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Saturday, July 13, 2019

"Bringing Out the Best" in Optimist International

Of Dreams and Deeds was released by Optimist International in 1966. Billed as a comprehensive history, the story of Optimist International was amended and revised and re-released several times before being published on the internet (http://www.ofdreamsanddeeds.org/default.htm) as a website chronology circa 2012.

optimist international book dave brunsFive years passed and in late 2017, in preparation for the Centennial Celebration, Past Optimist International President Dave Bruns took on the task of updating the book once again. After consideration, he and the Optimist International Board of Directors decided on a completely new
book instead.

Because of their foresight and dedication, one of the great things to emerge from the Optimist International 101st International Convention was Dave's labor of love: Bringing out the Best - The First Century of Optimist International.
dave bruns linda vaught

Dave began his research and throughout the journey shared tidbits of history on Facebook. We learned that Branch Rickey, credited as an influencer to integrate major league baseball, was an Optimist. We learned that the Optimist dinghy was indeed designed by an Optimist Club member, Clark Mills, and given its name because of the program of the Clearwater Optimist Club. We learned that the octagon logo was used to define the organization because of the original eight Optimist Clubs that founded the organization on June 19, 1919.

There is so much more to learn and celebrate about Optimist International and the book brings out the best in our organization by sharing its colorful history.

Those attending the 101st convention in Louisville, Kentucky had the honor of receiving an autographed copy as Dave signed away hundreds of books until the stock on hand depleted.

It is now available online at Amazon, for a limited time for only $20: Bringing Out the Best.

Now for the rest of the story

Dave Bruns, author, Optimist Club member, and Past International President, among other distinguished titles, has promised 100% of the revenue from the sale of the book will go to the Optimist International Oratorical World Championships.

The longest continuously running program of Optimist International, the oratorical contest began in 1928. In the 2015-2016 administrative year, it was enhanced to be a global program with an online component and larger scholarship awards, making the contest more relevant to today's teens. Help it grow bigger and better by making Bringing Out the Best part of your personal library.

Many thanks to Dave Bruns for Bringing Out the Best and his generous dedication.

In the photo: Dave Bruns signs Bringing Out the Best for Linda Vaught Disney.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The founding of Optimist International is dedicated in Louisville

PIP Optimist InternationalWhat happened at the 101st Optimist International Convention?

Attendees shared their ideas, purpose, and goals to lead the world into the next century by bringing out the best in youth, community, and ourselves. They enjoyed learning from one another about best practices for their Optimist Club and they especially enjoyed the fellowship that accompanies a large gathering of Optimist Club members from around the world.

Attendees affirmed all of the business that came before the delegation finding the bylaws amendments to be in good order. Specifically important to the Pacific Northwest District, the calculation for voting at Club, District, and International meetings was clarified as follows (Bylaws Article IV, Section 2., A.):
A. Number of Votes. In an annual election, each Club in good standing shall be entitled to one vote for each 10 voting members or majority fraction thereof (6 or more) based on the voting numerical membership enrolled by the Club in the office of Optimist International as of 30 April immediately preceding the election. Each Club in good standing shall be entitled to a minimum of one vote. A Club organized after 30 April, and prior to the first day on which the election is held, shall be entitled to cast its vote on the basis of the numerical charter membership enrolled by the Club in the office of Optimist International. All voting shall be based on the total number of votes cast by accredited Clubs.
birth of Optimist International Attendees were motivated to action by International President Rebecca Butler Mona and International President Designate Adrian Elcock. Combining their slogans, delegates returned to their home clubs with the mission to "Promise yourself to iMagine the future."

founding of Optimist International LouisvilleBefore all of the above happened, however, attendees were invited to celebrate the placement of a historical marker recognizing the birth of Optimist International. Commissioned and funded by the Past International Presidents of Optimist International, the marker stands near the site of the first convention at the front of the Kentucky Convention Center. As we leave behind a bit of history, we celebrate our mission and promise to continue to serve our communities for another 100 years, and hopefully,  more.

In the photos, please see Past International President Ron Thompson and West Tacoma Optimist Club member speaking at the dedication and the front and back of the historical plaque.

Check back, we will share more news of the convention in the coming days.

Photos courtesy of Dave Bruns.

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