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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tri Cities Optimist Club hosts 500 fifth graders

Everyone who has attended a PNW District Optimist Club function in the Richland, Washington area knows that the Tri Cities Optimist Club and its members are wonderful hosts. They bring excellent entertainment, great speakers, good food, and lots of enthusiastic members to their events.

The latest group to feel the support, hospitality, and appreciation of the Tri Cities Optimist Club were the crossing guards in the school district. More than 500 fifth graders were treated to a barbecue luncheon prepared and served by members of the Optimist Club. Together, they celebrated the end of the school year. 

This is one of those events where pictures say a thousand words. Enjoy!

Thanks to Terry Ashworth, President, Tri Cities Optimist Club for sharing the photos.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Optimist Clubs are about addition

optimist club mayor bieter
Mayor Dave Bieter
I attended the Boise Noon Optimist Club meeting today. That's not that unusual save for the fact that they now only meet twice per month at noon. The other weeks they meet in the evening so that all members have an opportunity to participate.

Joining the club today as the guest speaker was Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. He spoke of the economy and shared the good news that there has been a substantial upswing in building permits in Boise and Ada County. He said that the unemployment rate for Boise was low and while that is a good statistic, it might also be a troubling statistic because many of the jobs that have been created are minimum wage jobs. He also hinted at a major announcement to be coming soon in the new business attraction arena and bragged about the new facilities being developed at Micron.

During his presentation he made several interesting comments that compare his philosophy to that of an Optimist Club. First, he said he was a former Optimist football player and because of that, and the ongoing development of the football program, he will always have a soft spot in his heart for Optimist Clubs. Next he talked about how he believed that it was a city's responsibility and a mission of service clubs to always be adding to the quality of life of a community. Quoting his first-grade daughter, he reminded us that we should never subtract.

But the quote that struck me as unique and worth repeating came near the beginning of his presentation. It describes why we have informational programs at our meetings and why people like to make presentations to Optimist Clubs. "You circulate in this community in a positive way," said Mayor Bieter.

That's right; words shared at an Optimist Club meeting reverberate and lift and inspire others, more than those who attended. Optimist Clubs truly share their positive vision with others and that positive vision, among other things, does more than add to our quality of life. It multiplies.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Distinguished Optimist Club presidents honored in the PNW District

Immediate Past Governor Bill French closed out the evening activities at the recent PNW District 3rd Meeting with recognition for honor and distinguished achievement in the 2011-2012 administrative year.

Earning the Distinguished Optimist Club achievement award were Lareena Roberson of the Tri Cities Optimist Club and Hal Griffin of the Coquitlam Optimist Club.

The Tri Cities Optimist Club added 15 net new members last year and the Coquitlam Optimist Club was the sponsor of the new Junior Curling Optimist Club.

Also recognized was Peter Smith as the Outstanding Lt. Governor. Peter represented Zone 2.

Optimist Clubs that received Honor Club banner patches were:
Chilliwack, BC
Gresham, OR
Lebanon, OR
McCall, ID
Mission, BC
Portland-Peninsula, OR
Roseburg, OR
Twin Falls, ID

My apologies to our winners and readers for the shaky photography. Your social media team would be forever grateful for some better shots of the weekend. Please click here to email a few of your favorite photos. Thanks. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Optimistic winners from the PNW District 3rd Quarter meeting

A lot of good things happened at the quarterly meeting held this past weekend in Richland, Washington. The members of the Tri Cities Optimist Club were wonderful hosts and brought us great entertainment and hospitality. Our presenters were unique, with new and thoughtful topics, and our students were the best ever as they told us "Why My Voice is Important."

Oratorical Contestants
We are very pleased to announce the winners in our scholarship competitions. Congratulations to:
1st - Lydia Parker - Albany
2nd - Clint Hamilton - Albany
3rd - Shazia Ayu Babul - Vancouver North Shore

1st - Cassidy Flake - Eagle/Horseshoe Bend
2nd - Brittany McCollum - Burnaby
3rd - Ashleigh Tregellas - Eagle/Nampa
CCDHH Contestants

As always, our first place contestants were awarded $2,500 scholarships. Matching the Oratorical Contest with scholarship awards this year, thanks to the fundraising efforts by Governor Larry Blackburn, the PNW District also presented $1,500 and $1,000 scholarship awards to the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 

The students were inspiring and some even brought us to tears. Congratulations all! You are all winners.

Congratulations also go out to our newly elected lieutenant governors for 2013-2014. Joining the leadership team will be: 
Zone 1 - Ken Ryan
Zone 2 - Annette Smith 
Zone 3 - Monique Connors
Zone 4 - Kathy Jungels
Zone 5 - Boyd Yaden
Zone 6 - Fran Bounds
Zone 7 - Eddie Solarzano
Zone 8 - Joe Shreve
Zone 9 - Dave Hickock 
Zone 10 - Charlie Kissler

One candidate has announced his intention to seek the role of governor-elect. Dick Disney, Optimist Club of West Tacoma, will be on the the ballot.

If you have served as club president and lieutenant governor, you can also choose to run. Let Bill French, CQ Chair know that you are interested.

Watch the blog for more posts this week about what you missed. We'll offer more updates soon. If you would like to share your photos or stories from the weekend, please send an email. Thank you!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Optimism abounds on a rainy race day in Salem, Oregon

Fifty schools, 3,200 elementary school students, 14,000 spectators and one Optimist Club! It's a good thing that the Salem Optimist Club had help from the Parks and Recreation Department along with hundreds of community volunteers and the presenting sponsor Country Financial for the biggest relay race ever.

Country Kids Relays are in their 39th year and the excitement and enjoyment has never been better for this annual tradition held at McCulloch Stadium. See more pictures at the Statesman Journal and learn how the rain didn't keep the kids, coaches or spectators down. Like their coordinators, they proved they were all Optimists.

Great job, Salem!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Centralia-Chehalis Optimist Club leads a historic bike ride

More than 150 190 people participated in the Centralia-Chehalis Optimist Club's 31st Annual Historic Bike Ride. Held Saturday, May 11, 2013 there were 20, 48, 68 and 100 mile routes. Each route included historic sites including the St. Francis Mission, Evaline School, the Jackson Prairie courthouse and the Claquato Church.

Thanks to Monique Connors for the pictures. See more at the Centralia-Chehalis Optimist Club Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Optimist Club members from across the Pacific Northwest are headed to the Tri-Cities this weekend for the 3rd Quarter meeting for the PNW District - Optimist International. It's going to be a very busy schedule as we complete the district-level competition for the Optimist Oratorical Contest and Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

The program for May 17-18, 2013 is here or you may click on the picture to enlarge and download.

There are also agendas for each of our formal gatherings. Two may be found on each page as indicated:

While we always  hope that our members will register early so that we may plan appropriately, no one is ever turned away from a district meeting. The more, the merrier. Please join us May 17-18, 2013 at the Shilo Inn & Suites, 50 Comstock Street, Richland, WA. Make  your hotel reservations at 509.946.4661. 

As Governor Larry says, "GO OPTIMISTS!" 

Monday, May 13, 2013

PNW District Optimist Governor-elect Fred Wallace receives honor from the Red Cross

Kudos to our very own Fred Wallace, member of the Gresham Optimist Club and the governor-elect for the PNW District.

Fred was recently honored by the American Red Cross. His VIP (very important partner) Teresa Wallace submitted the following news about his recognition:

Fred and I have been volunteering with the Red Cross for many years as an Optimist Club Volunteam for the club we are a member of at the time. Currently as members of The Optimist Club of Gresham. May 4th was the Volunteer Appreciation Program. Fred was recognized for his years of service. Here is a copy of that recognition. 
 “Fred Wallace is proudly wearing not only his 30 year service pin today, but also his 9 gallon pin as well! Thank you Fred. Mr. Wallace started volunteering through the local Optimist Club. After 30 years the club is still helping and we are delighted to say so is he! Fred mentioned what he enjoys most about volunteering is meeting the people and seeing the work of the Red Cross in action. Fred, I agree with you, our mission inspires millions at home and around the world. And Fred, you inspire us with your 30 years of service. Thank you so much!”

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Optimist Junior Golf: fun, rewarding, affordable!

2012 OPTIMIST champions
Marcella Pranovia and Joey Lane
Chris Hill, Chair, Optimist International Junior Golf Championships for the PNW District invites every club to get involved with the  OPTIMIST junior golf tournament this year. He sends the following message:

Dear Optimist Club Presidents,
We are continuing to build our PNW Optimist Junior Golf qualifier tournament.  This tournament allows local youth to compete for a place in the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships in Palm Beach Gardens Florida.   We are currently allowing only one participant in each age category to move on to the championships in Florida.
 I’d like to build our local qualifier tournament, currently held at Meriwether National Golf Course in Hillsboro Oregon, to at least 72 participants.  In years prior, we’ve had 35-45.  This is where I need your help.  I’d like to have on member from your club market our qualifier tournament to high schools in your community.   This would mean either emailing or dropping off a flyer to high school golf coaches.  In addition, if your club would like to sponsor a local boy or girl, you could pay for their entry fee into the Qualifier tournament ($75). 
 PNW Qualifier Tournament 
When:  June 20, 2013
Where:  Meriwether National Golf Course.  Hillsboro, OR
Registration:  https://sites.google.com/site/pnwusoptimistgolf
Contact:  Chris Hill ; 503-780-2570 
Due to the size and magnitude of the International competition, this opportunity could change the path of a young person.  Please consider selecting a volunteer to spread the word about our upcoming junior golf tournament.  Visit www.optimist.org/golf for more details on both the local qualifier and the International championships.  Thank you in advance. 
Chris Hill, PNW District Junior Golf Chairman

To make it even easier, he's prepared some letters for you to use to inform coaches and others of the event. View and download the letters here:

Let's work together to make this the best district golf tournament ever.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Diamonds for the Burnaby Optimist Club

Submitted by Roxy Abernethy

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II accession to the Throne. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a way for Canada to honor her Majesty for her service. It also serves to honor the diverse contributions and achievements and distinguished service to their fellow citizens, to their community, and to their country through volunteer work.

The Burnaby Optimist Club is proud to announce that four of their members have been presented the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. The recipients are Lou Ryan, Ray Abernethy, Nick Kvenich and Roxy Abernethy.

Lou does extensive volunteering through the Burnaby Optimist Club, the Sunshine Dreams for Kids Foundation, the local food bank and many community events. Lou has also served as the Optimist Club president for two terms. Everyone in the community knows Lou!

For over 30 years, Ray sources, collects, and distributes furniture, clothing and household goods to those in need. What began as a small backyard project blossomed under his leadership and vision into a unique, charitable society called Helping Families in Need. It serves thousands of families in the lower mainland and Fraser Valley.

Nick serves on the Action Line Housing board of directors and is directly involved in enhancing the lives of seniors in our community. Nick is also an avid stream keeper. He shares his passion for clean and environmentally sound streams with local school children. He also volunteers throughout the city at many community events and is a charter and life time member of the Burnaby Optimist Club.

Roxy has organized a Swim-A-Rama for 35 years and raised over $300,000 for Cystic Fibrosis. She has also organized softball in the city for  30 years, coordinates a craft fair at the prestigious Overlynne Mansion in North Burnaby in support of seniors, has held the position of president and treasurer of the Burnaby Optimist Club aand is active in fundraising and organizing volunteers fin support of her husband's, Ray, charity.

Those awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal represent one-tenth of one percent of all Canadians. Quite a feat for a small 12-member Optimist Club.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Awesome Optimists host the Awesome 3000

The Salem Optimist Club is gearing up for their biggest activity of the year, the Country Kids Relays. The big event takes place on May 18, 2013 when students 1st through 5th grades compete in a track meet comprised solely of relay races. 

Leading up to the event are several other smaller undertakings. Yesterday, May 4, 2013, found the Salem Optimist Club "herding" more than 3,000 kids around the course of the Awesome 3000. According to club secretary Arlen Hollinshead, at the end of the race, the Optimist's work wasn't done! They then donned latex gloves and trash bags and cleaned the grandstand area. "Is that dedication or what?" asks Arlen. 

Of course it is and that's why they are Optimist Club members! 

We'll be watching for more pictures and stories on race day. Good news for the Optimist Club...they expect about 150 additional volunteers for the Country Kids Relays, a project of Country Financial, the City of Salem Public Works Department Recreation Services and the Salem Optimist Club. 

The 39th Annual Country Kids Relays will take place on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at Willamette University's McCulloch Stadium. 

Thanks to the Salem Optimist Club for the picture.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Please contribute to the International Foundation to benefit CCDHH

The PNW District is participating in Idaho Gives today as nonprofits across Idaho raise money online for their causes. Our district decided to support the scholarship programs, specifically, the Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Help us reach our goal of $2,500 for this year and an overall goal of $10,000 to endow the scholarship for the future. The money is being raised through an online platform called Razoo, but is then deposited into the Optimist International Foundation to benefit the PNW District campaign. Thank you for making a donation now.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beaverton Optimist Club create bulletin boards for the library

The Beaverton Optimist Club has formed a close relationship with the Aloha Community Library. When they host a guest speaker, they present a children's book to the library in the speaker's name. How awesome is that?

As another demonstration of their partnership, they recently created custom-made bulletin boards for the library and presented them to the library board this week. Shown here is Melinda Williamson of the Aloha Community Library accepting the present from Optimist Club member Jack Franklin.

Read more at the Aloha Community Library website.

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