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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.

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