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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Start a new Optimist Club program

pnw district optimist club
Does your Optimist Club have a great idea for a new program and does it need a little seed money to get it going?

If yes, the Optimist Club grant program from the Optimist International Foundation is for you.

The program awards $500 grants to Optimist Clubs that are served by the Optimist International Foundation. The awards are based on need, creativity and the ability for the program to increase awareness and membership in the local Optimist Club. It is important that the project be new to the club and community.

The complete rules and application can be accessed online at the Optimist International Foundation Club Grant page.

Last year, the Middleton Area Optimist Club was awarded an Optimist International Foundation Grant. The club matched the money with advertising sales from its popular Movies in the Park program to host an Optimist Family Fair  in Middleton, Idaho.

The Optimist Family Fair invited businesses to set-up booths and host free child and family-friendly games at the last Free Movie in the Park in 2014, "Frozen." Following the "Frozen" theme, there was "Frozen" karaoke and a "Frozen" photo booth, along with a cakewalk, bubble gum blowing contest, among other things. As a bonus and draw, the Middleton Area Optimist Club purchased and served free pizza to the crowd and sponsored a bounce house for the kiddos to enjoy.

According to Linda Vaught Jackson, the author of the successful grant, the purpose of the program was increase awareness of the Middleton Area Optimist Club. "The Optimist Family Fair strategically coincided with the club's third anniversary and gave us a great platform to say thank you for letting us serve the community," explained Linda.

"We consistently said that we can do more of these events if you join us; join the Middleton Area Optimist Club, " she concluded.

The Club Grant is a relatively new program for the Optimist International Foundation. It helps Optimists help more children on a local level by helping with those critical start-up costs. By instilling a funding match criteria, it also helps provide a  method by which the program can be funded in the future.

US clubs, find out more at this link and apply.

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