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Friday, January 28, 2011

PNW District Optimists have new experiences at the Second Quarter Meeting

With a big push for starting new Optimist Clubs in the Seattle area, the Second Quarter District Meeting had a different format than the Pacific Northwest District has experienced in the past. Governor Ed Murphy invited a team of new club builders to visit the district to identify communities ripe for starting an Optimist Club.

Led by International President Danny Rodgers and First Lady Jill, about 20 people, including Essie Johnson, Optimist International New Community Growth Chair; Mark Weinsoff, New Community Growth Committee Member; Chris Jernigan, Board Member, Optimist International Board of Directors; Ron Graves, Southwest Region Vice President; and Krista Grueninger, Maggie Fairchild, Aaron Kaskowtz, Optimist International Staff members;  participated in the growth conference that took place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

After three days of walk 'n talk in the community, the group has focused their efforts and will work on starting Optimist Clubs in Kirkland and Renton, Washington. Weinsoff committed to see the efforts in Kirkland through to start-up. A club or individual will need to come forward to help with follow-up.

The District Meeting had some other firsts as well:

  • Steve Andersen, Internet Safety Program Chair, presented the Internet Safety Program. The public was invited to attend. 
  • Linda Jackson, Immediate Past Governor presented an Annual Report for the District, highlighting the achievements of 2009-2010 and goals for 2010-2011 emphasizing that we work together from year-to-year to help our Optimist Clubs serve our communities. 
  • Ed Murphy, Governor, played host to the community for a second time on Saturday as the public was invited to join the District for an evening of jazz entertainment and dancing featuring two excellent student groups: Seattle JazzEd and the Roosevelt Jazz Band

Of course Optimist fellowship was enjoyed by all as we heard about three exciting programs conducted by clubs in the Seattle area: Auburn Optimist Club Santa House, N. Kitsap Optimist Club Tri-Star Basketball, and Issaquah Optimist Club's Bicycle Safety Fair; and spent time making friends in the hospitality room.

In District business, it was moved and approved that all funds currently on account and any money raised by the District in the future on behalf of the Childhood Cancer Campaign would be forwarded to the Optimist International Foundation for inclusion in the Optimist International program. The PNW District Childhood Cancer Campaign account is to be dissolved immediately.

We were inspired by the words of President Rodgers, learned about Optimist International insurance policy from Director Jernigan, and Past Governor Jackson honored the special achievements of our Optimist Clubs and District leaders in 2009-2010. See more about our awesome District achievers here.

Many thanks to Herbert Tsuchiya for the pictures. 

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