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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Oregon City Optimist Club member receives national honor

Judi Van Cleave (c) with Mrs. and
General Charles H. Jacoby
Judi Van Cleave, secretary, Oregon City Optimist Club was recently installed as the National Vice President for the Gold Star Wives of America.

She shared this picture with us of Mrs. and General Charles H. Jacoby that she had taken when she had the opportunity to introduce him to the delegation at the organization's 68th annual convention. She said she spent more than a half an hour getting to know them and they are lovely couple.

Organized in 1945, the Gold Star Wives of America represent widows and widowers whose spouses died while on active duty in the military services or connected cause. The group provides social activities and allows individuals experiencing similar tragedy to support to one another, but it also offers opportunities for advocacy at the national level. The Gold Star Wives of America lobby for benefits including insurance and education for surviving family members, among other things.

In a very humble way, Judi divulged that she had other duties to perform at the convention this year. She explained that at the banquet she made a special presentation to a GSW from the northwest who volunteers at Joint Base Lewis Mchord (JBLM). She explained this was a very special honor and not given every year, but she was making the presentation because she had been the last person to receive the honor.

Judi is a widow from the Korean War. She said this year's convention, held in Denver, had quite a few "newer widows" attend this year. Her summary: a sad fact of the times.

Congratulations, albeit late, on your service award, and your installation, Judi. And many thanks for your sacrifices.

Friday, July 19, 2013

New policies to be adopted at the PNW Optimist District Convention

Working independently, with directions from Optimist International leadership and encouragement from Governor Larry Blackburn, Joe Shreve has presented a new PNW District Policies document for discussion and approval at the district convention on August 11-13, 2013. The previous document that was being used by the district was an addendum to the suggested district policies prepared by Optimist International. Over the years, the district had ignored there was a primary document. In order to revise the document and make it acceptable to Optimist International, the new proposed policies have been rewritten in the suggested format and incorporated into one document. 

Joe shares some thoughts about the process and where we go from here: 
The District Policy revisions somehow turned into a completely re-stated document in the format recommended by OI. There is a lot of new language as suggested by OI and some changes completely dreamed up by myself. That alone should teach folks to never put me in charge of such a project. 
For example, check out Executive Committee on p.5 (some of you won’t like this). Voting and voting strength at convention on p.9 has been revised (some of you won’t like this) to conform to OI Bylaws. Who gets reimbursed and for what and how much has been clarified on p.16. A new policy on Conflict of Interest has been added on p.16. All the committees and their duties have been listed in one place for easy reference on p.10-14. There is a big blank space in CCDHH on p.13 to be filled in by recommendations from Bill French’s special CCDHH committee. There are many others. 
This re-stated document is published here on the website for your review. Scroll down or click here:
I fully expect amendments will need to be offered. Amendments need to correctly worded to get the results you desire so put your recommendations into writing and bring a MSWord copy on a disc or flash drive so the S-T can put it up on the screen for all the see. 
Happy reading.
Submitted by Joe Shreve

Please send any questions about the process to Joe or Governor Larry. Thank you.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Check out the Portland Peninsula Optimist Club

Portland Peninsula Fireworks
Portland Peninsula Optimist Club
Fireworks Stand
Earlier this month, Sharon Speer, treasurer, blogger, and now newsletter editor of the Portland Peninsula Optimist Club published and emailed the first edition of "Optimistic Pennings" to her fellow club members. I was excited to receive it on behalf of the PNW District.

The Peninsula Optimist Club has been very active over the past year and in the first edition she highlighted some of their activities including:

  • Annual Fireworks Sale
  • 2013 Scholarship Winners
    Portland Peninsula Fireworks
    Boy Scout Troop 52, Portland
  • Sauce and Toss Scholarship Fundraiser
  • Boy Scout Troop 52
In the newsletter, Sharon also described the membership retention and recruitment efforts of the club. They welcomed back Marty Jackson and Rodney Lee and encouraged members to bring guests and friends to the meetings. To keep those meetings interesting, they've re-initiated their guest speaker program. 

Find out more about the Portland Peninsula Optimist Club on the club blog, newsletter; or if you live in Portland (or know someone who does), stop by to see them on the first and third Mondays of each month at noon, Christie's Restaurant, 5507 N. Lombard St., Portland, OR 97203.

 Portland Peninsula Fireworks
Scholarship winners: Stephanie Martinez and Laurel Malloy with
Optimist Club members Bill van Nostron and Dave Trabucco

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Optimist Clubs add to a community's quality of life

An Optimist Club helps you create a kind of
community where you want to live. 
With the international convention over, it's time to return our focus to our region and especially to our own Optimist Clubs. The Optimist International organization thrives, and the mission of bringing out the best in children continues, because local Optimist Clubs continue to serve in their local communities. By serving needs that only local persons can know, Optimist Clubs make a difference every day.

On Monday, I attended the Middleton Area Optimist Club meeting. I learned that in addition to the successful bingo fundraisers that they hold almost monthly, and the Free Movies in the Park program that will run through the summer, they are also behind the scenes serving in ways that may not be known.

For instance, the club recently contributed almost $1,500 to an individual who is receiving cancer treatment to help with travel expenses. On Memorial Day, a number of Optimist Club members assisted the American Legion in decorating the Veterans Cemetery and for the 4th of July, the Optimist Club funded the choreography for the fireworks display. .

President Russ Nelson pointed to another need that the community has regarding the fireworks display. The fireworks are purchased solely by donations and that is why some years they have larger demonstrations than others. He proposed that the club consider lending some of their fundraising efforts to the fireworks fund to help make it more stable and perhaps in time, more spectacular.

The club didn't reach a decision on this particular effort yet, but I share this with you as an example of how our Optimist Clubs might mobilize other people's money for community good. With their fundraising strength, the Middleton Area Optimist Club is touching all areas of their community, meeting local needs, and building a positive quality of life. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

One convention down, many more to go

The 95th Annual Optimist International Convention has come to a close. With approximately 1,000 individuals attending in Cincinnati, Ohio, there were 423 Optimist Clubs represented. Following are the results of the business sessions:

Board members elected for 2013-2015 (two-year term)
  • Marc Katz
  • Jim Oliver
Officers for 2014-2015 elected by acclamation
  • International President – Ken Garner
  • Mid Atlantic Region – Lawson K. Headley, Sr. 
  • Southeast Region – Deanna S. Morrow
  • Northeast & Great Lakes Region – Fatima N. Plater
  • Middle America Region – Todd McMillan
  • Great Plains Region – Janet Lloyd
  • Southwest Region – Janet Oord Graves
  • West Coast Region – Ed Murphy III
  • Saint Lawrence Region – Danielle Dupont
Proposals to amend the bylaws
  1. Amendment #1 – To allow online voting for international officers …. Pass
  2. Amendment #2 – To make district quorum definition standard in international bylaws … Pass
  3. Amendment #3 – To eliminate annual dues billing option … Pass
  4. Amendment #4 – To make the Executive Director the CEO of Optimist International … Referred to Board of Directors for clarification
  5. Amendment #5 – To begin pilot program to allow individual membership to Optimist International … Fail
  6. Amendment #6 – To simplify the determination of number of votes per club (equal # of members as of April 30) … Fail 
  7. Amendment #7 – To extend Tier 3 status to Jamaica and Suriname to 2018 … Pass
  8. Amendment #8 – To allow removal of non-renewing members until October 2 without affecting awards program … Fail
  9. Amendment #9 – To change all bylaws references to be gender neutral … Pass
  10. Amendment #10 – To change all references in the bylaws to the board of directors to read “OI Board of Directors” … Fail 
  11. Amendment #11 – To add terms to Article I Section V reflection JOOI club names … Fail
  12. Amendment #12 – To add membership classification of JOOI members … Fail 
  13. Amendment #13 – To change definition and privileges of Friend of Optimist category … Fail
  14. Amendment #14 – To require presidential incentive program be approved by Board of Directors … Fail 
  15. Amendment #15 – District governors to submit names to CQ committee for nomination of international officers … Fail
  16. Amendment #16 – District governors to submit names to CQ committee for appointment to international committees … Fail 
  17. Amendment #17 – Adds wording to allow continuity on international committees … Fail
  18. Amendment #18 – Capitalization of “international convention” in bylaws references … Fail
  19. Amendment #19 – To change billing for international dues … Fail
Now the planning begins for the 2014 Optimist International Convention and we are very excited to report that it will return to the West Region! Make your plans now to attend July 10-12, 2014, Caesar's Palace,  Las Vegas, Nevada.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hat tip to the Pacific Northwest on the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July everyone.

As a way to celebrate, I thought it might be fun to take a look at the most patriotic US cities, especially when I saw that the number one spot was right in our own back yard!

Kudos to Portland, Oregon for landing in first place. Not far behind in fourth place was Seattle, Washington.

To create the list, the designers looked at voter turnout, flag sales, fireworks spending, spending on vets and volunteer rate. We know that the Pacific Northwest has some of the best and most active volunteers in the world: Optimist Club members! With that kind of commitment, it's no wonder that statistic brought our cities to the top of the list.

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