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Friday, October 31, 2014

Attention PNW Optimist Clubs: Prepare for the Oratorical and CCDHH Contests early

The third quarter meeting for the PNW District - Optimist International will be held in British Columbia. This means that Optimist Clubs in the United States must accelerate their Oratorical and Communication Contests for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in order to allow time to for the winning contestants to apply for a passport.

Oratorical Chair Bill Garcia and CCDHH Chair (US) Myrna Harris have requested that all regional contests be held in early March. The exact dates will be set by the lieutenant governor in your state or province, but in order to be ready, the district recommends that Optimist Club level contests be held early accordingly. 

The Oratorical Contest takes place between January and March. The official topic for 2014-15 is "How my optimism will help me press on to 'greater achievements of the future.'" Download the entry form.

The Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing takes place between January and March. The official topic for 2014-15 is "How my optimism will help me press on to 'greater achievements of the future.'" Download the entry form.

Contact the District Chairpersons here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Notes from the First Quarter PNW District - Optimist International meeting

pnw district optimist clubs costume party

Sixty-five or more Optimist Club members came together on October 24-25 to share stories and learn new procedures for the 2014-2015 administrative year. This marked a little increase in attendance from the last district gathering. No matter the size of the group, the enthusiasm and positivity are always a highlight and this meeting was high on both. Celebrating the Halloween season, these goofy do-gooders were dressed in style.

During the the course of the weekend we learned Governor Dick Disney's goals. He plans to attend all PNW District Optimist Clubs during the year and he will encourage them all to reach the Honor Club distinction. By achieving Honor Club, each club will replace lost members, serve their community with projects and programs and be financially solvent. Honor Club is an honorable goal.

The group heard from Linda Vaught Jackson about social media and how to use the Optimist International and PNW District websites to promote their Optimist Clubs to both internal and external audiences. Inspired by a presentation she heard given by James Patrick Schmidt at the Illinois District meeting earlier in the month, she shared ideas to develop a target market and to always be promoting your Optimist Club.

Attendees also drew inspiration from Optimist International President Ken Garner as they watched his moving speech from the Optimist International Convention.

Essay Contest deadlines were shared with the reminder that all winning club essays must be turned in to Chairperson Robin Stanhope by February 28, 2014.

The CCDHH and Optimist Oratorical Contest chairpersons informed the group that the third quarter conference was scheduled to be held in British Columbia in May, 2014. To allow lead time for US contestants to apply for and receive their passports, the Regional Contests will be held early in March 2014. Clubs must therefore hold their Optimist Club contests by February 28, 2014 as well.

The cost to enter all scholarship contests is $50 per contestant advancing to the second level of competition be it zone, regional or district. This amount is paid by the sponsoring Optimist Club.

Among other activities, the district budget was approved, growth incentives were discussed and immediate past governor Fred Wallace was recognized by Governor Dick for his service.

Inspired to do even more in their communities, the group adjourned to the second quarter regional forums to be held in February and March 2015.

For more information about all district activities, promotions, programs and projects, please contact your Lt. Governor at this link or a committee chairperson at this link.

If you have any questions about using the websites, please leave Linda Vaught Jackson a note here or contact Optimist International directly.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

From Honor Club to the best Optimist Club of the Year

optimist club of year
Governor Dick Disney has set a goal for the district. He wants every Optimist Club to end the 2014-2015 year as an Honor Club.

Earning Honor Club status means that an Optimist Club is doing all that it can do to make sure that it is relevant to its community and that it will continue to perform service projects long after the current members are there to perform them. In business lingo, we might call it a succession plan; an operational plan that allows the business to be handed over from one generation to the next.

The requirements for Honor Club are very basic:
  • Complete at least three service projects a year (submit President's Pride Report)
  • Recognize a Club member or local community individual
  • Grow Club by net plus 1
  • Be current on District and OI dues
The Honor Club requirements have changed a little over the years. Clubs once had to end with a net five members, among other things; but now the simplified plan should propel everyone to succeed. Noting that the steps didn't seem all that challenging, members of a new Optimist Club asked International President Ken Garner what they needed to do to be the best, the #1 Optimist Club in all of Optimist International. And International President Ken responded by creating a new program for 2014-2015: Optimist Club of the Year. 

The Optimist Club of the Year award will be presented annually to the most outstanding club in each region based on the following criteria: 
  • Service Clubs sponsored by the Club: 30 points
  • Member Development Programs a year: 25 points
  • Club Growth and Increased Community Awareness Campaigns: 25 points
  • Increased Volunteer Member Base: 10 points
  • New Community Efforts: 10 points 
The regional superstars will be entered in the Overall Optimist Club of the Year contest. Find out more about how your club can enter and earn prizes that include convention registration, airline tickets, and more at this link: Optimist Club of the Year.  

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