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Sunday, September 22, 2019

8 days, 8 steps

Every year, I write about being an Honor Club. It's a smart goal that Optimist Clubs can embrace
throughout the year. It helps clubs provide more service and recognition in their community and provides a path to sustainability not only for an Optimist Club but also for the umbrella organization, Optimist International.

Many years ago, I attained the recognition of being the president of an Honor Club and over the years, I've watched joyfully as others have earned it too. It saddens me when I hear presidents say they aren't in it for the awards. To me, that simply means that the president is in it for themselves and not for the Optimist Club members they serve today and those who we hope will still belong tomorrow. The president that does not strive to lead an Honor Club is shorting their club and community of the basic steps to succession.

The steps are simple and straightforward. In fact, most Optimist Clubs perform most of the tasks, they just fail to cross the t's and dot the i's for the recognition that accompanies their completion.

The eight steps to Honor Club are:
  1. Complete three or more service projects each year
  2. Complete the President’s Pride Report and Club Officer-Elect Form
  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 such as a 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
Now about that "I don't need any recognition" remark; please think about the car you drive, the restaurant where you choose to eat, the hospital where your child was born, the news feed you read or watch each morning, among many other choices that you make in your daily life. They put their awards front and center at all times. Cars brag about the JD Power award, restaurants receive stars for value and service, hospitals are ranked by a national accreditation association in order to keep you safe, and even your newspaper or channel is enhanced when they have an Emmy-winning broadcaster or Pulitzer prize-winning journalist. 

Recognition matters. It gives credibility to the work they do. 

Please do your part to make certain that your Optimist Club is an Honor Club and you'll give your club the credibility it needs to recruit new members and perform the good work for many years to come. Thank you.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Are you an Optimist?

Are you an Optimist? We invite you to share your Optimist pride with other Optimist Club members in the Pacific Northwest with this unique, specially designed PNW Optimist Clubs t-shirt.

Optimist Clubs in the Pacific Northwest touch thousands of lives each day. By sharing their positive words and actions, Optimist Club members make a difference. They especially impact children with varied programs that meet the needs in their local communities.

In the PNW, there are Optimist Clubs that, among other things, manage a transitional home for young people; deliver various sports programs including golf, football, soccer, and curling, among others; host communication contests for essay writing and public speaking; sponsor family movie nights and library programs; coordinate programs to tackle food insecurity; host talent shows, school supply drives, walking programs, seasonal activities for Christmas and Easter; and so much more.

Optimist Clubs support the purposes of Optimist International, the first of which is to promote optimism as a way of life. They do that by coming together in friendship and fellowship where they reinforce their mission to live by the words of the Optimist Creed.

With the Optimist Creed, we promise ourselves:
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Today, we ask you to act on one more promise to yourself. Show your pride, your optimist pride with a PNW Optimist Clubs t-shirt. Buy it and wear it proudly. It makes the optimist difference and when we make the optimist difference, together, with others, we make the world a better place to live for all.

Check out the colors and styles of the PNW Optimist Clubs t-shirt at this link. Thank you.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Convention minutes and more

Something that has been missing from PNW District meetings for several years now is the ability to know what is happening in a timely manner. General members, and specifically, the presidents of the Optimist Clubs who are members of the district board of directors, have not received the minutes or the financial information of the district before the meeting. I know this because I have been a club president since 2016.

For the 2018-2019 administrative year, I served the district as its secretary. My role, as requested by the governor, was to take minutes. That was all.

In a post preceding the convention held in August, I published the minutes from the entire year along with the financial report I was given by the treasurer, the district policies, and proposed amendments to the district policies.

I will not be serving as secretary in the 2019-2020 administrative year. This may be my last opportunity to share the minutes with you. What follows are links to the minutes taken at the PNW District - Optimist International Convention, August 16-18, 2019.

Please, readers, do not misinterpret this post as a complaint.  I am publishing this information here and now because this website is a way that I share information that I believe the members of Optimist Clubs in the Pacific Northwest need to know. Thank you for reading, sharing, and caring about the wonderful Optimist Clubs that make up the PNW District - Optimist International. 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

What to do when the children head back-to-school

The last official summer holiday has taken place and we can now say that in most areas in the Pacific
Northwest District the 2019-2020 school year is underway!

Back-to-school time brings many opportunities for Optimist Clubs to interact with children. From back-to-school parties to athletics and club involvement, students of all ages are getting back into the routine. Caring adults such as Optimist Club members can make a difference by supporting their efforts. Sometimes all they need to succeed is a little extra encouragement, a friendly voice that tells them, have a great day or you're doing a great job, keep it up. Sometimes they need more like school supplies, tutoring, or safe pathways to and from school. Optimist Clubs might want to connect with their local elementary and middle schools to see if there is a way to support their students and their schools that perhaps haven't been addressed by others.

Now is the time to reach out to the teachers in middle school and high school to discuss the Optimist International Scholarship Contests. The scholarship programs have been part of Optimist International's outreach since 1928 when the Optimist International Oratorical Contest was first held. Today the organization offers three opportunities for students to earn scholarships: the Essay Contest, Oratorical World Championships and the Communications Contest for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH)students.

All scholarship contests begin at the club level. Optimist Clubs host the Essay Contest in the fall with all winning club entries submitted to the District Chairperson by February 28. The Oratorical Contest is held in the Spring in time for the finalist to attend the Zone Contest which date is set by the Lt. Governor before the third quarter District meeting.  The CCDHH takes place as advised by their District.

The official topic for the 2019-2020 Essay Contest is "Is Optimism the Key to Achieving the Dreams you iMagine?" Download the entry form.

The official topic for the 2019-20 Optimist International Oratorical World Championships is “Just iMagine a World without Boundaries.” Download the entry form.

The official topic for the 2019-20 Optimist International CCDHH is “Just iMagine a World without Boundaries.” Download the entry form.

It's also a great time of year to reach out to teachers, principals, counselors, and other school personnel to invite them to join an Optimist Club. There is a special offer from Optimist International that gives teachers one-year of membership for $30. To take advantage of this offer, the Optimist Club must enroll the new member by September 30. We hope that the program is renewed for 2019-2020, but why wait? Invite a teacher to join your Optimist Club today!

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