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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It is an honor to be part of an Honor Club

About this time every year, I get a little nostalgic remembering my experience as an Optimist Club president.  Like many club presidents, I hadn't been a member for very long when I was presented with the opportunity to lead as well as serve.  It was an honor to be chosen and I remember my experience fondly and with pride. Here's an article that I wrote for the Optimist magazine way back in 1998 that described what being an Honor Club President meant to me:
A purple and gold rectangle bears my name on my Optimist Club's banner. I wouldn't want it any other way. Representing a year of dedication and commitment, that symbol set in motion a career in Optimism.
I chose to be president of my Optimist Club even though others had turned down the opportunity. I smiled and said yes when asked to serve because I knew our Optimist Club made a difference in our community. We served kids, we were civic leaders, and we offered hope to those who were less fortunate. We gave of ourselves and in doing so, developed a sense of pride and teamwork. How could anyone decline the opportunity to lead such an admirable cause?
My Optimist Club flourished. We sponsored service projects and fund raisers, we paid our bills and made reports to the district and Optimist International. We recruited new members and never failed to honor the Optimist of the Year with a Life Membership. I began attending district meetings and discovered that what we were doing was not a secret. We were successful because we were following the steps to Honor Club status. We were not alone in our service, but we were among the elite.
It's an honor to be Honor. It truly is. Achieving Honor Club recognition proves an Optimist Club is serving the youth and community to its fullest capacity. It means the club has conducted no less than three service projects, achieved growth in membership and completed their financial and administrative requirements. The reward for doing everything right is the silent pride in knowing the Optimist Honor Club ranks among the top twenty-five percent of all service clubs in the world.
From Honor Club president, I rose to District and International service; but it is always most rewarding to return home, to where it all began. My name, emblazoned on that banner, declares I am first and foremost an Optimist volunteer. I roll up my sleeves and go to work, for it is only at the club level that I can personally touch the life of a child.

Now is the time to submit your President's Pride report, complete and turn in your Club's CPA book, take care of any outstanding financial obligations your club may have, and add that last member that will help your club earn the quiet recognition it deserves. Every Optimist Club member deserves to be part of an Honor Club.