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Friday, September 26, 2008

Roseburg Optimists host Respect for Law Banquet

One of the purposes of an Optimist Club is to encourage respect for law. A popular activity is to honor local law enforcement officers. The Roseburg, Oregon Optimist Club recently held a Respect for Law Banquest where they honored four officers for the excellent service. Read all about it here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Make youth serving organizations a priority

Denzel Washington is a national board member and spokesperson for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. In this time of economic turmoil and the potential for change in the US political scene, he took time to remind us that we must pay attention to the children in crisis. In an editorial with CNN, he reminds voters that regardless of party affiliations, we must hold politicians accountable for helping young people. His key points:
  • Nearly 30 percent of this year's freshman class will drop out of high school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That number jumps to 40 percent in some urban areas.
  • The obesity rate for our kids has gone up by as much as 300 percent since 1980, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, triggering a host of health-related problems, from diabetes to heart disease.
  • Young people account for more than 20 percent of violent crimes in the United States, according to statistics cited by Duke University's Center for Child and Family Policy. Violent juvenile crime peaks between 3 and 4 p.m., at the end of the school day.
  • These facts are grim enough. Factor in persistent patterns of poverty, gang activity, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy, and you have a generation of Americans that will be unprepared -- indeed, unable -- to meet the challenges posed by a complex world.

How can we help? According to Mr. Washington, "In partnership with government, schools, community leaders and parents, we can create a network and culture in which everyone embraces the importance of a positive future for our youth. There are many ways to help:

  • Volunteering at a local youth organization.
  • Leading by example.
  • Donating to charities that make a difference."

Sounds like a great time to be a member of an Optimist Club. Make sure your club is following Denzel Washington's example. Read the complete post here.

Could you be a CCB?

The Certified Club Builder (CCB) Program is coming to the PNW District on October 29-31 in Gig Harbor, WA. Peter Smith, Governor 2008-2009 is looking for ten candidates to participate.

According to Optimist International: The Certified Club Builder will be an Optimist member who has a successful track record in New Club Building. They must possess an extensive knowledge of Optimist International’s history, policies, programs and culture. The Certified Club Builder must be available to travel and must be available to spend consecutive days working in the field. In addition to leading the building efforts within a community this individual must be able to train and instruct other key Builders in the “how-to’s” of successful New Club Building.

Please send an email to the governor to be considered for a slot in this upcoming class.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

PNW Optimists to visit Gig Harbor

Register today to attend the 1st Quarter District Meeting in Gig Harbor, Washington. The meeting will be held on October 31-November 1 at the Inn at Gig Harbor. Hotel cut-off date is September 19. Rooms will be subject to availability after that time.
Located southwest of Seattle, Gig Harbor is about 35 miles from the Seatac Airport or 15 miles from Tacoma. This maritime village is the first stop on the Kitsap Peninsula after crossing the Narrows Bridge. Find out more about Gig Harbor attractions by visiting the official visitor website http://www.gigharborguide.com/home.aspx.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Is this a trick question?

When is the best time to add new members to your Optimist Club roster? Answer: Today. Every day.

Some longtime club secretary/treasurers are convinced that they know the ins and outs of membership maintenance. Some will hold onto new member applications, waiting until after dues billing dates so as not to be charged more from Optimist International. Others will hold on to to a new application so that they can maintain an even roster when they receive a resignation.

Is this fair to the new member? When a new member joins, they receive a new member package and pin from Optimist International. If the application is not submitted, that mailing is never generated and the new Optimist is never fully welcomed into the club.

Don't let this happen in your club! Members are never more impressionable than they are at the time they make the decision to join. Make sure your club is sending the right impression to the new member from the start:

  • Induct new members into the club so they understand the club has goals and purposes.
  • Present their new member packet.
  • Pin their member pin on their lapel and encourage them to wear it.
  • Engage them in a project immediately. Use the member interest finder to help your new (and veteran) members get involved.
Click here for a copy of the new member induction pledge.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Time to promote Optimist Scholarship Programs

September! Now is the best time to begin promoting Optimist International Scholarship Programs. Get on your teachers' lesson plans today with the following opportunities:

Optimist Essay Contest: Topic - "The Power of Youth"

Optimist Oratorical Contest: Topic - "For me, optimism is..."

Optimist Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH): Topic - "For me, optimism is..."


Click on the links to find out more. All Optimist scholarship programs begin at the club level. Clubs are encouraged to attend the First Quarter District Meeting on October 31-November 1 to learn all about district deadlines, rules for submission and advancing in competition, and to discuss new ideas to promote contests in your community.

Students should contact a local Optimist Club to participate. Click here to find a club near you.