in our community. We served kids, we were civic leaders, and we offered hope to those who were less fortunate. We gave of ourselves and in doing so, developed a sense of pride and teamwork. How could anyone decline the opportunity to lead such an admirable cause?
My Optimist Club flourished. We sponsored service projects and fund raisers, we paid our bills and made reports to the district and Optimist International. We recruited new members and never failed to honor the Optimist of the Year with a Life Membership. I began attending district meetings and discovered that what we were doing was not a secret. We were successful because we were following the steps to Honor Club status. We were not alone in our service, but we were among the elite.
It's an honor to be Honor. It truly is. Achieving Honor Club recognition proves an Optimist Club is serving the youth and community to its fullest capacity. It means the club has conducted no less than three service projects, achieved growth in membership and completed their financial and administrative requirements. The reward for doing everything right is the silent pride in knowing the Optimist Honor Club ranks among the top twenty-five percent of all service clubs in the world.
From Honor Club president, I rose to District and International service; but it is always most rewarding to return home, to where it all began. My name, emblazoned on that banner, declares I am first and foremost an Optimist volunteer. I roll up my sleeves and go to work, for it is only at the club level that I can personally touch the life of a child.

Now is the time to submit your President's Pride report, complete and turn in your Club's CPA book, take care of any outstanding financial obligations your club may have, and add that last member that will help your club earn the quiet recognition it deserves. Every Optimist Club member deserves to be part of an Honor Club.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Community Project Awards (CPA) Entries due by September 30th

Here's a very important update from Lorraine Coots, PNW District Membership and Member Retention/Activities Chair. 

Ensure your club receives Honor Club status!  Submit your CPA entry to me, Lorraine Coots, this year’s CPA Chair no later than September 30, 2010.  Send entries to PO Box 925, Shelton, WA  98584.  Questions?  Click here to contact me.

The CPA Program is an annual competition that recognizes clubs for their community service, youth and fund-raising activities and is a requirement of the Honor Club Award.  When you submit a CPA story, it provides your club and the clubs in our district a reference book that can be used in the future as a guide for the organization of a similar activity.  It also gives our district the opportunity to recognize clubs for outstanding projects.  Why wouldn’t you submit a CPA story?  It’s one of our F A V O R I T E  THINGS!

All of the needed information to submit your entry can be found at the Optimist International website.  Click here to find the current format requirements (Project Story), rules and the judging sheet. http://www.optimist.org/e/member/programs3.cfm

Tips for a successful CPA entry:
  • Choose one of two categories:  Community Service or Fundraising.  Descriptions of the categories are listed in the rules.
  • Uniqueness and creativity count for 50% of the total score, your step-by-step explanation of the project (so other clubs can run a similar project) account for 45% of the total score.  Compliance with official rules make up the final 5%.
  • Place your entry in a plain 3-ring binder or the official CPA binder, either is fine.
  • Check out successful entries on the website listed above.
  • Have fun putting your entry together.

2007-2008 winning entries can be found at: http://www.optimist.org/Documents/CPA-Winners-2007-2008.pdf.  Our district will select two winning entries to submit to International -- one for Club Service and one for Fundraising Project.  All the entries will be available for view at our First Quarter Meeting in Poulsbo October 22 and 23rdSee you there!

Enough happiness to fill a shopping cart

I recently had a lot of fun visiting the West Tacoma Optimist Club and meeting another great group of Optimist Club members.  The club is being guided by President Shirley Zurfluh (right) this year and are they busy!  In fact they just completed Tri-Star Basketball in the local schools with 569 participants.

Davena Thompson (left) is the club treasurer this year and she has a tasty way of fundraising.  Every once and awhile she bakes a pie and auctions it at the club meeting.  This weeks delicacy was a cherry and mixed berry pie that sold for $52.  Let me tell you it was great fun, even though I didn't win the pie.

One of the signature activities of the West Tacoma Optimist Club is their celebration of Happy Dollars. Members share stories about their families in a way that truly helps them bond.

While it was entertaining and enlightening to learn more about the West Tacoma Optimist Club, one of the most exciting part of the evening was watching the officers prepare for the meeting. First, the room had to be just the right size for the number of members and guests expected that evening and they had to have the right amenities for the presentation.  Next, the club officers wheeled out a shopping cart full of Optimist Club supplies. There was the US flag, Canadian flag, club banner, creed banner, lectern, bell and gavel and most treasured of all, the original framed copy of the club charter from 1956.

Tradition and respect are key for this group of Optimists. Thank you for sharing your history and your optimism with the community and each other every day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Twin Falls Optimist Club recognizes two outstanding members

Danae Klimes and Don Bohrn
Kayleigh Godfrey and Don Bohrn
Don Bohrn, President, Twin Falls Optimist Club, recently awarded Optimist of the Quarter awards to two deserving members.

Thanks to bulletin editor Donna Bohrn, we are able to say kudos to Kayleigh Godfrey and Danae Klimes.

Together they chaired the very successful administrative professionals day project and have brought energy and enthusiasm to the Twin Falls Optimist Club.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's a busy time of the year

Angie Bridge, President, Jerome Optimist Club
It's a busy time around the Pacific Northwest District. New members are being added. New clubs are being started. New officers are planning installation banquets.  Plus school is back in session so our Optimist Clubs are busy making plans and carrying out their fall programs.

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of speaking to the Middleton Chamber of Commerce about the new Middleton Area Optimist Club and how service clubs and chambers of commerce can work together to enhance the quality of life in a community. Then I sped off to Jerome to visit with the Jerome Optimist Club where they are diligently working to complete the steps for Distinguished recognition this year. I know you can do it!

Over in Olympia, Washington, the Mason County Optimist Club held their first informational meeting for a new Optimist Club. You go, girls! We want to see Mason County and club president Ellen Julian earn that Distinguished recognition as well.

What's happening in your community? We would love to highlight your activities on our blog.  Please send us a story today.  Thanks!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Golf in Vancouver, B.C.

Here is a note from Harry White, Lt. Governor for Zone 1 and the District Chair for the Canadian Qualifier to the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. 

Vancouver, B.C. Optimists conduct a very extensive golf program for youth of Age 5 to 18, boys and girls.  Over 70 events are held yearly in the Greater Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Okanagan and Vancouver Island (www.jrlinkster.com).  Young and beginning golfers learn the Rules of Golf, Natural Golf technique as practised by the World's Best Ball-Striker, Moe Norman of Kitchener, Ontario.

We are also affiliated with the Canadian Optimist Junior Golf Championships held in Ingersoll, Ontario (www.cojg.com) and the Canadian Junior Golf Association (www.cjga.com) And, of course we qualify and send players to the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships (www.optimist.org/golf) in Florida.

Thanks for checking in Harry!

We would love to hear a story from your club or zone. Click here to tell us one today. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Celebrating Labor Day in McCall, Idaho

Our favorite flag crew was out early today getting ready for the Labor Day weekend.

 The McCall Optimist Club decorates the community for every national holiday and makes a little money in the process.

Local businesses are happy to support the Optimist Club and show their patriotism by displaying Old Glory.

Thanks to Jim Thackeray for the photos.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Looking for potential members in Olympia, Washington

Lorraine Coots and the Mason County Optimist Club are looking for a few good members - 15 or more - to start a new Optimist Club in the Olympia, Washington area. She asks:
Do you live in Olympia and want to join the best service club in the nation? Do you have friends in Olympia you would like to invite to join the best service club in the nation?
I hope so! The Mason County Optimists are building a new Optimist Club in the Olympia area. Now is your chance to be part of this group and enrich the lives of children and youth in your community. Optimists Bring Out the Best in Kids!
The first information meeting is on September 8 at 7 pm at a potential member's house Cathy Cox. Please contact Lorraine for the address and to let her know that you will attend

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Announcing the Middleton Area Optimist Club

Yesterday at 4:00 p.m. twenty individuals joined together to become the Middleton Area Optimist Club of Idaho. We're so excited to introduce you to President Patrick Halpin and Secretary/Treasurer Estela Cabrera.

Please click here to read a little bit more about the new Optimist Club and the charter members.  

Guess what? They have already added two more members today!

Congratulations and thank you to Larry Blackburn, Caldwell Optimist Club President and sponsor, Rocky Jackson, District Director of Growth, Anita Welchel, Connie Goins, Gene Brasse, Flo Blackburn and others from the Caldwell Optimist Club who helped along the way.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Boise Noon Optimist Club's labor of love

The Boise Noon Optimist Club hosts an evening social on the fifth Tuesday of the month.  Last evening was a fifth Tuesday and I was happy to join them at the Boise Noon Optimist Club Youth Sports Complex along with about 35 other Optimist Club members from the Boise Noon and Meridian clubs.

President Ken Wall served up breakfast for dinner and you can see him and Cindi Wall manning the grill in this picture. My what we expect of our presidents. {grin}

Along with catching up with stories between clubs, Jerron Moore, Executive Director of the football program announced that the Boise Noon Optimist Club had just been informed they would receive a $293,000 grant from the City of Boise for further improvements to the park. He described the projects that included a playground, tennis court, restroom facilities and more grounds and field expansions. Congratulations!

The Boise Noon Optimist Club program is the largest youth football program in the United States run completely by volunteers. Volunteer members conceived, developed and maintain the facility, raise funds for the complex, manage the concession stands, oversee and sometimes conduct construction projects, and coach the children, both boys and girls in football and cheer.

One other thing that you can add to their to-do list is striping the fields. Club bulletin editor Walt Callahan shared the following pictures with us of the striping crew at work.

The Boise Noon Optimist Club football program and youth sports complex - it really is a labor of love.

Thanks to Walt Callahan, Bulletin Editor Extraordinaire of the Boise Noon Optimist Club for the pictures.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

We wish everyone could have joined us...

This year, the PNW District Optimist Convention was fun, educational, and inspirational. Held in Richland, Washington, the Pasco-Tri-Cities Optimist Club wowed us with their hospitality and with some of the great programs that they foster throughout the year.  Thank you so much to Zone 10 Lt. Governor Charlie Kissler and his wonderful band of Optimist Club members for a fantastic weekend.  Here are some highlights and notes of things that happened:

We were honored to have two representatives from Optimist International. Mark Weinsoff, Vice President, West Region, served as the official President's Representative. Not to miss out on visiting the Pacific Northwest District, President-designate Danny Rodgers arranged to visit as a  certified international trainer.

Mark and Danny moved the group with their enthusiasm, knowledge and participation. Both participated in general training activities and made motivational speeches, but most important they each led different sessions to help make our Optimist Clubs and our personal leadership styles stronger. Mark's Sustainable Membership presentation will be a model for the coming year. Danny's presentation on Seth Godin's Linchpin will encourage us to question ourselves what are we doing all we can to empower our future leaders?

In addition to Mark and Danny, our knowledge leaders included the Leadership Development team Gay Enyeart and Jean Jensen on the basics of being a club president and secretary/treasurer and Governor-designate Ed Murphy on how to be an effective lt. governor. 

Current leaders heard from Governor Linda Jackson about how they can contribute to the District blog, become their own publicists and increase the visibility of their club through the "Find a Club" section of the website. All members heard from Scott Keller, President, Portland NE about completing that community survey. 

In official business, we were fortunate to have three candidates running for governor-elect. Bill French went above and beyond in campaigning by visiting 75% of the clubs in our district and blanketing the convention with novelty items. He was rewarded by being elected as governor-elect on the first ballot.  Congratulations to Bill French of the Hillsboro, OR Optimist Club. 

We also passed a new policy to assist in passing records forward from one administration to the next. The policy requires the district secretary/treasurer to use Quick Books and allows for the district budget to purchase the updated license and software upgrade each year. It was also recommended that the 2010-2011 budget include purchasing a laptop and LCD projector for the District.

Governor-designate Ed Murphy introduced the strategic work plan for 2010-2011 that will emphasize new club building in the Seattle area, donations to the Optimist International Foundations, and a new Sub-Forty group to involve young Optimist Club members in shaping the future of the District.

Mark Weinsoff congratulated the PNW District for being first in the West Region as of this meeting. Mark and Growth Director Rocky Jackson challenged everyone to stay in that position by adding enough members to reach Honor Club recognition. Honor Club is within every club's reach and it's not about awards, it's about doing all you can do to make sure your club leaves a legacy and continues long into the future.

Merriwether Lewis and Albert Einstein showed up for the Old Timer's Breakfast with the theme of "Pioneers and Explorers" representing both 18th and 19th century explorations in the area. More than $200 was raised for the Optimist International Foundation to relieve Scott Keller and Albert Einstein of their neckties.

Golden Apple award winning teachers Denise Rosenblum and Jackie Ives explained all about the "We the People" program that engages high school students in civics, history, and political science topics in the Tri-Cities area schools and stumped us with some of the questions asked of the students. This is a great model for an Optimist Club Respect for Law program.

Charlie Kissler, Steve Enyeart and Scott Keller served as emcees for our different meal functions and Dyan Graybeal and Sue Thompson gave us some fun resolutions to live up to in the coming year.

Steve Andersen was recognized for his service with the Roy Proctor Lifetime Achievement Award.

Roger Thordarson and the Auburn Optimist Club were presented a certificate recognizing their 25th Anniversary by President-designate Danny.

As anticipated, Abraham Lincoln appeared for the evening installation of officers as Ed "Abe" Murphy and his team were sworn into office for 2010-2011.

Governor Linda warmly thanked everyone for their contributions throughout the year, club presidents, district chairpersons, and lt. governors, noting that the PNW District  is currently in 13th place of all Optimist Districts and only 20 members away from being even in membership from October 1, 2009.

Inspired by the words of Mark, Danny and all district leaders, we pledged to go back to our clubs and communities and continue to expand the reach of our Optimist Clubs because they are....

Our Favorite Thing!

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