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Friday, June 28, 2019

Happy Birthday Optimist International

The party started last year on July 1 as Optimist Club members around the world began the Centennial Celebration of Optimist International. The party continues this coming week in Louisville, Kentucky, home of the original convention when Optimist International was founded on June 19, 1919.

Eleven Optimist Clubs came together to form what is now known as Optimist International. Approximately 2,300 Optimist Clubs make up the organization today. All clubs are divided into regions and districts for administrative purposes. The Optimist Clubs in British Columbia, Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington make up the Pacific Northwest District.

Representing a number of different Optimist Clubs, 18 individuals will travel to Louisville for the 101st International Convention. Among the delegates representing clubs in the PNW District will be a Past International President, Ron Thompson of the West Tacoma Optimist Club, 4 Past International Vice Presidents, 5 Past Distinguished Governors, and a number of enthusiastic members.

Some say that the main reason to attend an international convention is to meet with friends from various Optimist Clubs around the world. Others say it is to find motivation from sharing ideas surrounding our common goals of bringing out the best in youth, community, and ourselves. Both are correct; plus, we must address the business of the organization including governance, training, and recognition of those who serve and special recognition for those who have made significant accomplishments or contributions.

It truly is an inspirational time to experience and share on return. All delegates look forward to sharing what we learn at the PNW District Convention, August 15-18, 2019, Victoria, BC. More information will be shared about the district event when it becomes available.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Oregon City Optimist Club honors police for supporting youth

One of the purposes of an Optimist Club and Optimist International is to inspire respect for the law. With that goal in mind, Optimist International developed a program called - you guessed it -   Respect for Law.

The developers of the Respect for Law program envisioned Optimist Clubs as being a middleman, a group that connected children with first responders in order to give them a positive interaction with a police officer. Some programs were quite involved, including trips to a prison with a scared straight theme for children at risk of becoming repeat offenders. Other programs took a milder approach, taking students on field trips to the city, county, or state government buildings where the children would interact with police officers and lawmakers. Some would merely hold a breakfast or lunch where the officers and students would eat together and perhaps play a game.

Over the years, the Respect for Law program has become more of a recognition event, especially in the Pacific Northwest District. Among the Optimist Clubs that have Respect for Law programs are the Roseburg Optimist Club, the Gresham Optimist Club, and the Oregon City Optimist Club. All are major events for the respective clubs.

Please enjoy the photos shared by the Oregon City Optimist Club from its Respect for Law Meeting held June 11, 2019, and note, if you will, the line that says, "Thank you, Officer Plummer, for supporting the kids the way you do."

Yes, the Oregon City Optimist Club and Police Department are real friends of youth.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Own it!

On the second Saturday of every month, I share a membership tip on the PNW Optimist Club Facebook page. I don't always share it here, but this month is different. It strikes me as something we don't do often enough. Read on.
Membership retention and recruitment tip #70: Own it! 
We often say that we belong to a group like an Optimist Club or other service organization because it helps children, serves a population in need, or provides a community service like park clean-up or coordinating an activity.  
Let’s be honest. We do those things because it makes us feel good to be involved.  
Increase member retention by encouraging your friends to own their commitment. Be sure to thank them for their contributions, especially when they say, “I belong to an Optimist Club because it makes me feel good.” That’s the best contribution of all.
optimist international

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