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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ten PNW Optimist Clubs are recognized for their achievements

The Optimist International Awards Hotline for 2011-2012 was released on February 27, 2013. This annual publication is the first official notice that clubs, districts, and regions have earned recognition for their accomplishments in the preceding year.

In the PNW Optimist District, we are happy to report that the following clubs earned Honor Club recognition:
Chilliwack, BC
Gresham, OR
Lebanon, OR
McCall, ID
Mission, BC
Portland-Peninsula, OR
Roseburg, OR
Twin Falls, ID

To earn Honor Club recognition, clubs had to maintain membership throughout the year and end with one additional member over its roster number as of October 1, 2011. Additionally, they had to pay all financial obligations to the District and Optimist International, conduct three or more service projects and recognize an individual, member or nonmember, for their optimistic leadership or accomplishments.

You might recall, Jack Creswell, Optimist International President, 2011-2012 promoted the theme, "100% and then some." Two clubs in the PNW District were also recognized for going above and beyond.

Distinguished Club recognition goes to:
Coquitlam-Evening, BC
Pasco-Tri Cities, WA

To earn Distinguished Club recognition, the Coquitlam Optimist Club sponsored the Kermodei Optimist Club of Terrace and the Tri Cities Optimist Club ended the year plus 16 in membership.

Other achievements for the PNW Optimist District were given to Peter Smith as the Distinguished Lt. Governor representing Zone 2 and Bill French for Excellence in Leadership.

Congratulations to our Optimist Clubs and members for their achievements.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Optimist Club member wins gold medal

On February 23, 2013, Canada's wheelchair curling team took the gold medal at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships. It was a tight battle between the Canadian curlers and Sweden both playing away from home in Sochi, Russia with Canada besting the Swedes 4-3. The victory is the team's third world title.

Of course it was their skill and determination that led them to victory, but we also know they had a secret weapon: optimism.

Ina Forrest, a charter member of the North Okanagan Optimist Club in British Columbia is member of the champion Wheelchair Curling team. Congratulations, Ina! Congratulations to all.

Ina Forrest, center, is shown with her teammates, Jim Armstrong, Dennis Thiessen, Sonja Gaudet, and Mark Ideson.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Third Quarter PNW Optimist District Meeting to be held in the Tri Cities

Hanford Reach 
Registration is now open for one of the most popular events of the year: The Third Quarter PNW Optimist District Conference. It's at this event that we get to see and hear the most talented oratorical and CCDHH contestants.

Oratorical students will speak on the topic, "Why My Voice is Important" and CCDHH students will speak on the similar topic, "Why My Opinions Matter." Both scholarship contests are gender neutral and boys and girls compete against one another. Both contests will award scholarship prizes in the following amount: 1st - $2,500; 2nd - $1,500; and 3rd - $1,000.

The Third Quarter PNW District Conference will be hosted by the Tri Cities Optimist Club at the Shilo Inn, Richland, Washington. Reservations may be made by calling the hotel directly as follows:

May 17-18, 2013
Shilo Inn & Suites50 Comstock Street
Richland, WA 99352
Single Queen $74.00
Single King $84.00
Double Queen $94.00 
For reservations, please call 509.946.4661 and tell them you are with the Pacific Northwest District Optimist.
Conference registration by April 30, 2013 is $85 per person US or Canada. After April 30, 2013 it is $95 per person US or Canada. Register online now or print and mail the registration form today.

In addition to the scholarship contests, the PNW District will welcome Steve Skodak, CFRE, Executive Director, Optimist International Foundation. There will be education and motivational activities, plus the election of lt. governors for the 2013-2014 Optimist International administrative year. 

Plan now to join the kids and the adults for the fun.

Hanford Reach photo courtesy of the PNNL on flickr.

Monday, February 25, 2013

You and your club can help!

The PNW District hopes to raise $2,500 for the Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. (CCDHH)

Under Optimist International program rules, CCDHH contestants compete for one $2,500 prize. In order to treat the participants equally between the Optimist Oratorical Contest and CCDHH, the PNW District needs to raise an additional $2,500 for second and third place winners in the 2013 contest.

Recent contributions from the Optimist Clubs of Eagle, Idaho and Fairbanks, Alaska place the district at 20% of its goal. Contributions of $100 from at least 20 more Optimist Clubs or Optimist Club members will take us to the top.

Thank you to the Optimist Clubs of Caldwell, Chehalis-Centralia, Albany, Eagle and Fairbanks for your contributions.

Find out more about district scholarship funding here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Optimists gamble for a good cause in Idaho

The Meridian Optimist Club is gearing up for a weekend of casino-style fun. That's right, on Saturday, February 23, 2013,  for the 5th year in a row, the club will host Luck o' the Irish Casino Night. This is a joint fund raiser with the Meridian Firefighters and the Meridian Food Bank. Proceeds also benefit the Meridian Optimist Youth Training Center.

It's a fun evening with blackjack, roulette, craps, and poker. Plus there are raffles and prizes for lucky winners. Click to enlarge the flyer and find out more.

In case one night of gambling for a good cause isn't enough, the Twin Falls Optimist Club will host its famous 37th Annual Lost Wages fund raiser on March 8, 2013 at Canyon Crest Event Center. Click here to learn more.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Optimist International plans 5K walk for childhood cancer awareness

The Optimist International Childhood Cancer Campaign hopes that you will join them in June in an organization-wide walk to raise funds and promote awareness for childhood cancer. Money raised can stay in your community or be sent to the Optimist International Foundation and designated for research at Johns  Hopkins.

Now is the time to begin to plan for  your Optimist Club event. To help you succeed, Optimist International has made the following tools available to you:

Walk Planning Guide
Walk Commitment Form
Participant Registration Form
Walker Sponsor Sheet
Walk Wrap-up Form
Press Release (before event)
Press Release (after event)

For more information, please contact the Optimist International Programs Department at 800.500.8130.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

CCDHH district funding for 2013 explained

In October 2012, attendees at  the PNW Optimist First Quarter District Meeting approved a new line item in the budget. It was proposed and accepted that the district contribute an additional $2,500 in scholarship prize money to the Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH).

With opponents citing that it was not the district's mission to fund scholarships, the administration accepted the proposal with a few caveats. The first caveat was that Optimist Clubs would be encouraged to donate to the fund. The second caveat was that the contest be fair to all clubs and students who might enter. 

Coming forward with a solution to the first concern, Scott Keller, President, Portland Northeast, challenged each club in the district to contribute $100 to an additional scholarship fund. Many said they would and to date three clubs have made a contribution. 

Thank you to Albany, Caldwell and Chehalis-Centralia for your generous $100 donations. 

Now is the time for you and your Optimist Club to join in this cause by making a donation to the PNW District Optimist CCDHH Scholarship fund. All donations will be recognized on this website. Please send your check to:

      PNW District - Optimist International
      S/T Chris Stearns
      PO Box 1656
      Twin Falls, Idaho 83303-1656

Now for the second caveat. How do you make the contest fair to all? After reflecting, researching, and talking to many people, Governor Larry Blackburn decided that the only way to improve upon the rules provided by Optimist International and the Optimist International Foundation was to model the program after the traditional Oratorical Contest. 

In the traditional oratorical contest, boys and girls of all ages and abilities compete against one another for three scholarship prizes: 1st - $2,500; 2nd - $1,500; 3rd - $1,000. At every level of the competition - club, zone, regional and district - the contestants follow the rules that are published by Optimist International. With established and recognized rules, clubs and students may participate whether they are in a small or large community knowing that each contestant has followed the same rules and come up through the same process. 

This week, in order to make it clear what students will find when they reach the District competition, Governor Larry advised the CCDHH chairpersons of the procedure. In an email, he said, "We will follow OI CCDHH contest rules as appropriate. The only difference is we will award three places. [1st: $2500. 2nd: $1500. 3rd: $1000.] The mechanics of the extra donation will be worked out between the district and the OI Foundation and most likely be awarded when the winners attend higher education. Thanks to everyone for their many efforts in making this contest successful and fair to all participants."

If you have any questions about this procedure, please feel free to email Governor Larry directly. It sounds like a reasonable approach to recognize CCDHH students and Oratorical students equally.

And, by the way, it's time to start thinking about the third quarter meeting where you will see all the great contestants. Plan now to join the PNW District in Richland, Washington, May 17-18, 2013. Thanks to the Tri Cities Optimist Club for hosting this fun and inspirational event.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Yes, Cupid, that's a Christmas Tree

Christmas in February? Why not?

I just received this note from Robert Jackson of the Vancouver, BC North Shore Optimist Club. He said:

A small army of West Vancouver firefighters set up 100 Christmas trees on Dundarave Beach for a fundraiser focused on ending homelessness. Money raised from tree sponsors of the annual event goes to the North Shore Lookout Shelter. 

Over the...past five years $125,000 has been raised The trees were lit on Dec. 1 at the Dundarave Christmas Fair, a family-friendly concert that runs the four Saturdays before Christmas. Thanks to money raised from the trees, the Lookout Shelter has been able to double its transitional support staff. “The goal of the Dundarave Festival of Lights is to end homelessness beautifully — one person at a time, one Christmas tree at a time,” said spokesperson Michael Markwick. 

The North Shore Optimist club sponsored a tree this year. Gracie Unger spent a lot of time and energy to decorate the tree in the pouring rain. She made special water proof ribbons with the motto “Optimists – Bringing out the best in kids” printed on them. 

Like this in Facebook to give Gracie a pat on the back for an effort well done!

Also on the North Shore Optimist Club Facebook page is information about the Shooting Star Fundraiser, Youth Appreciation Night, and more. Support your fellow Optimist Club members by liking their page. And please, add your Facebook page in the comments here or on the PNW Optimist District Facebook page so that we can be sure to follow your club too. 

Thanks Robert for checking in! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Optimist International Foundation invites you to vote

The Optimist International Foundation invites eligible Optimist Club members in the US to vote online for the Board of Directors.

According to the Optimist International Foundation website, those eligible to vote are:
Any Optimist member in good standing that has made a contribution to the Foundation of $36.50 or more in the 2011-2012 Optimist Year is eligible to cast a vote. Also, any Club in good standing that has made a contribution to the Foundation of $365.00 or more in the 2011-2012 Optimist Year may submit one vote; this Club vote must be made by the Club’s Foundation Representative.
The candidates are:

One candidate will be elected to join the Board at this time. Please go here to cast your vote now.  (http://oifoundation.org/)

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