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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Plan now for the Optimist International Scholarship Contests

This weekend is that last long weekend of the summer. As we celebrate Labor Day with a camping trip or backyard barbecue, the children know that the school year is really, truly underway. For Optimist Clubs, and frazzled parents, that's a good thing. Many Optimist Clubs go into overdrive with their programs when their target audiences are easy to reach.

Now is the time to reach out to those students, teachers and parents with some of Optimist International's longest running programs. The scholarship contests connect students with caring adults, teach communication skills and helps participants, even at an early age, prepare for college and the future.

We begin with the Optimist International Essay Contest. The theme this year is "How Dreams Lead to Success." Optimist Clubs set their own timelines for the contest with the knowledge that their entries must be received by the district chair by February 28, 2014.

Following quickly behind the Essay Contest are the Optimist International Oratorical Contest and the Optimist International Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. For these contests, students will speak or sign to the topic, "How My Passions Impact the World." Zone and regional contests will be set by area lt. governors to be completed in time for the winners to advance to the finals at the Third Quarter PNW District Meeting in May.

While it may seem early to some to prepare these contests now, it's not! It is so important get on the teachers' radar screen. Ask to talk to the students directly and prepare and distribute this flyer. Often. And again. Hand out the flyer at every event that your Optimist Club sponsors. That will generate interest, word of mouth marketing and more participants for your club.

pnw district optimist international scholarship contests

Click here to go to Optimist International. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Portland NE Optimist Club announces Donna Jo Anne Flye Memorial Scholarship

The PNW District received a note from Boyd Yaden today that announced the passing of a long time Optimist Club member of the Portland NE Optimist Club, Donna J. Flye.

According to the announcement, she was an outstanding optimist and the club has decided to honor her memory by creating a scholarship in her name. The Donna Jo Anne Flye Memorial Scholarship will be an annual award and full details are available by contacting Boyd Yaden, Treasurer, Portland NE Optimist Club at 503-702-3812. 

Donations may be made to the scholarship fund by mailing the  Portland NE Optimist Club, attention Boyd Yaden, Treasurer, 13640 SE Hwy 2012, #103, Clackamas, OR 97015-8511. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Business decisions that affect your Optimist Club

Early this week, members representing twenty-two Optimist Clubs in the PNW District gathered in McCall, Idaho for the annual district convention. Joining them was JC St-Onge, Optimist International President.

Details of the fun that was had will be provided by Governor Larry Blackburn in an accompanying post soon, but this post is to communicate some of the business that was conducted as decisions were made that affect every Optimist Club in the district.

Governor-designate Fred Wallace congratulates
Governor-elect Dick Disney
First, hearty and sincere congratulations go to Dick Disney, member of the W. Tacoma Optimist Club, for being elected to serve as District Governor, 2014-2015. Dick explained that way back in 1974 his captain in the reserves told him to go to a meeting. It turned out to be an Optimist Club meeting and he has kept coming back ever since because his captain never told him to stop. Good decision, Dick!

Several critical decisions were on the agenda and to make a long story short, everything passed. And then some.

The representatives chose to pursue a Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing model that expands from Optimist International's program. As has been conducted for the past two years, there will continue to be two contests, one for traditional rules participants and one for deaf students who speak. Two scholarships will be provided, one from the traditional source (Optimist International Foundation and Optimist Children's Foundation) and one from contributions to the CCDHH scholarship fund for deaf students who speak in the PNW District. The separate scholarship will be set up as a District Campaign with the Optimist International Foundation and Optimist Children's Foundation. District S/T Chris Stearns has been authorized to complete the details with the foundations.

The representatives also voted to increase district dues pending Optimist International approval. This is the "and then some portion" of the message. While a dues increase wasn't formally published, it was mentioned and hinted at in several messages indicating that a dues increase of $2/per member would be considered. As presented and and adopted, however, the dues increase that was approved is $3/per member. Clubs need to take note of this now in case they need to raise their own dues for the October 1 billing period. PNW District dues are now $18/per member. 

Finally, in order to meet an Optimist International request, the district has revised its policies. Working largely independently, Joe Shreve, Lt. Governor Zone 7 & 8, completed and presented a new document that incorporated the changes required and the previous document. It was also approved with the caveat that a committee be formed to make suggested amendments to be approved at the 2013-2014 first quarter
optimist clubs pacific northwest district
Governor Larry Blackburn

Governor Larry and President JC also encouraged membership growth. Every club is challenged to add at least one member between now and September 30, 2013 in order to earn a banner patch.

Why not do just a little more for the future of your club?

We challenge each and every member of the PNW District to recruit one new member and to do it now. Let's end the year in positive numbers. Go Optimists!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Adjust the sails and move on

The Boise Noon Optimist Club is adopting a new logo. President-elect Larry Highley is shown here with the new design.

Okay, Optimists, look closely; notice anything missing?

That's right, the club is dropping the word "noon" from its title and returning to the original name that is shown on its charter with Optimist International.

I guess the change is a sign of the times as the club no longer meets at noon every week. In order to encourage more participation, they've changed the schedule to evening meetings on the first and third Tuesdays, noon meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays, and occasional social activities on months when there is a fifth Tuesday.

The noon designation was important when there were multiple Optimist Clubs in Boise City. In addition to Boise Noon there were the Boise Sunrise, Fort Boise, and Boise Bench Optimist Clubs, among others. Most clubs participated in the football program and as members were lost by natural attrition, the clubs were subsumed by the stable Boise Nooners.

The Nooners haven't bee all that stable in recent past. That's why I'm excited to see the new direction that Larry is leading the group. With his leadership, I predict that football will continue to grow, but the club will become involved in more traditional programs again.

That means they'll be looking for more members and more members means more excitement for the many the many projects that Optimist Clubs perform in our communities. Go get'em Larry and the BOC, formerly known as BNOC. Your leadership is needed to spread the word and the enthusiasm.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Optimist Club members, here's something for next year

It doesn't take a lot of arm-twisting to encourage friends to join you for a trip to Las Vegas. That's why we expect that the 2014 Optimist International Convention will be one of the best attended in recent history. And with the convention returning to the West region, we hope that PNW District Optimist Club members will be there in full force. It's a great opportunity to learn from your peers and have a great time.

What happens in Vegas will inspire you all year so as you look forward to the next year in optimism, please make your plans to attend the 96th Annual Optimist International Convention at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, July 10-12, 2014.

Click here for the Las Vegas promotion from Optimist International.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

District convention program posted for August 11-13, 2013

Wondering what is happening at the District Convention? Wonder no more. The program has arrived. Please click on the picture to enlarge and print or download here.

As a heads-up, incoming officers - those who will take a club or district office beginning October 1 - will participate in training on Monday, August 12.

There will be a barbecue at Ponderosa State Park on Monday evening, the Old Timers Breakfast Tuesday morning and the Governor's Banquet Tuesday evening.

In addition to electing the governor-elect, the discussion about the district policies, CCDHH, and the possible dues increase will also take place Tuesday morning. Club presidents, or their assigned designates with written consent, will vote on the adoption of all district business.

Please be sure to read the program for more information including the opening session, district golf tournament, memorial service and first timers orientation, among other things. Please direct any questions to Governor Larry Blackburn or S/T Chris Stearns.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Welcome to Idaho for the PNW District Convention

welcome idaho

On August 11 - 13, 2013, Pacific Northwest Optimist Clubs will gather for the annual District Convention. Governor Larry Blackburn and the Optimist Club of McCall are looking forward to welcoming all comers to Idaho for the unique blend of social activities, training, and governance that make Optimist District meetings special.

Opening ceremonies will commence on Sunday, August 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the Hunt Lodge. Monday will feature training for club and district officers-elect and committee chairpersons and Tuesday will feature the election of the district governor for 2014-2015. Additionally, PNW Optimist Clubs will be asked to consider revisions to the district policies and a dues increase of $2.00 per member may be proposed.

The district convention features special social activities not found at other meetings. On Monday evening, August 12, the McCall Optimist Club will host a barbecue picnic at Ponderosa State Park. It is a short  eight minute drive from the hotel and transportation will be available. On Tuesday morning, August 13, the old-timers invite us to breakfast at the Hunt Lodge where we will be entertained with the theme "Mountain People." Costumes are encouraged! Tuesday evening, August 13, the convention will wrap-up with the Governor's Banquet and an opportunity to be inspired by Optimist International President J.C. St-Onge.

It's a special honor to receive a visit from the international president during his or her administrative year. We welcome you to Idaho, Mr. St-Onge.

And welcome to all. We'll see you soon.

It's not too late to register. Click here for details. 

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