We love stories about your Optimist Club. Please tell us one and we'll add it to the website.
Click here, email, or post to Facebook. Thank you!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A year of optimism

pnwdoptimist pnw optimist clubs
It's the final day of 2017 and my last opportunity of the year to say thank you for allowing me to share my experiences in optimism with you. I sincerely appreciate that you take your time to read and share the information I publish at www.pnwdistrictoptimist.com.

My experiences have, for the most part, been as advertised: optimistic. Others, we'll just say, have been learning experiences, the type of learning one hopes to have out of their curriculum as they finish high school. Bullies have no place in adult life. Bullies have no place in anyone's life.

Seeking to be the best, and to bring out the best in others is an honorable pursuit. As the mission statement of Optimist International emphasizes, "Optimists bring out the best in youth, community, and ourselves."

With this in mind, it is my honor to share with you the top 6 posts of 2017 based on the number of views, shares, and comments*.

Coming in at first and second place are two posts from the Oregon City Optimist Club.
Oregon City students are recognized for kindness received the most attention and with good reason. It highlighted seventeen students at the Oregon City Optimist Club's annual Citizenship and Youth Appreciation Awards. Teachers, principals, and counselors spoke about the achievements of some pretty remarkable young people. It is a perfect example of what Optimist Club's do, and how they do it - Optimist Clubs bring out the best in youth. 
Wild Bill rides for kids and the Oregon City Optimist Club was the second most viewed and shared post. It is an "out-of-the-box" example of fundraising. Using the Go Fund Me platform, former teacher and coach Bill Upton used his personal struggle with heart disease to raise funds for students served by the Optimist Club. Being part of an Optimist Club can truly touch all parts of our lives.
The third most viewed and shared post surprised me, but in a good way. It's a membership recruitment tool from Optimist International.
Teachers are encouraged to #JoinanOptimistClub introduced and explained the Recruit-a-Teacher incentive for April 1 to June 30, 2017, that asked teachers and school personnel to join an Optimist Club for only $30. This membership offer for teachers has been so popular, that it is in place for all of 2018
The fourth most popular post is about my favorite Optimist International program, the Optimist International Oratorical Contest. 
Students speak about "What the world gains from optimism" highlighted the students from Covenant School in Tacoma, Washington. Sponsored by the West Tacoma Optimist Club, Andrew Welch moved forward from this competition to take third place in the PNW District competition. 
The fifth and sixth most viewed, shared, and commented upon posts were written based on my experience with the level of communication offered by the district leadership in 2017. Some were quick to call the reviews criticism; however, they were meant as suggestions for improvement and still today stand as my offer to help through the mission of this website
What did and didn't happen at the Washington Super Zone meeting advises that the purpose of the second quarter district meeting is to inspire Optimist Clubs to grow in membership and service and to recognize the achievements of the previous year. It occurs to me that perhaps the regional or zone setting is too small to give the level of importance that a district meeting should have. 
Communicate, communicate, communicate encourages better communication tactics for the PNW District and Optimist International, especially in relation to inspiring Optimist Clubs to become Honor Clubs. 
I also must give a shout-out to the two top-trending stories in December. This month, I vowed to share a post every day and with this publication, I will complete my promise. The stories about the projects that our PNW Optimist Clubs perform are receiving great readership and with their optimism, will likely continue to gain interest, views, shares, and comments for months to come. 
The Santa House is open in Centralia, Washington is a post celebrating the season, children and the Chehalis-Centralia Optimist Club. It's an ageless project that serves the community, bringing hope and happiness to all. 
Bulletin editor reaches out to former members is a great idea for recharging your Optimist Club. It's a personal appeal from Walt Callahan to former members and friends of the Boise Noon Optimist Club. 
Signing off for 2017, I look forward to fantastic 2018 and I promise to continue to share optimism through my posts here, on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. I hope to see you at an Optimist Club activity soon. Again, thank you for your support and interest. Happy New Year!

We are always looking for new stories to share about your Optimist Club. Please send us a picture and a few words about it and we'll add it to our site. 

*Due to spam and privacy controls, the comments are turned off on this website; however, comments are shared via Facebook, Twitter, and email, among other sources. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Does your Optimist Club have a Centennial story to share?

He is an appellate judge by day, an Optimist Volunteer at all times, and now he's adding editor and
author to his list of accomplishments. Of whom am I speaking? None other than Past International President Dave Bruns.

Dave wrote on his Facebook timeline that we can help him spread the word. He has agreed to write a historical book for the Optimist International Centennial celebration and he needs your help.

Here's his post:
Fellow Optimists, Former Optimists, and Family Members of Optimists: 
pnwdoptimist pnw optimist clubsIt was a hot and humid day in June of 1919 when delegates from 11 Optimist Clubs gathered in Louisville, Kentucky to officially organize the International Optimist Club—known today as Optimist International. 
As we look forward to the celebration of our 100th Anniversary as an organization, Optimists around the world are making plans for a Centennial Celebration to be kicked off at our 100th International Convention to be held in Ottawa, Ontario from July 8-10, 2018, and to culminate at our 100th Anniversary Celebration to be held in Louisville from July 1 to 3, 2019.

I have agreed to volunteer my time to write a special Centennial Book in honor of our 100 years of Optimism and I would sincerely appreciate your help in gathering information—Right Here, Right Now!!! Although I am using original documents, newspaper articles, the Of Dreams and Deeds book written in 1966, the 75 Years of Optimism in Canada booklet, and similar sources, I would sincerely appreciate receiving additional information from our members, former members, and families of members that would be of general interest to those who read the book. 
Information and supporting material (such as photos or news articles) can be sent to:
Suggestions regarding the type of information that may be of interest to readers include:
-Info regarding the original Optimist Club(s) in your District;
-Notable Optimists from your Club or District.
-Famous participants in Optimist programs.
-Significant milestones in your Club or District.
-Biographical info on Past International Presidents, International Vice Presidents, International Board Members, Top Governors, etc.
-Interesting stories regarding youth programs and community service.
-Info re JOI and our Signature Programs.
-Info regarding the Opti-Mrs. 
Thank you all for your assistance and Happy New Year!!! 
Dave Bruns
Please share this request with other members of your Optimist Club and help us kick off the new year with remembrances of the organization, its people, projects and impact. Let the centennial celebration begin!

As always, we would love to hear your stories and to share them with others who read about Optimist Clubs in the Pacific Northwest. Please include us by sending a photo and note. Thank you!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Recharge with the Optimist Creed

The holidays bring out our enthusiasm, but as the fear of missing out (FOMO) propels us to do even more, many find that they are tired physically and emotionally. This is a good time to bring out the Optimist Creed.

Reading it daily will restore your optimism and energy and encourage you to live a positive life. Please enjoy! And click here to print a copy or two  to hang around your house or office and to share optimism with others.

pnw optimist clubs optimist creed

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Bulletin editor reaches out to former members

Walt Callahan is the bulletin editor for the Boise Noon Optimist Club.

He's been missing his duties of late, and he would be the first to admit he's been missing the club meetings as well; but in a very sincere, yet playful way, he has just reminded past members that they are missed and welcome to return to the meetings.

In the December 19, 2017 edition of the Boise Noon Optimists Nooner, Walt wrote:

Hello good people. My name is Walt Callahan. 
I was chosen to be the BNOC bulletin editor a number of years ago. Circumstances have changed for me and I've been away for a while. I'm going to do my best to change that. 
I went to last Tuesday's meeting at Casa Mexico, and I realized that there are still some wonderful people in the club. 
They are still holding things together for us. I admire them. 
I hope I'm not out of place here, but this old man is asking some who have been away for a while to give us a try again, whatever your feelings, I'd love to see you walk in the door.
As bulletin editor, Walt also takes a great number of photos at meetings and events. He attached all of the photos included here (click to enlarge) in his bulletin. What a great way to personalize his message!

Optimist Clubs are always seeking to add new members. Of course, the successful Optimist Clubs are also working hard to retain the members that are currently on the roster. A smart club might look to reactivating some of its former members, just as Walt has done for the Boise Noon Optimist Club.

We send good luck and best wishes to the Boise Noon Optimist Club for a successful membership drive. We also encourage every Optimist Club to hold a membership recruitment and retention activity NOW. Don't wait until September rolls around to recharge and revitalize your club and its projects with new members, new enthusiasm, and new ideas. And don't be afraid to extend a warm welcome to those former members who may have the time to participate today that they didn't have years ago. Just ask!

If you have a story to share about a project that your Optimist Club is doing or has done, please send us a note and a photo so that we may share it with others. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Turn your Optimist Club projects into a video and maybe some cash!

Optimist Clubs in the Pacific Northwest, and around the world, have been especially busy this
holiday season. We've tried to highlight a story every day in December and are especially thankful for the club spokespersons who have shared their news. Today we want to encourage them, and their clubs, to do just a little bit more.

What do we want you to do?

We would love to see your club enter the Reel Optimism Video Contest! 

All of the projects that we've just heard about would make great videos highlighting how your Optimist Club makes a difference in youth, community and its members.

The theme for the 2018 Reel Optimism Video Contest is "Living the Creed."

Youth Clubs and Adult Clubs are eligible to participate.

Each category will be awarded one $1,500 prize.

Find out the complete details for writing, producing and submitting your Reel Optimism entry by clicking here. 

Please share your entry with us because the final awards are done by fan voting and we'll help your Optimist Club get the word out. But for now, directors, get busy ... Quiet on the set! Action!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

How to keep friends close at the holidays

The holidays bring families and friends together. They share the events that have happened since  the last time they came together and often tell favorite stories from long ago. They make memories that they will recount in the years to come as they laugh, celebrate, and share optimism.

I believe it is that feeling is what makes the Chilliwack Optimist Club's Circle of Friends Annual
Dance a great success. I wrote about this event earlier this month, and I return to it today because of a note I received from Glenda Standeven. She said:
For the past five years we've held an annual 'Optimist Club of Chilliwack Circles of Friends' fundraiser for kids in our community. We have a live band and this year we had an all night dessert buffet (because who doesn't love dessert?). Tickets are only $20 and tables seat 16 people. Every year we've sold more tickets than the year before. This year we had more than 300 guests and volunteers attend the event! 
pnw optimist clubs
Glenda Standeven
We encourage guests to bring food for the local food bank and new unwrapped toys for Community Services to distribute over Christmas to needy families. We filled three shopping carts with toys and an entire truck with food which made Christmas a lot brighter for so many I'm sure. 
It started off as a small idea five years ago. I invited my close friends to invite their close friends. We had 100 people attend a fun-filled pot-luck event that raised around $2000. The concept really caught on - if you invite 8 or more people we reserve a table with your name on it. Last year we included a full meal and a huge silent auction. We raised $10,000 but, as we are a very small club, it was too much work for our ageing members so this year we kept it simple with a bag draw auction and desserts and a no-host beer/wine bar. Our expenses were minimal and the profits were impressive! $8250 will go a long way to helping kids in need in our community over the next year.
It is so much fun getting circles of friends together for a good cause. Just ask your friends to help out by inviting their friends and family - before you know it you have 300 guests attending - and maybe some new members as a result!
All the best in the New Year fellow Optimists - if you need any tips on how we did it just send me an email
Circles of friends and family are exactly what the holidays are about. I don't think it's much of a stretch to imagine that is what being a part of an Optimist Club is about as well.

Thanks to Glenda Standeven for sharing even more about the Chilliwack Optimist Club annual fundraiser. Read more at the Chilliwack Optimist Club website.

We'd love to hear what is happening in your Optimist Club. Please click to send a note and picture.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas, Optimists and Friends

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From the team at Optimist Clubs in the Pacific Northwest: 
We send simple wishes for a wonderful Christmas Day. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Enjoy a Christmas Eve playlist and share optimism

Are you ready? It's Christmas Eve and your family and friends are looking forward to the annual gathering. Music makes any family affair better and what could be better than a pop playlist of Christmas songs?

Please enjoy Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth, and Ed Sheeran in this fun 20-track offering. Grab a Christmas cookie, a warm beverage, and enjoy.

Of course, if you are a last minute shopper, we encourage you to avoid the crowds, stay right at home and click here to purchase the perfect gift: the gift of optimism.

friend of optimist

A Friend of Optimist membership allows the recipient to share optimism throughout the year, on their own terms. When they want to attend a meeting or event, they can; but they can also stay home and know they are helping children in their community just through their association with the optimism movement. Give that hard-to-buy-for person the gift that makes a difference: make them a Friend of Optimist.

Don't forget! We want to know how you and your Optimist Club are sharing optimism this season. Click here to send a note and picture. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Boise Noon Optimist Club brings Santa and fun to MSTI

This good-looking group came together as the Boise Noon Optimist Club held its annual celebration with MSTI (Mountain States Tumor Institute) at the Christmas Party for children and their families who are receiving cancer treatment.

pnw optimist clubs boise noon

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According to Lisa Peterson, it was an evening of fun and games with food, crafts, Santa, face painting and even a scavenger hunt. Cindi Wall is shown below at a craft table while Stub Clarkson watches on.

pnw optimist clubs boise

Thanks to Lisa Peterson for sharing the news. Click here to visit the Boise Noon Optimist Club Facebook page and check out more photos from the event.

We'd love to know what is happening in your Optimist Club. Please send us a photo and story. Thank you.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Chehalis-Centralia Optimist Club helps light up Fort Borst Park

pnw optimist clubs centralia

Chehalis-Centralia Optimist Club member Monique Connors wrote on her Facebook page, "We saw the sign . We opened up our eyes and saw the sign."

I am pretty sure that is a nod back to the 1990s song "The Sign" by The Ace of Bass. Funny - the name of the album is "Happy Nation" and that is certainly what Fort Borst Park in Centralia, Washington is this Christmas season. With a display of lights, cars loaded with families take a slow drive to experience some of the wonders of the holiday.

We hope they also stop at the Chehalis-Centralia Optimist Club Santa House to see the Big Guy - Santa - to tell him just what is on their wish list this year.

Click here to see some of the pictures uploaded by the club on its Facebook page.  As of this writing, there are 2,812 photos in the Santa House album. Take your time and enjoy. It's almost as if Christmas day will be here before you can say ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!

Please tell us what your Optimist Club is doing this holiday season. Click here to send us a note and photo. Thank you.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

What was he wearing?

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Do the clothes make the man or does the man make the clothes?

Pacific Northwest District Governor-elect Ben DeRemer was in the holiday spirit with reindeer, poinsettias and snowflakes adorning his suit at the Gresham Optimist Club Holiday party.

What a great time to bring out the fine Christmas accessories!

The Optimist Club came together for its annual celebration and each member brought clothing to donate to a local homeless shelter. You see, in an Optimist Club, the gift of sharing goes on at all times.

However, we're told, that Ben has kept his suit to wear on another occasion.

Merry Christmas from the Gresham Optimist Club.

Please tell us what your Optimist Club is doing this holiday season by sending a note and photo here. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Winter junior golf notes

pnw optimist clubs golf

Today's Christmas story offering arrives straight from the Optimist International office and the Optimist Golf program.

We're somewhat familiar with the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. Junior golfers from Optimist Clubs in the PNW District participate in tournaments in British Columbia and Oregon in order to advance to this prestigious, annual event.

Did you know that the Optimist Junior Golf program includes more?

  • There are tournaments held throughout the year with the Optimist Junior Golf Tour. Locations include Myrtle Beach, SC, Fort Worth, TX, Hilton Head Island, SC, Kingsville, ON, and Denver, CO. 
  • There is a Tournament of Champions held in November at the PGA National Resort and Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. 

There are also opportunities for junior golfers to be recognized for scholarship and and service. Junior golfers may apply for two special awards and if selected they will receive an exemption into the 2018 Optimist Championship, tournament entry which includes golf, hotel accommodations and meals, plus a $1,000 scholarship. Please click below for more information:

Junior golfers may be involved in the Optimist International Golf Program even if the local Optimist Club does not participate. However, we encourage you and your Optimist Club to be involved.

Share these great junior golf sportsmanship opportunities with the athletes and others in your community. In the spirit of Christmas, share optimism. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Fifty-three years of Optimist Club Christmas Trees at Portland Peninsula

pnw optimist clubsIn only one week, Santa will be finding his way down your chimney to leave presents under the Christmas tree. Therefore, the most important question today is do you have your Christmas tree?

If the answer is not yet, and you live in the Portland area, we encourage you to head right on over to N. Lombard and N. Chautauqua to the Portland Peninsula Optimist Club Memorial Christmas Tree Lot.

The Portland Peninsula Optimist Club has been selling Christmas trees at this location for 53 years. The great customer service, and even better prices, invite return customers and allow the Optimist Club to provide scholarships for students at Roosevelt High School, and others through the Mary Mock Family Scholarship Award and Theodore Roosevelt Women's Association. According to an Optimist Club spokesperson, more than a $1 million has been awarded through the years.

pnw optimist clubsWe thought we would share some of the testimonials proclaiming what a wonderful tradition the Portland Peninsula Optimist Club Memorial Tree lot is:
David B. said, "This is a great place to buy a wonderful tree for a community cause. The volunteers who run this place were very helpful, loaded my downed tree that had a fresh-cut and was shaking for needles on top of the cart. We will return here every year."
Madelyn A. said, "I own a business just down the street from this place and it's become a tradition to go as a group and pick out our tree here. This was our third year buying a Christmas tree from them, good selection and the people are friendly. Prices were a little higher than what we pay at a tree farm out in Oregon city for our tree (for the house) but maybe that's normal for the city vs the burbs."
pnw optimist clubs

Tuti M. said, "I just got my tree here and everyone was super nice and helpful. It was very organized. We were greeted immediately and notified of the prices. They cut the end, trimmed off the lower branches, shook the excess water off, bound the branches and tied it to my car roof in no time....I couldn't be happier. They even gave me a free sensor to tell me when the tree needs watering."

After Christmas, the Optimist Club works with the Boy Scouts Troop 71 North to recycle Christmas trees and wreaths. The hours for drop-off are December 26-31, 2017 and January 6-7, 2018, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This is another example of a long-running Optimist Club program that has a positive impact on the people the club serves in their local community. Well done, Optimists!

Please tell us what your Optimist Club is doing this holiday season by sending a note and a photo to this link. Thank you.

Photos contributed by the Portland Peninsula Optimist Club. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

This Christmas, PIP Ron Thompson is The Optimist

pnw optimist clubsLinda and Dick Disney hosted the West Tacoma Optimist Club Annual Christmas Potluck on December 17, 2017. Optimist friends came together to share dinner, beverages, and stories of Christmas past and present.

In sharing with the giving season, everyone brought a stuffed animal or toy that will be given to the Tacoma Toy Rescue Mission. One member told a story of how as a child, her family found themselves in an unfortunate situation and a group, much like the Optimist Club was there to provide the one and only present the children received that year. She said she can truly feel the joy and appreciation that any youngster feels when they receive these small tokens for they show that someone is thinking of them and someone cares.

Moving on with a bit of fun and fellowship, also as the season demands, the group was led in a Christmas carol challenge with Past Optimist International President (PIP) Ron Thompson being declared the king of carols.

pnw optimist clubs
For his victory, we believe it was fitting, that the Optimist received a hearty toast with The Optimist beer.

pnw optimist clubs The Optimist

Optimist Clubs serve their communities in many different ways. With a focus on projects that bring out the best in youth, Optimist Club members tirelessly share their positive thoughts and actions to make their cities better places for all to live.

We know that when we do good, we feel good. We give our time, talent, and treasure selflessly, and on occasion we also celebrate one another and the friendships that we have made and will make in our service to others. That's what being an Optimist Club member is all about.

Please consider joining an Optimist Club so that you may feel that connection too.

Click here to find an Optimist Club near you.
Click here if I might help you start a new Optimist Club in your community.
Click here to be a Friend of Optimists.

We would love to hear about what your Optimist Club is doing this holiday season and beyond. Please click here to send us a story and picture. Thank you.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Visit another Optimist Club and find some Christmas cheer

I am a member of an Optimist Club in the Pacific Northwest District and sometimes I visit other Districts and other Optimist Clubs in Optimist International. That was the case on this fine afternoon.

While visiting the Optimist Club of St. Charles, Missouri, I had the opportunity to see the High School Madrigals perform, "Fruitcake."

One of the most important things we do as Optimist Clubs is gather together as a group to share fellowship and learn about our communities so that we can meet its needs with optimism. It's not unusual to hear from various youth groups because, hey, youth is our thing; but it is always extra special to enjoy a performance by the young people in our community. Thank you so much, St. Charles Madrigals, for sharing the Christmas spirit with all of those around you.

If you get the opportunity to visit an Optimist Club away from home, please do. You'll make new friends and learn about new projects and new ways to do regular programs. The Pacific Northwest District includes Optimist Clubs in Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, so a club in this large district may merely travel across a state or provincial line to get a taste of something different. I even remember when it was encouraged to visit other clubs within your own zone or region.

Take a road trip and share optimism. Learn to make your club more effective by discussing programs with others. Call it a research project and make it part of your Optimist Club's strategic plan. I believe it is a project worth completing and it will help your club extend its service well into the future.

Once you've traveled, please take the time to share your experiences with us so that we can enlighten others. Send  us a paragraph or two, and a picture or two and we'll publish it here, on Facebook, and Twitter.

Thank you and enjoy the holidays!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas is for kiddos...and the Albany Optimist Club

pnw optimist clubs
pnw optimist clubsIt's true! Christmas is for kiddos, teens, adults, seniors, and anyone in between; but more than that, I believe that Christmas is for Optimists.

That's Optimist with a big O - the kind of person that brings out the best in youth, community and themselves  - and optimist with the little o - the kind of person that looks for the good in all things.

During the Christmas season, Optimist Club members are especially active in their pursuit to make others happy. They perform more projects, raise more money, and work hands-on with the youth in their communities. That's why I wasn't surprised when the Albany Optimist Club sent in their second activity of the season.

Jack Towns shared the accompanying photos and a few words about their long-time Kid's Shopping Day. 

pnw optimist clubsJack explained the program as follows:
I've been in the club since 1977 and this project was going on at that time. Each Christmas we budget about $1800 and Walmart gives us additional funds, somewhere in the $200-$300 range. 
The Boys & Girls club provides a list of families. We then invite a child in the family to shop with us.   
We buy a gift for that child and he/she in turn finds gifts for his siblings and mom and dad. Last year it included 15 families. 
Following the shopping adventure, we are provided a space to wrap the gifts and soda pop and cookies are provided.
What a wonderful tradition created and performed by the Albany Optimist Club! 

Photos (top to bottom): Lori Stewart and shopping friend; Andrea Hampl and friends wrapping presents; Darlene and Dave Chambers helping their friend with a big decision. 

We would love to hear more about your Optimist Club. Please send us a note and a picture or two of a project that your Optimist Club has performed this holiday season. Thank you.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Are Optimist Club members enthusiastic?

Nick Prillaman, President, Optimist International has been sharing a video message once per week since October 1, 2017. He calls the series "Notes from Nick."

This week he talks about enthusiasm. "Enthusiasm is contagious," he says. "There is no greater predictor of success."

The holiday season is one of the times each year when we see enthusiasm from almost every Optimist Club member. At this time, members live the motto of the Optimist International organization - they are true Friends of Youth. President Nick calls it enthusiasm.

Others might call it passion.

Some might call it caring.

And still some others might call it service: service to youth, community and ourselves. We bring out the best when we give of ourselves in service through an Optimist Club.

We invite you to join an Optimist Club. Click to find a club near you and join today. If you can't find one near you, please send me a note and I will help you get one started in your community.

Click here to find an Optimist Club near you.
Click here if I might help you start a new Optimist Club in your community.
Click here to be a Friend of Optimists.

We would love to hear about your Optimist Club projects. Please click here to send us a story and picture. Thank you.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

400 pancakes, please

The Coquitlam Optimist Club has been elfing around again! 

This week they were at the Porter Street Elementary School where they prepared and served pancakes and turkey sausages to four hundred students and their parents.

Hitomi Nunatani organized the event and invited the Coquitlam Optimist Club to participate.

Optimist Club members Annette Smith, Peter Smith, Earl Pollock and Hal Griffin were joined by Coquitlam Junior Curlers Darren Kent, Conner Kent, Emily Eisner and Kate Eisner, and Optimist Friends Allison Pesch and Gaynor Hagyard. 

Thanks to Hal Griffin for the story and pictures. He says, "Merry Christmas to all!"

Please click on the photos to enlarge.

Please tell us what your Optimist Club is doing this holiday season so we can share your good deeds here, on Facebook and Twitter. Click to send a story and picture. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

No more Christmas trees?

In a note from Meridian Optimist Club secretary Bill Garcia received on Monday, we learned that the Meridian Optimist Club Christmas Tree sales lot was closed. Why? They sold out of Christmas trees!

In what is perhaps the earliest date I remember, the Meridian Optimist Club sold its last Christmas tree of the 2017 holiday season on Saturday, December 9.

Sales are generally more brisk when the weather cooperates, making it easier and more comfortable for shoppers to visit. The economy helps as well, when there is more disposable income to purchase a tree from a service organization and make a donation to to youth-serving projects in the community by doing so.

And it doesn't hurt that the Meridian Optimist Club Christmas Tree lot gets a number of return customers: people who have purchased an Optimist Christmas Tree for many seasons. Just listen to one of their return customers, Meteorologist Larry Gebert, as he announced the sales on air, as he does every year, for the club.

pnw optimist clubs Meridian
Click to watch the video

Bill singled out a few of the hard workers this year with a big thank you to the Farnsworth family and Justin Wagner who were there every day with sales. Well done, Meridian Optimists!

We'd love to hear what your Optimist Club is doing this season. Please click here to send a picture and a story. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Albany Optimist Club celebrates service at its holiday party

albany optimist clubSome Optimist Club use their holiday parties to celebrate the accomplishments of their members through the year. That's what the Optimist Club of Albany, Oregon did at their Christmas Social December 3, 2017.

Being recognized for service to the club and community were:

  • Grady Silverthorne - in recognition of his outstanding service for the past, present, and future 
  • Jim Stom - in recognition of his outstanding leadership as President 2015/2016 and 2017/2018

albany optimist clubA very special honor was bestowed upon one member of the club, the man who writes the bulletin every other week and keeps communication flowing among the members.

Jack Towns was recognized as Mr. Optimist for 2017-2018.
Thanks and praise given to him for his dedication and

service to the Albany Optimist Club.

Among other things, at the Christmas dinner, the club members enjoyed seeing folks they don't usually see at the noon meetings, namely, the spouses. Read more at the Brush & Bucket Bulletin.

Many cheers for the season and congratulations are in order to the dedicated members of the Albany Optimist Club.

Thanks to Jack Towns for sharing the story.

We would love to hear what your Optimist Club is doing this holiday season and beyond. Please click here to send us a picture and a story. Thank you.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Santa House is open in Centralia, Washington

pnw optimist clubsWe are so excited to share that the Santa House is open!

Where: Fort Borst Park, Centralia, Washington

When: December 8 -24, 2017, Hours 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day

Price: The Santa House is free, donations are accepted. The park also has a light show and it costs $3 for a tour, waived with a canned food donation.

For many years, the Santa House was a project of the Auburn Optimist Club. On the dissolution of that club, the Auburn members gave the house to the Centralia-Chehalis Optimist Club enabling them to step in and bring Santa to another city in Washington.

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Congratulations, and thank you, to the Chehalis-Centralia Optimist Club for bringing this tradition to your community.

Seeing Santa and enjoying the lights and wonder of the season brings joy to mothers, fathers, grandparents, Optimists, and most especially, the children, both naughty and nice.

Take a look at the impact the Santa House has already had by looking at the hundreds of photos shared on the Chehalis-Centralia Optimist Club page on Facebook. Here is a sample of the smiles you'll find there.

centralia-chehalis pnw optimist clubs

Thank you to the Chehalis-Centralia Optimist Club for sharing the photos and story.

We would love to hear what your Optimist Club is doing this season. Please click here to send us a picture or two.  Thank you!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Lebanon Optimists take honors in the Twilight Parade 2017

Christmas parades are lighting up communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. In Lebanon, Oregon, with the creativity of Weezy DeVinny, the Optimist Club was front and center at the parade and in this video.

In a note from Tina DeVinny, we learned:
My mother Louise DeVinny, who is the representative for The Optimist Club in Lebanon, did a float this year. With the help of Randy Sloniecki, they created a one-of-a kind float. 
Santa's Workshop was the highlight of the parade. It was adorned with red & white lights, red poinsettia's, stuffed bears and toys, mini fireplace and little children bursting with joy.
My mother was the guy in the red suit & white beard... Shhhhhh! Hope you've been good this year, lol.
Well done, Weezy, Randy and Lebanon Optimists. They won two trophies for their Christmas spirit!

We'd love to hear what your Optimist Club is doing this Christmas. Please send us a note and a picture and publish it right here and share on social networks. Thanks!

Thanks to Tina DeVinny for the story and video. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Join an Optimist Club. It may lead to a more prosperous life

Every Optimist Club has a favorite project and many of them claim that the days between
Thanksgiving and the New Year is their favorite time of the year. During the holidays, there are multiple ways that Optimist Club members connect with their target audience: children. From food drives, to parades, parties, and presents around the tree, Optimist Club members are willing to serve. The trouble is, there aren't enough Optimist Club members to do as much as we really want to do.

At the holiday season, when we come in contact with so many people, it is especially important to keep the open sign front and center so that potential new members know that they are welcome to join an Optimist Club.

pnw optimist clubsIt is also important to let them know, at this most commercial time of the year, that joining an Optimist Club is as good a business decision as it is a personal commitment. Optimist Clubs support relationships because when we gather together as club members to do good in our communities, we form friendships, and we develop mutual business interests and connections.

When I first joined an Optimist Club, the business relationship was a central point of interest for all of the members. Somewhere over the last twenty years, that has been forgotten, and sometimes even discouraged.

I'm here to tell you that when we accept that our  personal lives are intertwined with our careers and the service we offer to others, it will lead to more fulfilling, peaceful, and prosperous lives.

The takeaway from this post is proudly shared as Membership Retention and Recruitment Tip #52*:
Help members connect with one another. Since the beginning of time, individuals have come together in groups for safety, socialization, knowledge, and commerce. As they conversed with one another, perhaps around the campfire, they discovered those whose knowledge or skills they respected, those from whom they could learn, and those who needed their help. When we gather together in groups today, we have the opportunity to learn these same things, but we must direct the effort for connection. Encourage members to share information about their hobbies and careers in addition to sharing their commitment to their community and business relationships will arise and friendships will grow.

*Once a month, I share a membership retention and recruitment tip on the PNW Optimist Clubs page on Facebook. That's right, this makes the 52nd month in a row. Thanks for reading!

We would love to hear what your Optimist Club is doing this holiday season and throughout the year.  Please click here to send us photos and a story.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Boise Noon Optimist Club parties to benefit the Hays Shelter Home

The Boise Noon Optimist Club held its annual Christmas Party on December 3, 2017 and following tradition, it hosted a silent auction to purchase gifts for the children at Hays Shelter Home. Families and friends of Optimist Club members were on hand to to enjoy the games, food, raffle items, dessert raffle and new this year, a baker's dessert contest.

pnwoptimistClub secretary Lisa Peterson shared pictures of the top three decorated cakes all with an adorable Winnie the Pooh theme.

She also proudly proclaimed that $2,300 was raised for their goal. Now that's how to start the season off with optimism!

Thanks to Lisa Peterson for photos.

We would love to hear what your Optimist Club is doing this holiday season. Please click here to send us photos and a story.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

What makes an Optimist Club special?

The Optimist Club of Chilliwack has been performing good deeds in its community since 1987. That's thirty years of paying it forward at Christmas and beyond.

Recently, I found this video online and decided to share it today as a Throwback Thursday. Recorded in July 2015 for Shaw TV, Optimist Club member Coralee Lord Holmes explains what an Optimist Club is and why she is a member.

She says, "We do magic for people." 💖

Please enjoy the video and if you live in or near Chilliwack, BC, join the Optimist Club and help make a difference.

According to Coralee, the Chilliwack Optimist Club  is special because people care enough to share their personality, ideas, and magic. Click here to get started. 

In December, we hope to share a story of optimism every day. Please click here to share a picture or video and tell us what is special about your Optimist Club.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Circles of Friends come together with the Chilliwack Optimist Club

There were 250 tickets available when Chilliwack Optimist Club member Glenda Standeven posted the 5th Annual Optimist Circles of Friends - Dessert & Dance Night on Facebook. With more than a week to go, they were sold out so they opened up places for 50 more to attend and sold out again. With that kind of enthusiasm, the Chilliwack Optimist Club once again made a difference in their community, in the lives of members and their circles of friends, and ultimately the youth they serve.

In addition to a great audience, there was a band, a silent auction, wonderful desserts and the spirit of the season, all which will help the Optimist Club move forward in the coming year.

Please enjoy the photos provided by Coralee Lord Holmes and the Optimist Club of Chilliwack on Facebook.

Well done, Optimists!

We would love to hear what your Optimist Club is doing for the holiday season this year. It's our hope that we will have at least one Optimist Club story each day this month to share. Please send us a picture and story now. Thank you. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Optimist Club meetings are good for your health

This may sound rather simple, but sometimes the best thing an Optimist Club can do is get its members together to socialize. After all, according to Jane Brody in the New York Times,  "social interaction is a critically important contributor to good health and longevity."

Don't believe Jane, or me, read up on the scientifically reviewed article "Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy."

Optimist Clubs provide a consistent opportunity for friends and colleagues to get together, share information and optimism, and when appropriate, work together to make their communities great places to live.

Some Optimist Clubs meet during mealtimes; others meet for beverages or desserts, and some just gather for about an hour or so for a meeting. In this fast and busy world we live in, where social media is popular, there are even some clubs that primarily meet online. Any of these models are okay, but if you get the chance to get together, we highly encourage it.

Remember, going to an Optimist Club meeting - and socializing with others - is good for your community and you. Just ask this crew in the picture, members of the Optimist Club of Hillsboro, Oregon. They're saying "hi!" and "Merry Christmas!" They're probably also saying, "Join an Optimist Club!" Can't you just hear them?

hillsboro optimist club

Thanks to Jack Thornton for the photo. We'd love to hear what your Optimist Club is doing this holiday season. Please click here to send us a picture and story.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Breakfast with Santa and the Coquitlam Optimist Club

pnwd optimist clubsOn Saturday, December 2, 2017, in Coquitlam, British Columbia, the Coquitlam Optimist Club welcomed the holiday season with its favorite Breakfast with Santa program.

According to the club's Facebook page, curling club members also got into the action, making pancakes for the Sparks, Brownies, Beavers and Cubs, and Santa, too.

breakfast with santa

In addition to breakfast, the club also sponsored a food drive.

Thanks to the Coquitlam Optimist Club for the photos. We'd love to hear what your Optimist Club is doing this holiday season. Please click here to send us a picture and story.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Gresham Optimists hold Shop with a Cop

An annual favorite for the Gresham Optimist Club took place on Saturday, December 3, 2017 at the Gresham Fred Meyers. What was it?

Shop with a Cop! 

Gresham Optimist Club Shop with a Cop

Each year, Gresham Optimist Club members pair some deserving kiddos up with local law enforcement officers and help them shop for Christmas gifts. Twenty officers participated in this Shop with a Cop event. The officers and club members always comment that they have to remind the children to buy something for themselves because they always buy for others first.

This year, in addition to hosting the shopping party, Fred Meyers provided snacks for the shoppers.

Gresham Optimist Club member Judith Hillend summed up the experience by saying, "The children were so delightful and police officers so generous with their time and wisdom. The kids truly got their wishes. I am so grateful to be an Optimist."

Thanks to Jean Jensen for the photo. We would love to hear your Optimist Club story of kindness. Please send a note and picture here. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Roseburg Optimist Club helps bring Christmas to Douglas County

The Roseburg Optimist Club kicked off the 2017 holiday season with a $1,000 donation to C4KDC.org - Christmas for Kids Douglas County.

Shown in the picture are Optimist Club President Debbie Reilly and Dale Pritchett, coordinator of C4KDC.org.

pnwoptimist roseburg

Serving the Douglas County area, including Reedsport, Glendale and Drain, Oregon, the C4KDC.org helps ensure that children will have a Christmas gift they my not have otherwise received. According to its website, its mission aligns well with Optimist International's purpose of serving youth and community:
Christmas for Kids of Douglas County is a non-profit organization that paired with the help of generous and caring people will reach every underprivileged child, bringing Christmas spirit to their home and those they love. We, at Christmas for Kids of Douglas County, through caring, hard work, and determination will make it our personal goal to see that every available resource is utilized to ensure a wonderful holiday season for all.

Photo and story from Peter Sudduth. We would love to hear your Optimist Club story of kindness. Please send a note and picture here. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Optimist Clubs practice kindness

Action for Happiness, an organization in Great Britain, has created a month-long calendar with suggestions for how to be kind in December. It's first thought is to share this calendar.

As Optimist Clubs are known for sharing kindness throughout the year, and especially during the Christmas season, we are looking for a daily dose of optimism to share with our readers.

Please send a picture and small note of an activity your Optimist Club is conducting or has conducted this month and we'll post it here, on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you, Optimist Club members, for all that you do to bring out the best in youth, community and yourself.

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