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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!

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