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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

COERs are due soon!

Happy May Day!

The first day of May is a good day to remind all Optimist Clubs that they should be planning for succession. Who will lead the team come October 1?

As has been the practice for decades, Optimist Clubs are expected to hold their club officer elections in the spring of each year and to report their new officers to Optimist International by May 20.  This practice is called completing the COER - the club officer election report. It may be done online by logging in as a club officer to www.optimistleaders.org. Once a COER is completed, the officers-elect begin receiving special information from the District and Optimist International.

If your club holds their elections at a different time, please complete the COER as soon as possible using the method described above.

All officers-elect should plan to attend the PNW Optimist District Convention. Specialized training for their positions will be held at that time, but most importantly, newly elected officers will have the opportunity to meet others who are starting their positions at the same time, share stories and goals, and form a bond in community service. Now that's what being an Optimist is all about.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Qualify for the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships in Cornelius, Oregon

optimist junior golf pnw optimist clubsThe Hillsboro Optimist Club is proud to once again host the PNW District - Optimist International Junior Golf Championships Qualifying tournament for the US.

Chairman Al Young has provided the following information for junior golfers to enter at large or for Optimist Clubs in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to enroll players to participate.

The tournament will be held May 18, 2019, at Forest Hills Golf Course in Cornelius, Oregon. Registration fee is $50 and range balls are provided. A light lunch is included and will be served before tee-off at noon.

The age divisions offered in the tournament are:
Boys: 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-18
Girls: 10-12, 13-14, 15-18
Players may register online at this link: PNW District Junior Golf Qualifier.

Junior golfers that win or qualify at this event may move forward to the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. Boasting an international field, this tournament will take place at Trump National Doral Miami, July 16-31, 2019.

Through the money raised with the tournament, the District endeavors to provide financial support for winners to attend the international championship. The amount available may vary and there is no guarantee that support will be available beyond those that qualify in the 16-18 division.

For full information, contact tournament director Al Young by email or call 503-648-5213.

The PNW Optimist District has recently expanded to include Utah. This year, and perhaps in following years as well, the Junior Golf Qualifying Tournament for Utah players will remain in Utah. Find out more about the Optimist International Junior Golf qualifying tournament in Utah here.

Photo by Jack Thornton. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The 2019 PNW Optimist Oratorical Contest results and more

On April 12-14, 2019, the PNW District - Optimist International met for its Spring Board Meeting in Bellingham, Washington. Previously called the Third Quarter Meeting, this gathering featured the Optimist International Oratorical Contest and announced the winner of the Optimist International  Essay Contest. The Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH) was held in British Columbia on April 15, 2019.

pnw optimist clubs oratorical
Rosemary Vayalikunnel
The scholarship contests typically draw a big crowd especially when one considers the students and their parents who participate in the event. Despite a lower turnout than usual, the students were warmly welcomed and did not fail to impress the gathering Optimist Club members with their talents.

All students spoke on the topic: “Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?”

Earning the first place award and a $2,500 scholarship in the Optimist International Oratorical Contest for the PNW District was Rosemary Vayalikunnel. Rosemary represented the Vancouver North Shore Optimist Club. She will go on to the Optimist International Oratorical World Championships in St. Louis, MO July 18-20, 2019.

Earning the second place award and a $1,500 scholarship was Madison Stephens. Madison represented the West Tacoma Optimist Club.

The third place award went to Andrew Welch representing the West Tacoma Optimist Club. He earned a $1,000 scholarship.
pnw optimist clubs oratorical contest
Madison Stephens and Andrew Welch

The Optimist International Essay Contest was completed on February 28, 2019. The winner of the $2,500 scholarship award was announced as Alex Snow. Alex represented the Hillsboro Optimist Club

For the first time, the Board of Directors meeting included online participants as presidents from six Optimist Clubs joined from their home locations. This is an option that the District will continue to explore in order to make the meetings more accessible to Optimist Club leaders.

One discussion point during the Board of Directors meeting was alternative meeting ideas. Watch for a survey to be emailed to all PNW District Optimist Club members to help assess solutions to help increase attendance at all Optimist Club gatherings.

In other business, the Zone alignment for 2019-2020 was announced and the Lt. Governors were confirmed as follows:

Rounding out the leadership team:
Governor - Ben DeRemer
Assistant Governor Governance - Gary Smith
Assistant Governor Finance - Rene Schiller
Assistant Governor Growth - Joey Fisher
Assistant Governor Youth Programs - Aaron Codiga
Assistant Governor Marketing - Andre Giacolone
Assistant Governor Meetings - TBD
Treasurer - Damon Gerton
Secretary - Linda Vaught Disney

Thank you and best wishes to all who have committed to serving the PNW District Optimist Clubs in the 2019-2020 administrative year.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

It's time for Optimist Junior Golf in British Columbia

optimist junior golf championships mjt tourMorgan Creek Golf Course, 3500 Morgan Creek Way, Surrey, British Columbia, is the location for the first PNW Optimist District Qualifying Tournament (CAN) for the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships 2019.

The tournament will take place April 13-14, 2019 for boys 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-18 and girls 10-12, 13-14, 15-18. The cost for the two-day qualifier is $189 CA.

In addition to the opportunity to qualify to advance to the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships, junior golfers at this event will enjoy:
  • Two rounds of golf
  • Fabulous TaylorMade tee gift for every player 
  • PLYR Long Drive Competition
  • PLYR Closest-to-the-Pin Competition
  • Booster Juice Come Back Award
  • Awards for top finishers in each division
  • Quality prizes for top finishers in each division
  • Lots of Draw Prizes for the full field
  • Refreshments 
  • Pizza from Boston Pizza
The MJT (Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour) also offers the Ford Hole in One Contest. See the rules here. 

This will be the first Optimist Junior Golf Qualifying Tournament (CAN) since the passing of Harry White. In addition to being the PNW District Junior Golf Chair in Canada, Harry was the founder and coordinator of the Junior Linkster Tour and a great Optimist responsible for bringing junior golf and other Optimist programs to his community for many years. 

To find out more about this tournament or how the Vancouver Optimist Club members are carrying on his legacy, please contact Bruce Main.

Please click here to find out more and register for the PNW Optimist District Qualifying Tournament (CAN).

Photo credit: Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Early mornings are for Optimists and other times are too

Did you know that the Oregon City Optimist Club meets at 6:30 a.m. every Tuesday morning? The West Tacoma Optimist Club and Hillsboro Optimist Club meet at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the Meridian Optimist Club meets at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, and the Beaverton Optimist Club meets at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday morning.

I think that some of our most successful Optimist Clubs are early-risers and they honor their commitment to their communities to serve by showing up for the programs and fellowship that make their service complete.

Perhaps that is a piece missing from our membership puzzle. Many have forgotten how important the regular meeting is to the success of their club and the Optimist International organization. Lives are busier, commuting times are longer, the ability to make excuses is more readily acceptable. We used to say that busy people make the best Optimist Club members because they know how to budget their time. I think Optimist Club members make time for the much-needed break that a club meeting brings. It restores their positive feelings and helps them to share optimism with others.

Please watch the Optimist Story from Mike Novak, Governor, Indiana South District - Optimist International and learn why the 6:00 a.m. Optimist Club meeting became a regular activity in his life and then please find an Optimist Club near you and put its meeting on your calendar as a weekly event.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Mission Optimist Club highlights children's talents

File this under my bad. I knew that the Mission Optimist Club had talent shows occasionally and that's where I went wrong.

Please allow me to correct the record and congratulate the Mission Optimist Club on 20 years of hosting the Mission's Got Talent contest.

The most recent contest was held Saturday, February 23, 2019. The winners were highlighted in a full-page spread in the Mission City RecordShown here are:

Top row, left to right, Senior Category

  • Third place - Taeryn Berg - Tairen sang and played an original song, "Mess"
  • Second place - Jarom Fischer - Jarom sang "A Million Dreams"
  • First place - Taylor Crowdis - Taylor sang "Everybody Knows"

Bottom row, left to right, Junior Category

  • Third place - Serenity Gibson and Samara Dejong Nemeth - Serenity and Samara sang "This is Me"
  • Second place - Brooklyn Ford-Hack - Brooklyn sang "Never Enough"
  • First place - Andy Kyte - Andy performed "Good Old Medley" 
Our best wishes go out to all of the contestants and an extra special "BRAVO" for the winners. 

We're proud to have the Mission Optimist Club as part of the Pacific Northwest District, doing its thing, serving its community, and helping kids be great since 1985*.

*Helping kids be great since 1985 is the Mission Optimist Club's motto.

Friday, February 22, 2019

A reminder about the PNW Optimist District Oratorical Contest schedule

Time is running out. A popular activity for all Optimist Clubs is approaching its deadline. The Pacific Northwest District (PNW) Regional competitions for the Optimist International Oratorical Contest will take place in March in preparation for the PNW Optimist District finals on April 12, 2019, Bellingham, WA.

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

All contestants must begin their competition at the Optimist Club level. Participating Optimist Clubs will then move their top two contestants to the PNW Regional competition. The top two contestants from each PNW Region will then move forward to the District event where they will compete for a $2,500 scholarship. 

The top contestant at the District competition will advance to the Optimist International Oratorical World Championships at St. Louis University, July 18-20, 2019, where they will compete for an additional $20,000 in scholarship prizes.

Please contact PNW Oratorical Chair Becky Holm with any questions about the Optimist International and PNW District Oratorical Contest.

Please contact Governor Ben Deremer for details of the PNW Regional meeting schedule.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Share 100 years of pride with #ReelOptimism

For 100 years, Optimist Clubs have been performing remarkable programs in their communities designed to bring out the best in youth and themselves. 

Optimist Clubs are known for scholarship contests to improve communication skills, sports programs that develop sportsmanship and teamwork skills, and recognition programs for students of all abilities. 

Perhaps most important, Optimist Clubs help individuals develop their leadership skills. When one joins an Optimist Club, they have the opportunity to lead a project, market a program, speak publicly on topics that make a difference to them and others, and in time, serve as the president of their Optimist Club.

All of these activities create a sense of pride and belonging and many want to share that feeling of optimism with others. That's one of the reasons Optimist International has created the #ReelOptimism Video Contest. An Optimist Club can share its achievements and be possibly be rewarded by entering the contest.

Here are the details:

2019 Reel Optimism Video Contest

The sixth annual Reel Optimism video contest will allow adult Optimist Clubs and Junior Optimist Clubs to submit videos with the chance to win a $1,500 Club Grant. Using the creativity of Club Members, partners, and community resources. Clubs are asked to create a short video that illustrates the topic: "100 Years of Optimism"

Contest Categories:
  • "100 Years of Optimism - Adult" - a video(3:00 minutes or less) that visually illustrates the topic of the Optimist Creed. Submissions by adult Clubs only.
  • "100 Years of Optimism - Youth" - a video(3:00 minutes or less) that visually illustrates the topic of the Optimist Creed. Submissions by Junior Optimist Clubs only.

Club grants will be awarded in each of the categories with funding courtesy of Optimist International, the Optimist International Foundation and the Canadian Children's Optimist Foundation!

Contest Dates:
February 16 - April 20, 2019
Members and Clubs submit videos following the submission guidelines.

May 11, 2019
Finalists in each category will be announced and voting will be opened to the public.

May 31, 2019
Public voting ends.

June 1, 2019
The videos receiving the most votes in each category will be announced. All Reel Optimism video submissions will be shown at the 2019 Optimist International Convention in Louisville. Winning Clubs and individuals will be invited on stage to receive their awards.

Entries will be judged and nominated as finalists based on:
  • Club, Organization, or group name included in the video
  • Explanation and utilization of theme
  • Use of visuals and effects
  • Creativity
Keep updated on the contest by visiting https://optimist.org/member/reeloptimism.cfm.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Are your members proud to belong?

Thursday, February 7, 2019, was the third annual #OptimistDay. According to Optimist International, the day originated in 2013 when Optimist Club member Sylvain Levesque introduced a motion to the National Assembly of Quebec to recognize the first Thursday of February as Optimist Day. Perhaps that set the date for the first Thursday of every year, but it took several more years for Optimist International to pick up the cause.

Before it did, other Optimist Clubs and Optimist Districts were involved in their own "Proud to be an Optimist" activities.

The one that first caught my eye was promoted by the Caribbean District. On March 27, 2013, the PNW District announced, in conjunction with them, that Larry Blackburn, PNW District Governor 2012-2013 was proud to be an Optimist. The round red logo, created by the Caribbean District and shown in the photo, was used by many Optimist Club members for many years.

This year, in 2019, my Facebook stream showed many Optimist Club members displaying their Optimist pride by wearing clothes embellished with the Optimist International logo. Clubs from Ghana, Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean, among other places around the globe, demonstrated unity in their mission and pride in the fellowship that belonging to the group instills.

Due to the outpouring of pride demonstrated by some Optimist Club members, it was inevitable that the membership recruitment and retention tip for February 2019 had to follow the same theme. Read on to see how pride in membership may lead to membership growth.

Membership retention and recruitment tip #66: Make it easy for members to show they are proud to belong to your group.

Members of Optimist Clubs are always happy to wear their team shirts when working on a club project, but how many actually wear their shirt when they go to work or go out for dinner? From first-hand observation, I know that a significantly fewer number wear their Optimist Club apparel when outside of the club domain. For many years, club members were encouraged to wear their logo pins, and some clubs even gave friendly fines to members who did not, but not only has the practice of fining diminished, the popularity of wearing a pin has, too. 

Donning the club colors is only part of the battle. The real truth is your members have to be proud to belong. Pride comes from association with a group that is ethical, successful in meeting its goals, drama-free, and making a difference. When that happens, when an Optimist Club delivers that feeling, its members are more than happy to wear their club clothes wherever they go. The bonus is when they feel that pride, they will talk about the club in a positive way so that others will want to join the cause. 

Be sure that your Optimist Club makes you feel proud to belong. Share that feeling and you'll retain the members you have and be well on the way to adding new ones to the mix. 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

It's e-file time for US Optimist Clubs

Once per year, we remind Optimist Clubs in the United States of their filing responsibilities with the IRS. Today is the day!

The form 990-N (e-Postcard) is due on or before February 15. To file, please have ready:
  • Employer identification number (EIN), also known as a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
  • Tax year 
  • Legal name and mailing address
  • Any other names the organization uses
  • Name and address of a principal officer
  • Web site address if the organization has one
  • Confirmation that the organization’s annual gross receipts are $50,000 or less
  • If applicable, a statement that the organization has terminated or is terminating (going out of business)
E-file is an option for tax-exempt organizations not required to file a long form which includes nearly all Optimist Clubs except those managing large sums of money (over $50,000) or property.

The filing is free and is required in order to maintain tax-exempt status as an Optimist Club.

Clubs that have independent charitable trusts or foundations may have different filing requirements and we ask that you please contact your tax advisor for more information if your club falls into that category. Thank you. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What are you wearing for #OptimistDay?

If you are like me, every day is Optimist Day. You see, I'm proud that I belong to an Optimist Club 24/7.  But some of our friends need a little extra reminder to share their Optimist pride and that is why Optimist International has invented #OptimistDay.

Now in its second third annual celebration, Optimist Club members in the Pacific Northwest are invited to join the celebration.

February 7, 2019, you are invited to wear your Optimist Club apparel - shirts, pins, hats, coats, and more - whatever you have that tells the world, "I am proud to be an Optimist."

Next, take a picture of yourself in your Optimist Club clothes and post it on your Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #OptimistDay.

Finally, share it with us by email or on the PNW Optimist Clubs Facebook page. Be proud. #BeAnOptimist. We can't wait to see how you represent.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

PNW Optimist Club essays are due February 28

optimist international essay contestA new year brings new opportunities and for Optimist Clubs under the Optimist International umbrella, a new year means it is time to finalize all preparations for the Optimist International Scholarship Programs.

The first program that takes place each year is the Optimist International Essay Contest. As all programs do, it begins at the Optimist Club level. Each year, students are invited to write an essay of 700 to 800 words on the official topic and submit it to their local Optimist Club. The Optimist Club collects the essays, judges them, and forwards the winning essay to the District Chairperson. At the District level, the winning essay wins a $2,500 scholarship.

The 2018-2019 topic is "When all the world's problems are solved, is optimism still necessary?" The application may be found here.

The 2018-2019 PNW District Chairperson is Monique Connors. Winning Optimist Club essays must be in Monique's hands or email inbox no later than February 28, 2019. The cost for the club entry is $50 USD. Please contact Monique with any questions your Optimist Club may have.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Consider a transitional membership category for your Optimist Club

It's a new year and our tradition of serving-up monthly membership retention and recruitment tips on Facebook continues. Occasionally, like today, we share the tip here, too.

Membership retention and recruitment tip #65: Offer a transitional membership category for members - or potential members - who are in flux.

Sometimes we ask someone to join our club only to hear that they don’t know where they will be next year at this time.

At renewal time, some current members may weigh the value of continuing their membership because they are anticipating a career change or are moving their place of residence.

Throughout the year, sadly, some members may lose their jobs.

All are good opportunities to offer a transitional membership, one that reduces or suspends dues payments, attendance requirements, or project participation until the potential member or at-risk member has the opportunity to sort out their commitments on a personal level.

Working with members during uncertain times shows loyalty and friendship, some of the most valuable benefits of belonging to an Optimist Club and strengthens the bond they feel towards the club as a whole.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019: Expect only the best

Every day should begin with an optimistic thought because, as Helen Keller said, "Optimism is the
faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."

We should, therefore, think only of the best, work only for the best and expect only the best every day; but one might ask, is that a realistic way to live? Wouldn't this be setting ourselves up for a lot of disappointment?

Boom! That's where the pessimism sets in.

When we question our ability to see the best in the world around us, we question our belief in optimism and inadvertently, our attitude shapes our lives in a negative way.

As 2019 begins, I resolve to find new ways to experience the wonders of this amazing world in which we live. I resolve to keep the skepticism at bay. I resolve to expect only the best and I invite you to do the same. Make a promise to yourself to share your optimism with others and then keep that promise. Do your best to make every day the best day of the year.

Happy New Year, friends!

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