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Thursday, November 8, 2018

An incentive to recruit young professionals

pnw optimist clubs 30
Every Optimist Club should plan for growth. Adding new members to our clubs is how we accomplish our mission of bringing out the best in youth, our communities, and ourselves. New members bring ideas, energy, and even more new members. All together, they generate the funding that is needed to operate our programs and share optimism with the world.

The Optimist International Membership Committee has created a membership recruitment calendar that it recommends be used to target individuals each month. This month, for November, the suggestion is to recruit young professionals.

Furthermore, it recommends using the popular "30 and under for $30" program.

What is it?

The $30 under 30 program lets Optimist Clubs add members who are 30 years of age or younger to their club roster for only $30 for the first year. There are no administration fees and no district dues to be paid for the new members who are added under this program. Please click to enlarge the photo to learn more.

The incentive allows young adult members to experience the positive force of an Optimist Club without a financial impact. Our hope is they renew at the end of the first year, and for many years to follow.

Please add this resource to your Optimist Club's membership recruitment plan and help Optimist International make a difference in your community for another 100 years.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

It's time to come home

We typically share a membership recruitment and retention tip on Facebook on the second Saturday of the month. This tip has such a great offer from Optimist International that we couldn't wait. We had to share today!

Membership retention and recruitment tip #63: Welcome past members with open arms. 

homecoming optimist club memberTimes change and so do the commitments and interests of those who once belonged to your Optimist Club. It’s important to always keep the door open for your past members to return. 

Unless they asked to be removed, keep them on a special event mailing list and touch base with them occasionally to see how they are doing. Ask past members to help with projects that were interesting to them and to attend social activities with the group. 

In time, some may ask to rejoin. Don’t be pushy, but don’t be afraid to ask them to return. You never know when the time is right for them to say, “Yes!” 

Right now, through September 30, 2019, it’s even easier with the special Homecoming offer from Optimist International. Past members can rejoin ANY Optimist Club for only $30.00. Now that's a membership recruitment and retention tip worth sharing with all. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Scholarship Contests, oh my!

It's true!

Perhaps the easiest projects for an Optimist Club to hold are the communications programs for which Optimist International is known. What are they?

The Scholarship Contests

There are three contests that start at the Optimist Club level that lead students to $2,500 scholarship awards and one can lead to as much as $22,500!

All are outlined in handy club-level planning guides accessible through the links below.

The topic for the 2018-2019 Optimist International Essay Contest is "When All the World’s Problems are Solved, is Optimism Still Necessary?"
Download the entry form.

The topic for the 2018-2019 Optimist International Oratorical World Championships is “Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?” 
Download the entry form.

The topic for the 2018-2019 Optimist International Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH)  is “Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?”
Download the entry form.

There is also a program for younger students preparing to enter the Oratorical World Championships called Kids Speak Out. Optimist Clubs may choose the topic for this contest.

New Rules

There are new rules in place regarding the Optimist International Oratorical Contest. The biggest change is that students who have won second or third place scholarships at the District level are now eligible to return to competition. Only students who have placed first at a District level competition are ineligible to participate.
Read all the rules changes here.

In the Pacific Northwest District the following guidelines must be observed:

  • Optimist Clubs must submit their winning essay to the District Chairperson by February 28, 2018
  • There will be no zone contests for the Oratorical or CCDHH. Regional contests will be held for the Oratorical Contest and the CCDHH at the same time.  The dates of the regional contests are Oregon - March 9, 2019; Idaho - March 16, 2019; Washington and Alaska - March 23, 2019; British Columbia - March 30, 2019. 
  • Two contestants from each state in the Oratorical and CCDHH contests will advance to the District competition on April 12, 2019. 
Questions regarding the competitions should be addressed to the lieutenant governor in each zone. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Marching with optimism

optimist international michigan marching band
Photo from 1973, Michigan v Illinois, Ann Arbor, MI. 
Many Optimist Club members and their respective Optimist Clubs are thinking about the Centennial. As Optimist International celebrates its first 100 years of service, everyone wants to get in on the party.

We shared this photo on Facebook (post embedded below) today as a Throwback Thursday memory, and wow, has it created some interest, including International President Rebecca Butler Mona who said, "Love this! Definitely worth seeing if it could be done again... anyone know how this was arranged in 1973? #Optimist100 #PromiseYourself"

So we're asking colleagues, friends, and alumni near and far, does your alma mater want to show some Optimist pride? Let us know what it might take to get a college band marching with optimism.

We'd sure love to share a new marching band photo for the Centennial Celebration!

Photo credit: Of Dreams and Deeds

Monday, October 15, 2018

Register today for the First Quarter 2018-2019 PNW Optimist District Meeting

pnw district optimist registration
The first quarter district meeting for the PNW District will be held November 16-18, 2018 at the Clover Island Inn in Kennewick, Washington. We're excited to let you know the registration is now live.

Governor Ben DeRemer welcomes all Optimist Club members and officers to be there as a renewed strategic plan for the PNW District is put to work.  Governor Ben hopes to provide extra support to Optimist Clubs with special attention from an enlarged cadre of lieutenant governors and an increased number of zones. Register today for the meeting so you may learn how your Optimist Club will benefit from the extra attention.

Joining the PNW District at this first meeting will be Tracy Huxley, Certified Optimist International Trainer, and TG Thomas, West Region Vice President-Optimist International. Both will share education and training tips including how the organization will celebrate its first 100 years.

We'll publish the full agenda when it becomes available. For now, here are the links to the minutes from the PNW District Convention:
Executive Committee | District Board Meeting

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Please register online now. 

Or click here to print and mail your registration form: https://goo.gl/sXnbKH.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Pin one on for new members

Immediate Past Governor Bruce Gilbertson visited the Lebanon Optimist Club today to recognize Michelle Steinhebel for sharing optimism with other members of her community. Michelle has recruited five new members who are now part of the Lebanon Optimist Club and the PNW District- Optimist International.

Recognizing Optimist Clubs and their members is one of the perks of being a district leader and you can tell from Bruce's smile that he is enjoying the moment.

Michelle is currently serving as Vice President of the Lebanon Optimist Club. Thanks, Michelle, for bringing others to our positive way of life.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Happy Optimist New Year!

Starting your Optimist Club's year off on the right foot means you are thinking of growth, service, and optimism. In Optimist International's Centennial Year, International President Rebecca Butler Mona suggests adding a celebration to your club's plans.

Listen to President Rebecca's first video message here.

Read more about the Centennial Celebration opportunities here.

Plan to join the PNW District - Optimist International at the First Quarter District meeting November 16-17, 2018 in Kennewick, Washington. Registration will open soon.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Promise yourself in 2018-2019

And with a blink of the eye, a new Optimist Club administrative year has begun.

pnwoptimist Sometimes I wonder if the days are getting shorter because September 30 seems to arrive before we've had the chance as an Optimist Club to do all that we want to do. However, the good news is that on October 1, we wake up and do it all over again. Why do we do that? Why do we start our calendar of projects all over again? Because:

  • We make a difference in our communities as we do projects that are needed to make our neighborhoods welcoming places to call home. 
  • We make a difference with youth as we coordinate activities with a special emphasis on those that impact children in a positive way. 
  • We make a difference in our lives and the lives of those around us as we live the way the Optimist Creed inspires us to do. 

Being an Optimist Club member is a way to share optimism with others. For 100 years, Optimist Club members have been looking for the best, working for the best and expecting only the best. As Optimist International's Centennial year begins, we invite you, here in the Pacific Northwest District and around the world to promise yourself to celebrate with us as we invest in the future of Optimist Clubs in the Pacific Northwest.

Thanks to Governor Bruce Gilbertson for his leadership in 2017-2018.

Best wishes to Governor Ben DeRemer for what we imagine will be a fantastic year to come.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Announce your Outstanding Optimist (please)

Has your Optimist Club named someone as an Outstanding Optimist this year?

An Outstanding Optimist is a member of your club or your community that has gone above and beyond in service to others or has provided hope or funding for your club or community to accomplish its goals.

The purposes of recognizing an Outstanding Optimist are quite simple. In addition to giving a well-earned pat on the back to a deserving individual, your Optimist Club may use the opportunity to advance the goals of Optimist International by publishing the award in your local newspaper and on social media. Sharing the optimistic news builds awareness and affinity for your Optimist Club and its causes.

To put it more succinctly, it gets your name out there and as you know, Optimist Clubs need more name recognition.

Plus, awarding someone for doing good in the club or community is a requirement for Honor Club.

Please report your award winner to Optimist International with this form by September 30. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Report your Optimist Club Pride (please)

At the end of every administrative year, Optimist International asks its Optimist Clubs to report on the activities with which they have been involved throughout the year. The report, available to complete online at www.optimistleaders.org, is called the Club Pride Report.

It may also be downloaded as a PDF form here: Club Pride Report.

The Club Pride Report helps clubs identify the steps they have taken to reach Distinguished or Honor Club and it allows the parent organization to combine the activities of its clubs into data that can be shared with others. How do you think we know that each member touches the lives of 35 children each year? Numbers like that are collected along with the number of projects and types of projects that each Optimist Club performs annually to make their community and our world a better place to live.

This is a call to all club presidents to complete the Club Pride Report at your earliest convenience. If you are not a club president, get ahold of your club officers and remind them that this is important. We would like to see it completed by September 30 each year. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

We must take action

TG Thomas
It's been one month since the PNW District Optimist Clubs came together at the 2018 District Convention. Hosted by the Lebanon Optimist Club, it was a splendid event. The Lebanon Optimists shared information about their community and their club and their Optimist pride was easy to see. 

Glenda StandevenDuring the weekend, we had the opportunity to hear from TG Thomas, the official representative from Optimist International and incoming vice president of the West Region. TG led the officers-elect training and gave a presentation about membership growth, relating the need to volunteer to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. As Maslow indicated, once the basic needs of personal well-being and security are met, individuals seek to belong and rise to find a sense of accomplishment and prestige among their peers. Only then do they move on to self-actualization where they try to achieve their full potential through creative activities, among other things. Imagine the last two stages: can't both be achieved by belonging to an Optimist Club? 

In a very inspirational presentation, we also heard from a fellow Optimist Club member and incoming president of the Chilliwack Optimist Club, Glenda Standeven. Glenda is a cancer survivor who has used her experience to author the book, "I am Choosing to Smile." She shared her story about learning her diagnosis, having her leg and hip amputated, and adjusting to her new lifestyle. Her key message was that we make choices every day about how we are to live. For her, choosing to smile is a mantra and the way she encourages herself to take action every day. 

To illustrate her point, Glenda lit the candle that can be seen on the podium in the picture to the right. Channeling "The Secret," she asked the audience to will the candle to extinguish. As persons with a positive mindset, the audience tried with all their might to fulfill Glenda's wish, but alas, they could not. Then Glenda said, "As optimists, we can hope. As realists, we realize we have to take action to make our goals happen."

Yes, indeed. To achieve our goals for ourselves, for our communities, for the youth, and for our Optimist Clubs, we must take action today. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Optimism looks good on you

Optimist International is celebrating its 100th anniversary. From the July 2018 International Convention to the International Convention in 2019, Optimist Clubs and their members are invited to do the same.

One easy way to show your pride is to share the 100th Anniversary logo and slogan, "Bringing out the best into the next century" via your Facebook profile picture.

Give it a try! Optimism looks good on you.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

What's an Honor Club?

Optimist International measures the success of its Optimist Clubs based on one achievement:
Honor Club.

The Honor Club award means that an Optimist Club is managing itself in a way that will help it succeed far into the future.

Earning Honor Club helps your Optimist Club create its legacy and ensures that Optimist International can move forward into the second century of service. 

Earning Honor Club means hope for the future.

The Honor Club criteria are set forth by the Optimist International Board of Directors in Policy ICD-135.  They are:
  1. Complete three or more service projects each year 
  2. Complete the Club Pride Report and Club Officer-Elect Report 
  3. Recognize a Club member or local community individual 
  4. Grow Club by Net of +3 in membership
  5. Appoint a Club Foundation Representative and make a non-restricted contribution to the OIF or CCOF 
  6. Conduct a Membership Recruitment/Drive (i.e. NOW) Program 
  7. Club President or Club President-Elect (or two Designees) attend District Convention (or two other District meetings/conferences) 
  8. Be current on District and OI Dues and Fees
Optimist Clubs that demonstrate a further commitment to growth are called Distinguished Optimist Clubs

Earning Distinguished Optimist Club helps Optimist International create its legacy.

The Distinguished Club criteria are set forth by the Optimist International Board of Directors in Policy ICD-135. In addition to earning an Honor Club recognition, they must also:
  1. Meet Honor Club requirements
  2. Add Net + 15 in membership OR Build one or more new Clubs OR Increase by Net + 8 and build two or more JOOI Clubs
With 30 days remaining in the Optimist International administrative year, it's time to focus on making the first century of optimism the best it can be. Won't you finish the year strong and start the celebration of 100 years of Optimism as an Honor or Distinguished Optimist Club?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Guarantee satisfaction in your Optimist Club

Is it time for a membership retention and recruitment tip again? Of course, it is. With this idea, this once-a-month suggestion has completed five years of publication. I hope you like it!

Membership retention and recruitment tip #60: Give a money back guarantee.

I recently bought a pair of slippers online. I wanted the slippers and had been looking everywhere for them. Sadly, when they arrived, they did not feel good on my feet. They were tight and a tad short and the top didn’t come as far down on my foot as I would like and...you get the picture. Even though they were something I had wanted for months, I hadn’t tried them on and when I did, they did not work, so I had to return them. Fortunately, the business made the return process simple. 

Club memberships should work the same way. People are curious about what service clubs do and often they are interested in being associated with the people who belong to such organizations, but they are sometimes hesitant to join because they don’t want to spend money on something that isn’t a good fit for them at the time. That’s where a money back guarantee comes into play. 

Ask potential members to give your club a try and if they are not satisfied in 90 days, let them know you’ll refund their investment, no questions asked. Then make it a priority to help the new recruit become a fully involved member so that they want to stay.

Being involved in a cause helps one develop loyalty. Loyalty leads to commitment and commitment leads to passion. All are desirable traits for member retention and all make it easier to attract more people to the cause. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Hope and a positive vision to bring out the best

Bringing out the best is a popular catchphrase that reminds every Optimist Club member of the fifth line of the Optimist Creed where we promise to think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Bringing out the best in ourselves, our communities, and the youth we serve has been part of our way of life since the organization was formally organized in 1919. Bringing out the best is what Optimist Club members do every day because when we work to bring out the best in others and ourselves, we foster hope and share a positive vision.

Please enjoy this look at 100 years of optimism as Optimist Clubs around the world launch the 100th Anniversary Celebration.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Notes from the 2018 PNW District - Optimist International Convention

The PNW District - Optimist International Convention has come to a close. It was perhaps the most incredible show of hospitality that I have ever seen from a hosting club and community. Kudos and thanks are due the Lebanon Optimist Club and the City of Lebanon, Oregon.

Twenty-six Lebanon Optimist Club members were pre-registered for the convention and more attended specific events including the Friday activities of a train excursion and barbecue with a terrific string band held at the Academy Park, home to the fabulous gazebo commissioned by the Lebanon Optimist Club and donated to the city.

lebanon optimists clubThe activities began with the Thursday morning golf outing at Trysting Tree Golf Club with fifteen golfers, aka early arrivers to the convention. Some early arrivals attended the Lebanon Optimist Club meeting, held every Thursday at noon, while others came together to discuss the Oratorical and CCDHH processes meeting as a task force created during the third quarter board meeting. The executive committee and dinner followed.

Governor Bruce Gilbertson presided at the Opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. where we met many enthusiastic first-timers, seventeen of them from Lebanon. We also met TG Thomas, VP-elect of the West Coast Region, as he gave greetings from Optimist International as the International Representative and Jerry Deas, the governor-elect of the PNW Kiwanis District.

Gary Marks, Lebanon City Manager and Lebanon Optimist Club member, gave a very heartfelt welcome to the group, highlighting the city's economic development efforts that include Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine, a veteran's home, and the convention center, and other things, all within walking distance of the beautiful Boulder Falls Inns, our location for the weekend.

Gary explained that he is Chairman of the United States Mint Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and a coin design artist. He told the story of how he designed an Optimist coin, using the tenet from the Optimist Creed, "To look at the sunny side of everything and give every living creature you meet a smile," as inspiration. Totally surprising all attendees, Gary gave each person a coin to take home as a souvenir of the weekend, and a way to remind us of our optimism as a token to carry in our pocket or purse.

In a brief candlelight ceremony, Robin Stanhope gave a remembrance to nine Optimist Club members who had passed since the last convention and the party adjourned for the evening.

Friday was, as always, training day for incoming officers. TG Thomas led the Optimist Club officer session in the morning and gave an introductory presentation at the member luncheon. Additional training was held in the afternoon before attending the Friday activities expertly planned and led by the Lebanon Optimist Club and highlighted by the Wild Hog String Band.

pnwdoptimistSaturday started out with an Old Timer's gathering. Apparently, the newbies took the title at its word as the old-timers were the audience for a delightful look at the history of Lebanon.

The Convention/Business Session had the attendees review four separate policy amendments. Two were suggested and passed to bring the District Policies in line with the Optimist International Bylaws. Issue 1 removed extraneous wording by acknowledging that lieutenant governors and assistant governors are part of the executive committee as are the governor, governor-elect/designate, and secretary/treasurer. Issue 2 followed the Optimist International amendment stating that those holding offices must be Optimist Club members and those advancing to the office of governor-elect must have served a full-term as Optimist Club president.

Issue 3 was suggested and approved in order to fully realize the membership incentives offered by Optimist International. For example, if an incentive offers an introductory fee of $30, as does the teachers' incentive or $30 or under 30, the District will not expect or bill the District dues which would increase the membership fee over the advertised amount.

Issue 4 had those assembled look at a $4 dues increase. Bringing both pro and con rebuttals to the podium, the dues increase proposal failed. District dues for Optimist Club members in the PNW District will continue to be $18.

Probably because he is doing such a great job in the role, Governor-elect Ben DeRemer was elected to a second term as governor-elect. For the first time ever, the PNW District will have an individual repeat in the role of the governor: Ben will serve as governor 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.

pnwdoptimistWith the business of the District completed, the group moved to a luncheon where it heard an inspirational message from Chilliwack Optimist Club member, a cancer survivor, and author Glenda Standeven. Sponsor pins were given to those who had sponsored new members since the last meeting and the audience enjoyed the Centennial video produced by Optimist International before moving forward to an afternoon of Optimist Club bragging at the club project sharing session and roundtable discussions.

The Lebanon Optimist Club's hospitality continued to shine as a fantastic Governor's Banquet was held complete with a bagpiper, professional singer, and the Albany Swing Band.

Many thanks to all involved in the production of this enthusiastic gathering of the PNW District - Optimist International. It was a five-star affair. Thank you.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The West Tacoma Optimist Club offers pancakes once every year

Pancake breakfasts continue to be a popular fundraising effort for service clubs around the world and that holds true in the Tacoma, Washington area. For over 25 years, the West Tacoma Optimist Club has offered up pancakes on the first Saturday in August as a way to raise support for its club, both in revenues and participation. The annual event includes a silent auction and book sale.

While attendance may not be the same as when started so many years ago, the enthusiasm is just as great and while the club members catch up with many loyal community member attendees, they also have fun, sharing stories with one another and hatching up new ideas for programs in the coming new year. This short video is just a sample of the fellowship that the West Tacoma Optimist Club members offer to those who might wish to join their ranks. If you are interested in being an Optimist volunteer in Tacoma or elsewhere, please find a club at this link, visit it, and join!

Friday, July 27, 2018

TG Thomas will represent Optimist International at 2018 PNW District Convention

pnw optimist clubs
TG Thomas, or Dr. Tom as he is widely known, is a proud member of an Optimist Club. How do I know? His Facebook profile picture, shared at the right, says so.

Dr. Tom is also the Vice President-designate for the West Coast Region, Optimist International. He will visit the PNW District as the International Representative in Lebanon, Oregon, August 9-11, 2018.

Dr. Tom is an accomplished Optimist Club and District leader. He led the Pacific Southwest District to be a Distinguished District in 2012-2013 and earned the recognition of Outstanding Governor of the Region, a recognition determined by overall growth.

In addition to being an advocate for growth, Dr. Tom is health conscious and has sparked initiatives in his home district to help improve the children's health and reduce childhood obesity. He will share some of his ideas as part of the leadership training and motivation that will be provided at the convention.

Please be sure and register, if you haven't already. Reduced prices are available until August 3, 2018. Hurry! We can't wait to meet you!

Monday, July 23, 2018

See you in Lebanon for the 2018 PNW District - Optimist International Convention

Read about the Lebanon Optimist Club in The Optimist.
(click to enlarge)
Currently, with 93 members, the Lebanon Optimist Club is nearing the 100-mark on its membership roster. It takes enthusiasm and purpose to meet the expectations of that many people in a small community. In my mind, that means the Lebanon Optimist Club has tricks it can share with other Optimist Clubs about member recruitment and retention. You and other members of your Optimist Club can learn from the Lebanon Optimists first-hand by attending this year's PNW District - Optimist International Convention.

It is taking place August 9-11, 2018 at the Premier Boulder Falls Best Western, 505 Mullins Drive, and Lebanon Convention Center, 605 Mullins Drive, Lebanon, Oregon.

Meeting members of the Lebanon Optimist Club is just the beginning of the exciting weekend that is planned. The Lebanon Optimists are taking their hosting duties seriously and according to District Secretary/Treasurer Mary White and Convention Co-Chair Weezie Devinny, the excitement begins Thursday morning with a golf outing for the early arrivals.

The opening session, Thursday evening, will feature a performance from Lebanon's Dance School for entertainment and a professional singer performing the Star Spangled Banner and Oh Canada. (Rumor has it the singer is Weezie's twin brother!) Presentation of the flags will be conducted by the Dalas Cadets.

Following a day of training for club and district officers-elect, the Lebanon Optimists will take the group on an adventure to Sweet Home via the Santiam Excursion Trains.  After the 1.5-hour trip, at about 6:00 p.m., attendees will gather at Optimist Gazebo in Academy Square for a barbecue and entertainment by the Wild Hog String Band. Community members will likely join the group for the evening entertainment as this is a public facility.

Saturday features the district board of directors meeting and election of the governor-elect 2018-2019. There will also be roundtable discussions and time for club project sharing in the afternoon. At 5:30 p.m., all Optimist Club members, and their guests will move to the social hour and Governor's Banquet where more entertainment awaits featuring a silent auction before dinner and the LHS Jazz Band after dinner so you can end the evening with a dance or two with your Optimist friends.

Kudos to the Lebanon Optimist Club, Weezie DeVinny and Heather McDaniel for the work they've done to make the PNW Optimist Clubs welcome in their community. We're looking forward to meeting the Lebanon Optimists and seeing you there!

If you haven't yet registered, please click here to download the registration form.
Please click here to view the program on Facebook.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Chilliwack Optimist Club hosts Fred Wellsby Junior Divot Golf Tournament

Hosted by the Chilliwack Optimist Club, the Fred Wellsby Junior Divot Golf Tour takes place annually in July. It is a five-round tournament culminating in the Champions Invitational as the final event.

This year, sixteen junior golfers, all ages 16 and under made it to the final round played at the Chilliwack Golf Club July 12, 2018.

Earning the Champion of Champions title was 12-year old Ryan Burns of Abbotsford, BC. Ryan ended the day with a two over par 74 that included birdies on holes five and six.

The top female golfer was Sarah Armstrong who closed out the day with a 96. The Chilliwack junior golfer is 11-years old.

Photos courtesy of the Chilliwack Optimist Club. To see more photos from the event, please visit the Chilliwack Optimist Club on Facebook.

For more information on the tournament, please contact Glenda Standeven.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Yes, I Can

captain i can pnw optimist clubs
Governor Bruce and Judy Gilbertson traveled to Ottawa, Ontario for the 100th Optimist International Convention July 8-10, 2018.

This annual event welcomed Optimist Club members and Optimist District leaders from 23 countries around the world. This year, they were joined by Captain I Can.

With a Jamaican accent, the Robot Superhero was there to encourage the assembly to never give up, to accomplish their goals, achieve their purpose, and to help others reach their goals as well.

The goal of every Optimist International District is always to reach Distinguished. In order for the PNW District to do that this year, we need every Optimist Club member to say, "Yes, I can. Together, we can!"

Join the Captain, the Governor, and your fellow Optimist Club members by promising to make your Optimist Club an Honor Club and thereby ensuring the PNW District's return to Distinguished District status.

Your individual goal is to sponsor one new member to your Optimist Club. Can you do it?

Photo courtesy of Judy Gilbertson.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Topics revealed for 2018-2019 Optimist International Scholarship Contests

The Optimist International Convention is taking place today through Tuesday, July 8-10, 2018 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

During the convention, the topics for the Scholarship Contests for the coming year are revealed. They are:

Optimist International Essay Contest - "When All the World's Problems are Solved, is Optimism Still Necessary?"

Optimist International Oratorical Contest and Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing - "Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?"

When available, complete contest rules will be posted at http://www.optimist.org/member/scholarships1.cfm.

Please use this notice as a heads-up so that your Optimist Club can make connections with your local schools in August.

All scholarship contests begin at the Optimist Club level. If you are a potential student contestant, teacher, counselor, or parent, please find an Optimist Club near you at this link.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Join the Lebanon Optimists at the 2018 PNW District Optimist Convention

The Lebanon Optimist Club is excited to welcome the PNW District - Optimist International to their hometown for the 2018 PNW District Optimist Convention. Acting as co-chairs for the event, Weezy Devinny and Heather McDaniel promise a great time with music, entertainment, and of course, the education and inspiration that all Optimist Club members and leaders need to finish this administrative year strong and get started on the 100th year of optimism in a jubilant fashion.

The convention will be held at the Best Western Premier Boulder Falls Inn, 505 Mullins Drive, Lebanon, Oregon. Please register by July 18 to receive the nightly room rate of $119.

You may click the registration form on the right to enlarge and print. Registration before August 3 is $120 US or $155 CA. There are also options for one-day registrations.

Please check back here occasionally, or on Facebook, because more information will be provided soon regarding the activities of the weekend.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Optimist International announces top youth speaker

The third annual Optimist International Oratorical World Championships were held June 28-29, 2018 at St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO and a winner has been declared.

Congratulations to Caleb Smith!

Representing the South Carolina District, Southeast Region, Caleb placed first among 9 regions and 54 contestants at the world championship event. As did all contestants, he also faced competition and triumphed in Optimist Club, Zone and/or Regional, and District-level competitions in order to reach the ultimate speak-off.

Coming in second place was Dominique Ruedaflores of the Pacific Southeast District, West Coast Region. In third place was Christopher Burrell, Kansas District, Midwestern Region.

The contest may be viewed on YouTube, Optimist International World Oratorical Championships. For the finals, please scroll to 2:20:13.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Optimist International Oratorical World Championships to be held June 28-29, 2018

asha mior pnwoptimist This week, the PNW District - Optimist International Oratorical Champion, Asha Mior, is headed to St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri to compete live in the Optimist International Oratorical World Championships.

This is the third year of the enhanced competition for the Optimist Club Oratorical Contest. Thanks to a partnership with St. Louis University, there is an extra opportunity for earning scholarships, $5,000 to each regional winner plus an additional $15,000 to the tournament champion. 

This is the first year that the PNW District will compete in-person. The World Championships was first designed as an opportunity to compete remotely, from around the world, but has adapted to a joint live and remote opportunity. Some contestants will compete from their local base while others will compete in-person before the St. Louis audience. The judges watch all contestants via the remote method. 

You are invited to watch remotely as well at http://www.optimist.org/stream.

The West Coast Region will compete Thursday, June 28, 2018, 4:00 p.m. CST. (That's central time, remember.) Please click to enlarge the complete schedule below. 

optimist international oratorical 2018

We send best wishes for success to Asha!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Dick Brodie earns Lifetime Achievement Award

dick brodie pnw optimist clubsHe's an avid golfer and past Distinguished Governor of the Pacific Northwest District - Optimist International. At home,  he's a dedicated Optimist, a charter member of the Mission, BC Optimist Club.

Recently the community took notice and said thank you to Dick Brodie for his volunteer service as he was given the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award by the District of Mission.

Among some of the highlights of his volunteer career are sports coaching for lacrosse, soccer, and badminton. He's organized charity golf tournaments for more than 18 years and of course, been an Optimist Club member for longer than that.

It's easy to see that Dick cares for others as he encourages them to be involved in their community. He says, "The best part about volunteering is the people that you meet. Go out, find something that you love doing, and then help as many people as possible."

We congratulate Dick Brodie on his recognition and send hearty compliments on his service to youth and community.

Thanks to Rose Brodie for sending the flyer to us to share.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Optimists will soon gather in Ottawa for the 100th Annual Optimist International Convention

Optimist Clubs will come together July 7-10, 2018 for the 100th Annual Optimist International Convention in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It will be the kick-off to a year-long celebration of 100 years of service through the fellowship of Optimist Clubs in twenty-one countries around the world.

In addition to networking with other Optimist Club members, the convention is where District leaders receive training and general members receive inspiration. All are invited to participate in the governance of the organization.

This year, six bylaws amendments will be considered as follows:
Issue 1 - Clarifies that Friend of Optimist members are ineligible to serve as an officer of an Optimist Club/Board of Directors nor are they eligible to vote at District or International Conventions. The purpose of the change in wording, according to the rationale submitted by the Optimist International Board of Directors is to encourage those who want to be active in governance to become traditional Optimist Club members.  
Issue 2 - Provides wording that would allow the Optimist International Board of Directors to suspend or revoke the membership of persons who have committed "conduct unbecoming an Optimist member" should an Optimist Club fail to do so. The Optimist International Board of Directors submits this proposal for use in "rare instances."  
Issue 3 - Following the amendment passed at the 2017 International Convention which stated only members with consent could speak on behalf of an Optimist Club or Optimist International, this proposal further clarifies that those with significant program authority, such as coaches, but not limited to sports activities, must be members of the Optimist Club. In addition to providing accountability, the Optimist International Board of Directors explains this proposal facilitates insurance liability coverage.  
Issue 4 - Clearly states that in order to be a Governor or Governor-elect of a District, individuals must have served a full term as an Optimist Club President. The Optimist International Board of Directors proposes this amendment to build a strong leadership base with knowledge of the organization.  
Issue 5 - The Optimist International Board of Directors proposes that persons serving as Directors-at-Large should complete their terms, or be in their final year of service, before being considered for promotion. 
Issue 6 - The Springfield-Luncheon Optimist Club proposes the following change to the Optimist Creed in the second tenet: "To make all your friends all persons feel there is something in them."
The Ottawa Host Area Committee has planned a number of meaningful social activities for the Optimist International Convention attendees and is looking forward to welcoming a thousand or more Optimist Club members to their community. 

Registration is still open at this link. When registering, members will be asked to choose the classes they will attend while on site.

Click here to review the convention agenda at a glance. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Road sign publicity that works

PNW Optimist Clubs
I was recently traveling in Mexico and I couldn't help but notice that Rotary International was on display.

Unlike the service clubs to which this website is devoted, the Rotary Clubs were proudly announcing their existence with the Rotary logo, location, and date and time of their meetings, in public parks with sculptures similar to the one shown on the right.

I wish that I had thought to snap some pictures earlier than the day I was leaving for some of the displays were quite ornate. All were artistic and contributed to the surroundings of the community all while serving the purpose of gaining publicity for the Rotary Club.

optimist international pnw optimist clubs
Over the weeks since I've returned, I've wondered why the typical road sign available for Optimist International doesn't have the necessary information to get someone to a meeting; i.e., where is the meeting held and what time does it happen? It seems that would be pretty easy to include. I've also wondered why it hasn't been better promoted. Over the past five years or so, the road sign has been offered as an incentive for adding new members and while that is not a bad idea, it does not proactively publicize Optimist International.

I was surprised to learn that in the early 1930s, Optimist Clubs were encouraged to cooperate in a publicity program by placing signs along roads that led to their cities. As is shown on the cover of The Optimist from October 1934, the familiar octagon welcomed visitors with a stop sign - the octagon - that advertised the location and time of its local Optimist Club meeting.

In this time of digital media, it is easy to forget that traditional modes of communication still work and what's more, they work well. Signs, printed materials, and word of mouth marketing are all tools that we must use in promoting our Optimist Clubs. Get the road sign - or better yet, earn the road sign - and then place it in a prominent place in your community. Be sure to add the location, date, and time of your meeting and invite people to join your Optimist Club.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Students and teachers are honored by Hillsboro Optimist Club

The Hillsboro Optimist Club held its annual youth appreciation program May 31, 2018, at Trinity Lutheran. Twenty students and educators were recognized at the Optimist Club Student & Staff Awards Program.

2018 youth appreciation hillsboro optimist

Hillsboro Optimist Club member JV Torgerson was the master of ceremonies at this event that included entertainment from the HSD Mariachi Una Vos, a keynote address from Audrea Neville, Executive Director of the Hillsboro Middle Schools, and the presentation of awards by principals of Evergreen Middle School, J. W. Poynter Middle School, R. A. Brown Middle School and South Meadows Middle School. The flag salute was given by Boy Scout Troop 855.

The following outstanding students were recognized:

  • Evergreen Middle School - Chanelle Roberts, Omar Flores Reyes, Sabine Tronco, and Samuel Brodniak
  • Poynter Middle School - Brenda Lopez Fuentes, Ryan Fyfe, Lily Donis, and Ian Byrd
  • R. A. Brown Middle School - Kelsey Moore, Mikah Gill, Reem Kamel, and Matthew Chhunkeo
  • South Meadows Middle School - Addison Swannack, Josue Flores Contreras, Beatriz Lopes-Preciado, and Spencer Dickinson

The following outstanding educators and personnel were recognized:

  • Evergreen Middle School - Kathy Grant and Amy Grant
  • J. W. Poynter Middle School - Kelsie Burkhardt and Nathan Ross
  • R. A. Brown Middle School - Ben Ross and Brigitte Skipper
  • South Meadows Middle School - Abby Garcia and Connie Briceno

hillsboro optimist youth awards

The Hillsboro Optimist Club Youth Appreciation ceremony was organized by members John Meek and Rennia Meek. The photos are courtesy of Jack Thornton.

Click here to see more photos on Facebook.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What's a teacher to do in the summer?

School's out for summer - what better time is there to ask a teacher to join your Optimist Club?

optimist recruit a teacher
Teachers, school administrators, coaches, and others in the education system offer excellent connections for Optimist Clubs. As members, they can encourage more students to participate in the scholarship programs offered by Optimist International that must begin at the local Optimist Club level. As members, they can steer aspiring athletes to gain skills in Optimist Club sponsored youth sports programs. As members, they might provide hands-on support to start a new Junior Optimist Club program within a school or school district.

Above all, teachers as members provide new ideas for supporting the youth of your community from hands-on activities, to funding programs, sponsoring scholarships and more. Teachers are truly a vital link and because of that, Optimist International encourages you to add a teacher, or two, or three, or more, to your roster for only $30. That's it. One payment of $30 covers the entire year, offer valid through September 30, 2018.

Find out more about the Recruit a Teacher program here. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Tournament results for the PNW District - Optimist International US Junior Golf Qualifier

junior golf pnw optimist clubs

The PNW District - Optimist International Junior Golf Championships Qualifying Tournament (US) was held May 19, 2018, at Forest Hills Golf Course, Cornelius, Oregon.  The Hillsboro Optimist Club served as host of the tournament and member Al Young was the tournament director.

Please click to enlarge complete tournament results.

Twenty-four junior golfers participated. Qualifying to move forward to THE OPTIMIST are:

Girls 15-18
Olivia Venderby

Girls 13-14
Kyra Ly
Emily Song

Girls 10-12
Natalie Yen

Boys 14-15
Nicholas Watts
Arthur Venderby

Boys 12-13
Douglas Bailey
Carson Mauer

Boys 10-11
Grady Miller

Taking first place in the boys' division of the tournament was Nicholas Watts; in the girls' division was Olivia Venderby. Congratulations!

Many thanks to the Hillsboro Optimist Club for producing the tournament and especially to Jack Thornton for the photos and update.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

31 days of optimism

Here in the Pacific Northwest and all around the globe, the #beanoptimistchallenge has brought 31 days of Optimist Club projects and positivity to the forefront. Some from our district that we enjoyed the most are included in the following video.

The clubs and their projects highlighted in this video include:

  • Hillsboro Optimist Club - Bicycle Safety
  • West Tacoma Optimist Club - TriStar Basketball
  • Chehalis-Centralia Optimist Club - Historical Bike Ride
  • Jerome Optimist Club - Special Needs Fishing Derby
  • West Tacoma Optimist Club - Optimist International Oratorical Contest

There are so many more projects that our clubs do each and every day to bring out the best in youth, community and themselves. We thank you for your service in making the world a better place to live and we invite you to tell us your story. Please send a note and a picture and let us know what is happening in your Optimist Club.

It may be Day 31 of the #beanoptimistchallenge, but let's not allow it to be the final day of celebrating our service. Stay optimistic!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Rocking a great time with the Jerome Optimist Club

Every day, Optimist Clubs perform amazing projects with an emphasis on activities that help children be the best they can be. This was especially true for the Jerome, Idaho Optimist Club on May 7, 2018, at one of its favorite programs, the Special Needs Fishing Derby.

Co-chairperson of the event, Sheri Mitchell, shared the following photos and this message:
"The Jerome Optimist Club is so lucky to have had beautiful weather and sunshine for its annual Special Needs Fishing Derby. The JOC has joined the Martin Farms Family for 40 years with the Special Needs Fishing Derby. We are so lucky that the Jerome School District still allows us to open our hearts and fish for lots of fun. We had over 150 students, plus their teachers, aids and parents, as well as, 9 Optimist Members, 23 Jerome High School Students and 41 other community volunteers. We rocked at a great time!!!"

Thanks to Sheri for sharing the #OptimistsinAction story with us and many thanks to the Jerome Optimist Club and participating community members for making a special day for some special children.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Share optimism by sharing your Optimist Club projects

The #beanoptimistchallenge continues through May 31, 2018, and the PNW Optimist Clubs website is playing along. We are highlighting some of the projects that Optimist Clubs do in their communities. Today we look at the Beaverton Optimist Club, the North Okanagan Optimist Club, and the Middleton Area Optimist Club.

The Beaverton Optimist Club has been providing community service with roadside clean-up for many years. This year it added some extra hands with some youthful volunteers.

In Vernon, BC, the North Okanagan Optimist Club sponsors a huge, community-wide Unplug and Play Week. One of the objectives is to help children and families find the outdoors again. In this picture, a muse leads a group of children on a musical adventure.

The Middleton Area Optimist Club partners with the Middleton Rural Fire District to host its fundraising bingo nights, among other things. In return, the club helps the Fire District with its events like raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. At bingo, they make a muscle for the brave individuals affected by this disease.

Please click on the photos to enlarge.

Please share a photo and story - a few lines will do - about the projects that your Optimist Club performs in your community so we can celebrate your successes with you. Thanks for all that you do as an Optimist Club member.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Vote for #ReelOptimism

Do you see the smiling faces in the photo?

That's Coralee Lord Holmes and Nancy Guitar of the Chilliwack Optimist Club and they are smiling because they are living the Optimist Creed.

They are also smiling because they are finalists in the Optimist International #ReelOptimism contest.

We're pretty excited for them and encourage you to vote for them - every day - between now and May 31.

Here's how you do it:

  • Go to this link:    http://www.optimist.org/ReelOptimism
  • Scroll down until you see the smiley faces
  • Hover over their picture and the "vote" option will appear
  • VOTE
  • Return every day to cast your vote for the Chilliwack Optimist Club
Coralee says, "You can vote once per day, per IP address, which means you can vote once at home, vote again at work, vote again at the library..... wherever. Please vote! Every day until the end of May!"

The award is $1,500 US and the Chilliwack Optimist Club has dedicated its award to its newest project, bringing the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to the Fraser Valley in British Columbia.

Won't you share optimism and help them achieve their dream? Just vote.  

Thank you. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

PNW Optimist Clubs will increase to 12 zones

ben deremer pnw optimist clubs
The Third Quarter Meeting of the PNW District-Optimist International was held May 11-12, 2018 in Vancouver, Washington. Twelve past governors and about twenty clubs were on hand for the realignment of zones and the election of lieutenant governors for the 2018-2019 administrative year. Governor-elect Ben DeRemer shared with the group more of the strategic plan that he has been working on, explaining that there are six pillars that he hopes to strengthen during the coming year:
  1. Governance
  2. Growth
  3. Finance
  4. Marketing
  5. Technology
  6. Meetings
In order to provide more hands-on service to Optimist Clubs, the assembled group approved increasing the number of zones and lieutenant governors from 6 to 12. Caucuses were held for the election of lieutenant governors, but without a large representation of club members, the process was delayed. Ben will follow-up in the next weeks to fill the new opportunities created for service in the district.

Ben also explained that he had discovered there are portions of British Columbia that are not included in any existing district boundary. He achieved approval to petition the Optimist International Board of Directors to include these areas in the PNW District. He further explained that Utah, with only one Optimist Club in Salt Lake City, would benefit from outreach from surrounding Optimist Clubs. Tentative approval was given to reach out Optimist International and the Pacific Central District to include this area in the PNW District pending concurrence from the easternmost clubs of Twin Falls and Jerome.

But before any of that administrative stuff could happen, we heard from some of the best and brightest students in the Pacific Northwest during the PNW District-Optimist International Oratorical Contest finals. The topic was "Where are my roots of Optimism" and the winners were:
  • 1st place and $2,500 scholarship - Asha Mior, Vancouver, BC Optimist Club
  • 2nd place and $1,500 scholarship - Richard Chen, Coquitlam, BC Optimist Club
  • 3rd place and $1,000 scholarship - Madison Stephens, West Tacoma Optimist Club

Asha will now move forward to the Optimist International World Championships being held in St. Louis and online, June 28-29, 2018.

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to all participants. You were remarkable!

We also send a big thank-you to Governor Bruce and Judy Gilbertson and Secretary-Treasurer Mary White for the planning and execution of a successful event.

Our next gathering will be the PNW District Convention, August 10-11-12, 2018, Lebanon, Oregon. The Lebanon Optimist Club is looking forward to hosting a big group - save the date and make your plans now! 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Create a path to leadership

It's the second Saturday of May (already!) and that means it is time for a new membership
recruitment and retention tip.

Membership retention and recruitment tip #57: Create a path to leadership.

We know this to be true - some people prefer to follow, some people want to lead, and all people like to be heard. In your Optimist Club, you must create space for the different levels of interest shown by your members and be aware, interests will likely change as engagement or disengagement occurs. 

If one person is always the committee chair of the club’s biggest event, always doing things his/her way, that leaves little room for new ideas to grow. Not only does the club suffer from the lack of new ideas, members become disillusioned and leave.

The same is true for club officers. If the president and secretary-treasurer continually repeat in their roles, they create a perception that others are not needed. When people are not needed, what do they do? More often than not, they leave. 

It is up to current leaders to find and recruit their replacements so that the organization at the club level and beyond does not become stale from the lack of fresh, enthusiastic, new people, dreams, and goals. 

Great leaders are always training their replacement so that, in addition to fresh energy, they can provide continuity on the initiatives already begun that will move the organization forward. An organization like Optimist International relies on the quality of leadership that begins at the club level and is nurtured at the district level. It is more important today than ever before that succession planning begin. As individuals, we may not be here forever, but with planning, the organizations we love will thrive well into the future.