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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Notes and notables from the PNW District Optimist Convention

The Pacific Northwest District Optimist Clubs came together on August 25-27 for the annual convention. This year's event was held in Bellevue, Washington with the brand new Lake Washington Optimist Club welcoming us to their community. Charter president Lisa Leo and Governor Ed Murphy made us feel right at home.

Larry Blackburn
As always, a lot of things happen at a district meeting and being there is the only way to really feel the energy. Some of the highlights were:

Larry Blackburn was elected to serve as Governor-elect for 2011-2012. He will become Governor in 2012-2013.

Bill French was sworn into office as Governor for 2011-2012, along with his lieutenant governors and two most recent past governors, to begin service on October 1, 2011.

Sue and Jack Creswell
Jack Creswell, Optimist International President-Designate performed the installation honors and gave us much to think about with the new theme of 100% and then some.

Sue Creswell, Optimist International Certified Trainer and first lady-to-be presented training to incoming officers along with Jack and the PNW Leadership Development team.

A barbecue was held at "Ed's Lake" a mere thirty minute drive from the hotel where the group was mesmerized by the young musicians, the Daus Brothers, and enjoyed boat rides, good food, and great company.

Of course, Governor Ed presided over the official business of the convention leading the shortest Board of Directors meeting in PNW District history.

Teresa and Fred Wallace
MK Mueller, author of 8 to Great led a motivational workshop inspiring participants to use the Optimist Creed to attract and retain members.

Even though the election was already in the bag, Larry Blackburn was caught politicking at the Old Timer's Breakfast where he and Flo gave us a look at what it was like to live 100 years as an Idaho potato farmer. (sometimes you just have to be there)

At the governor's awards dinner, Fred Wallace was honored with the Roy Proctor Award for Lifetime Service to the PNW District.

Bill French, Larry Krangle, Ed Murphy
Larry Krangle, member of the Vancouver BC Optimist Club was recognized for 60 years membership with perfect attendance, nonetheless.

We were honored to meet a number of first-timers to our district convention. We hope they will all return to see us often.

And the final meeting of the year would not have been complete without a missing bell and gavel. First-timer Becky Holm of the Roseburg Optimist Club proved she was part of the district family by holding "Belle" for ransom and texting the governor to prompt a donation to the Optimist International Foundation for her safe return.

"Belle"
Governor Ed turned over the bell and gavel safely to Governor-designate Bill French, but not before thanking those who were there and all others by extension for their service and dedication to their Optimist Clubs throughout the year. With 34 days (now 30) left to achieve your club's goals, he reminded us that it is possible to add more members, including Friends of Optimists, and meet the 20% new member goal set by Optimist International President Danny Rodgers for all Optimist Clubs this year.

Following are a number of photos from the event. We'd love to add your pictures to the album too.  Please mail them to the PNW District Blog. Thanks for sharing!