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Monday, March 31, 2014

Why did you join an Optimist Club?

During the regional meetings, Governor Fred Wallace asked each attendee to consider the question, "Why did I join an Optimist Club?" At the meeting I attended, a few people shared their reasons, but we quickly went on to other topics and other ideas. And that is the challenge with our fast-paced lives, we become so involved with the pressure of the next thing we forget to savor the moments that brought us to where we are today. 

I hope that as you left the meeting, you took time to consider your story of joining. In Chilliwack, BC, Glenda Standeven did and she sent the following to me to share with you:
Someone saw me playing with my kids on a playground over two decades ago (my youngest is now 23 years old) and gave me a card with the Optimist Creed on it. He said, "My wife and I have been watching you play with your kids. We think you're an Optimist and we'd love to have you attend one of our meetings."

He was right! I AM and Optimist! I went to a meeting and three weeks later (YES WEEKS!) I was not only the new president but I brought in ten new members and became a Distinguished President. There were only three active members in the club when I joined. It just goes to show you, if you don't ask, you don't get! Ask someone - anyone - who LOOKS like they are an optimist to join your club. 
By the way, that day I was invited to attend a meeting I was on crutches. I lost my leg to cancer. I may only have one leg but that didn't stop me from playing with my kids in the restaurant playground and it doesn't stop me from being an Optimist!
                                           ~ Glenda Standeven, Optimist Club of Chilliwack, PNWD

So let's hear it, Optimist Club members. What's your story? Why did you join an Optimist Club and more important, why do you keep coming back?

Write a comment below, send us an email or complete this form and share your story of optimism today. Thank  you.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The positive approach to membership growth

Serving as governor of a district in Optimist International, there are many things that crosses one's desk. There are club programs, notices from Optimist International, leadership questions, meeting planning tasks, and events to attend, among other things; and always, there are thoughts about how to make our Optimist Clubs stronger through membership growth.

With that in mind, Governor Fred Wallace emailed today with the following message:
Cougar Says
Hey Ladies and Gentleman of the great Pacific Northwest. Great News today from Optimist International. We are only down 68 members. That puts us way ahead of many Districts. Thanks for all your hard work. I know there are several New Clubs in the works, so I know we will come out on top. I am so proud of District 32. Talk later.
Governor Fred is right. Being down 68 members at the halfway point in the year is not a bad statistic. And I have even more good news for you:

If your club and every club will commit to becoming an Honor Club in 2013-2014, the loss in membership will be cleared and your Optimist Club will be even stronger, and better able to serve more children in your community. It's statistically shown that every member touches the lives of at least 30 children every year. When your club adds new members, it extends its reach locally, in schools and beyond.

So how do you do it? How do you get new members to join your Optimist Club? It ends with 8 words, "Do you want to join my Optimist Club?" But how does it start?

Wyatt King, member of the Lebanon Optimist Club says that the secret to adding members is optimism. According to Wyatt, the Lebanon Optimists are always upbeat at their meetings and programs and their positive attitude is inviting; people want to share in the good vibes. There must be some truth in Wyatt's secret. So far this year, the Lebanon Optimists have added 10 members and lost 2 for a net membership growth of 8.

Your Optimist Club can do it too. Just be positive, set the right attitude...and don't forget to ask those 8 words.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Childhood Cancer Campaign goes to sea

Click to enlarge and print flyer.
This year, you know her as the Membership Co-Chair for the PNW District - Optimist International. You may also know her as the bulletin editor and publicity chair, among other things, of the Twin Falls Optimist Club. And you may even know her as a travel agent. I'm talking about none other than the bubbly Robin Stanhope.

Robin has found a way to merge travel and fundraising for an Optimist International cause together and has asked me to share the project with you.

What is it? A Caribbean Cruise! 

That's right, you can sign up now to go cruising for childhood cancer. Working with the Twin Falls Optimist Club, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has promised to donate $100 to the Twin Falls Optimist Club Cure Childhood Cancer Fund for every cabin that is booked for this specially designated Optimist Cruise set to sail from Tampa, Florida on January 31, 2015.

Find out more by contacting Robin directly at 208 734-9486 or rastanhope@gmail.com.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

#Reeloptimism: What is the greatest thing about being an optimist?

As far as we know, the Middleton Area Optimist Club is the only club in the PNW District that responded to the call of #reeloptimism. This video contest sponsored by Optimist International asked you to finish the statement, "The greatest thing about being an Optimist is..."

The Middleton Area Optimist Club used responses that were given at the Idaho regional meeting on March 8, 2014 to produce the following video.

According to a spokesperson for the Middleton Area Optimist Club, they don't expect to win any awards for their video skills; however, they do hope to win hearts with their stories.

They've also promised to share more stories with us here on the PNW District Optimist Clubs blog. There were 20 or so turned in and in selecting the ones that would make the video, they had to be mindful of the 3-minute limit. "Some of our Optimist Club members were so passionate about their projects, their stories could have taken up three minutes on their own," explained Linda Vaught Jackson.

Did your Optimist Club participate in the Reel Optimism contest? Please share your links with us if so.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Optimist International President Ron Huxley says, "Happy Spring"

Optimist International President Ron Huxley says that spring is a great time to share your optimism and since spring is peaking out and showing is its happy features, now is the time to get started in your community.

Watch and take the pledge with President Ron to watch over the children of my community and the world as they are that we have, all that we are and all that we will ever be.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Notes from the Idaho Regional meeting

About 40 Optimist Club members representing various Optimist Clubs in Idaho were on hand for the final regional meeting of the second quarter for the PNW District. Governor Fred Wallace and Governor-elect Dick Disney made the trip from Oregon and Washington respectively to spend the day with the group as they discussed district level programs, important dates and deadlines.

Optimist Clubs from Boise, Caldwell, Elmore County, Jerome, McCall, Middleton, Nampa and Twin Falls discussed club-level programs and shared ideas for community service with their peers.

An exciting idea came from Sheri Mitchell, President, Jerome. She described the club's main programs: the Special Needs Fishing Derby, Breakfast with Santa, the Easter Egg Hunt and Coats for Kids; but her special idea was that the Jerome Optimist Club actively looks to involve older students in their programs for younger children. What a great idea for finding volunteer hands and instilling an attitude of community service in our youth!

Of course one of the highlights of the second quarter is the recognition of Optimist Clubs that have earned special honors in the previous administrative year. Immediate Past Governor Larry Blackburn presented two Optimist Clubs and their officers awards for earning the title Distinguished Optimist Club. Congratulations to the Twin Falls and Middleton Area Optimist Clubs.

Dave Hickok, Wayne Bohrn and Larry Blackburn
Twin Falls Optimist Club receives Distinguished Club award
Larry Blackburn and Russ Nelson
Middleton Area Optimist Club receives Distinguished Award

Idaho Optimist Club members also took some time out for fun. Instead of a speaker at lunch they bowled and played pool. Now how fun is that?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Idaho Optimists to gather on March 8

Optimist Club members in the Idaho region heard from Governor Fred Wallace last evening regarding the meeting that will be held at Wahooz on Saturday, March 8, 2014.

Unlike the other regional get-togethers, attendees, please be aware, this one will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. See the agenda here. 

Wahooz has a number of family-friendly activities for visitors including bowling, go-carts, miniature golf, arcade, laser tag and in the summer months, a water park. While it was imagined that the participants might enjoy some friendly competition with a bowling tournament or the like, according to the agenda and Governor Fred's note, any playtime will be extracurricular. Wahooz has a special 3-hour wristband for attendees for only $15 and the park assures us that attendees and their families can take advantage of this opportunity. You may want to have your family and friends meet you at 3:00 p.m.

Governor Fred wants to emphasize that the agenda has been created to provide information that you need to make your Optimist Club successful including scholarship program participation rules, membership recruitment and retention ideas and website familiarization, among other things. Immediate Past Governor Larry Blackburn will also present awards for accomplishment in the 2012-2013 Optimist administrative year.

Come see the Middleton Area and Twin Falls Optimist Clubs receive Distinguished Optimist Club awards. You'll make friends, share stories and build the enthusiasm to make your Optimist Club even stronger and more engaged that it already is in your community.

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