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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What happened at the district convention?

The PNW District - Optimist International convention kicked off on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Canyonville, Oregon. During the opening ceremonies we learned there were two candidates for the position of governor-elect: Michael Gray, Nampa Optimist Club and Rick Matkin, Caldwell Optimist Club. Cheers and good wishes met the candidates as a real election was on!

About 65 Optimists enjoyed the hospitality of the Roseburg Optimist Club. We learned that its president, Olga Keith, was at a photo shoot and couldn't join us for every activity, but when she was there, she was lovely and funny with a Russian accent and vodka. (Was she really at a photo shoot? You had to be there to find out!)

Convention chair Becky Holm and Peter Sudduth, among others, treated the cadre of Optimists to a fun weekend full of golf, wine, a little gambling, and fellowship. The hospitality room was shut down only once by hotel security. (Is this true? You had to be there to find out!)

Optimist International Representative Mike Allen was charming on his second visit to the PNW District and he was made an honorary PNW Optimist Club member. (Was he really? You had to be there to find out!)

Mike also led the officers-elect training and inspired all to do more by adding new members on our return to our local clubs. He became just a little tickled at a few kids say the darndest things stories and before long, we were all in stitches. Again, you needed to be there, if for nothing more than the laughs!

Scott Keller, member, Portland Northeast Optimist Club, facilitated a group discussion about how to make your club meeting more relevant by getting to know your fellow members. Using a survey format, attendees interviewed one another and then, in small groups, they created and shared a work plan for meetings and projects that focused on specific information gleaned from the surveys. Scott has promised to make the survey available online and we will provide a link here when received.

Finally business was at hand and Governor Fred Wallace led the district in the governor-elect election process and we learned that Michael Gray will be the governor in 2015-2016.

The Governors Banquet brought more fun an frivolity as Governor-designate Dick Disney led the choir.

Donning mouse ears, we learned to sing to the Mickey Mouse tune, "FRI-END of Y-O-U-T-H." Give it a try! It's our motto for the coming year.

In honor of her service to the district, the Roy Proctor Award was bestowed upon Mary White, member,Vancouver, WA Optimist Club.

Following a series of resolutions, where we learned that Rose Brodie, Terry Farnsworth and Dyan Graybeal were the people who let the dogs out and that Past Governor and Golfer Dick Brodie's balls were officially retired, we adjourned, determined and inspired to bring more friends to optimism.

As of the close of the PNW District Convention, the District stood only 48 members below the beginning of the year. If every club were to add just one more member, the PNW District might just grow its way back to Distinguished. Even if you couldn't join us at the convention, you can join us in this goal. Let's do it, Optimists.

For an official look at the business of the weekend, click here for the minutes of the executive committee meeting followed by the minutes of the board of directors meeting. 

Thanks to Rick Matkin for helping with pictures!

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