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Friday, February 26, 2021

Optimist International boosts happiness with music

Optimist International to host first-ever musical happiness competition for youth on the International Day
of Happiness

Optimist International invites middle and high school youth to participate in the first-ever Optimist International Musical Happiness Competition. The entries are due March 15, 2021, and the winners will be announced on the International Day of Happiness, March 20, 2021.

optimist international day of happiness
According to Optimist International President Mark Weinsoff, Optimist International chose to recognize the International Day of Happiness with music because music makes people happy. “Optimist Clubs provide many programs for youth, based on the needs in their individual communities. With the pandemic, we thought it was especially important to reach out with as an organization to share positive emotions with children and adults.”

The winners will be recognized at a special event on Zoom, March 20, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. CT. “As Optimist Club members, we choose optimism every day. We believe optimism, happiness, and now music, go hand-in-hand,” Mr. Weinsoff concluded.

Optimist International is made up of more than 2,200 Optimist Clubs in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and throughout the world where more than 70,000 adult and youth members strive to bring out the best in youth, community, and their very own selves. More information may be found at optimist.org

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Celebrate 50 years of the Optimist International Foundation with a donation

OIF 50th Anniversary Pin Hansen Artwork

Throughout 2021, the Optimist International Foundation (OIF) will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. It has commissioned special artwork from artist Jeff Hansen, an interesting young man who met many Optimist Club members at the Optimist International Convention in Louisville, KY.  Jeff had multiple health conditions from birth and succumbed this year to complications of the brain tumor he had lived with since a child. 

Please consider honoring both the Optimist International Foundation and Jeff's memory by making a donation to the OIF of $50 and receiving its 50th Anniversary pin. 
OIF Hansen Artwork

Scarves, ties, and other items featuring Jeff's unique style are also for sale and all money raised benefits the Childhood Health and Wellness Campaign. 

Go here to purchase these special items.

As is the OIF's way, it helps Optimist Clubs help Youth. At this time there are two grant opportunities to which  Optimist Clubs may apply.

Club Grant Application You may submit an application for a Matching Grant to start up a new project this year. The amount requested can range from $250 to $1,000. The Club Grant program is a long-standing effort by OIF to assist Clubs in helping more in their communities. The application can be found on the OIF website by clicking here. The deadline for application submission is March 15, 2021.

Childhood Health and Wellness This new Grant program, which grew out of the Childhood Cancer Campaign, is accepting applications for the second grant cycle. The deadline for applications is April 30, 2021. The next consideration cycle after that ends on August 30, 2021. The application can be found on the OIF website by clicking here. The process will award $250 – $1,000 for a Matching Grant in one of the four focus areas:
  • Healthy Lifestyles (Child Obesity, Healthy Eating, Physical Fitness, Happy Heart Advice, March of Dimes)
  • Chronic Diseases (Childhood Cancer, Juvenile Diabetes, HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Sickle Cell Anemia)
  • Mental Health (Depression, Bullying, Abuse)
  • Disabilities – Physical, Intellectual, & Developmental (Autism, Special Olympics)
Optimist Clubs and their members are the principal donors to the Optimist International Foundation. To make giving fun during this time of celebration, the OIF is hosting an online auction. The auction ends on March 11, 2021. 

Please go here to make a bid: Optimist International Foundation Auction 2021

Thursday, February 11, 2021

File the IRS Form 990 by February 15

Here is your annual reminder.
It's time for all US Optimist Clubs to file Form 990 to the IRS. The form is due February 15. The filing is simple. All you need are the following:

  • 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. Please consult an accountant or tax preparer if you are uncertain if this applies to your Optimist club.

Complete instructions and log-in filing information can be found here. Form990-N Electronic Filing System e-Postcard. It is free to file and required in order to maintain your tax-exempt status as an Optimist Club.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Show your Optimist pride on February 4

optimist day information
On February 4, Optimist International encourages all Optimist Clubs and Optimist Club members to tell the world that they are proud to be an Optimist. 

Take a photo of yourself in Optimist-branded attire and post it on your Facebook page for all to see. Use the hashtag #OptimistDay and join the movement. 

I'm proud to be an Optimist and you should be, too. 

While you are at it, please share the Optimist Creed because, now, more than ever, we must Choose Optimism. 

The Optimist Creed

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