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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

TCO feeds 500 at annual crossing guard picnic

The Tri Cities Optimist Club in Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, WA celebrated 500 fifth graders as part of the annual Crossing Guards Picnic on Tuesday, May 29. According to President Lareena Roberson it was the first time the club had been involved with the program, but it probably won't be the last.

For their part, the Optimist Club served a complimentary lunch to the throng of students. The police department and other community leaders saluted the children for their work. No matter the weather, the fifth grade crossing guards help their peers, and those older and younger, arrive to school safely and on time.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Calling all Junior Golfers!

The deadline to register for the PNW District - Optimist International Junior Golf Championships qualifier for US golfers is June 8. Please click on the picture to download an entry form.

The tournament will be held on June 22, 2012. As has been the case for several years, the tournament will be held at Meriwether National Golf Club in Hillsboro, Oregon. For more information, please contact:

Chris Hill, Tournament Director
503.780.2570 (c)
503.640.5363 (w)

Please note the age eligibility information and the qualifying information on the entry form. Thank you.

Why enter the CCDHH?

The PNW District-Optimist International Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH) was held on May 19, 2012 in Newport, Oregon. A young, but veteran competitor was Daniel Leigmann of Kelowna, British Columbia. I discovered this video on YouTube where Daniel discusses why he likes to compete in the contest.

Spoiler alert: It's not about the scholarship! It is about the opportunity to improve oneself.

Ken Ryan served as the co-chair of the event for Canada, joining Kirk Farnsworth for the US. Ken provided the following information about the contest.
We split the CCDHH into two catagories, and the following are the results:
Signing – a.s.l.
First Cameron Epp – Langley B.C.

(The information was copied and pasted from Ken's message. I'm not sure if the capitalization was significant, so I left it intact.) 

Click here to watch the video on YouTube. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

More third quarter news

News from the third quarter meeting continues to dribble in to the PNW District Blog for publication. Shown in the picture from Judith Hillend are some of the CCDHH contestants. No word yet on who our winners were in either oratorical contest. 

Governor-elect Larry Blackburn shares some of his thoughts here:

Optimists from throughout the district descended on Newport, Oregon last weekend for the third quarter gathering. Highlights of the weekend were the finals for the District Oratorical Contest as well as the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. All spectators came away from the contests with a renewed appreciation for our youth. District business included electing the following lieutenant governors: Fran Bounds, zone 6; Boyd Yaden, zone 5; Dick Disney, zone 3. Other lieutenant governors will be announced later.

Governor Bill French and secretary-treasurer Mary White are commended for their many efforts in making this meeting so successful and memorable. I have an extra video copy of the oratorical contests and any club that would like to play it for a club program is certainly welcome by emailing me at larryblackburn@cableone.net.

Our next get together will be in Canada, August 16-18. This will be the annual convention for the Pacific Northwest District and every Optimist is invited and encouraged to attend. Be sure to have a valid passport in your possession.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Junior golfers advance to the Optimist from BC tournament

From Harry White, Chair, PNW District  OIJGC-Canada

In conjunction with the www.cjga.com , British Columbia division, a successful junior golf qualifying event was held on the weekend of May 19-20, 2012 in Richmond, BC for our PNW District 32 in Canada. Almost 50 golfers took part in the two-day, 36-hole event, and while the spring weather held true on Day one, winter returned for Day 2 and conditions were very challenging, to say the least. No matter to our keen and very optimistic junior golfers. One and all played and enjoyed the experience and chance to go to Canadian and Optimist International Junior Golf championships in Ontario and Florida, respectively.

Some terrific golf was played with the overall Junior champion being Chris CRISOLOGO of Richmond, BC who fired rounds of 67-71 to win the Age 16-18 div.

Girls champion for the Age 15-18 division was Winnie HYUN of Langley, returning very steady scores of 74-75 for a 149 total. And, our very accomplished Tiffany KONG of Vancouver was a fantastic 148 for two days around the Greenacres GC in Richmond.

Those who earned the coveted qualifying spots will move on to play one of junior golf's "Major Junior Championships" at PGA National GC in Florida and to the Fanshawe G&CC in London, Ontario. Our thanks to hardworking Optimists who support these programs and of course the CJGA's Brad, Eric and Helen.

For more qualifying information, click here. 

Optimist Harry White, 
Vancouver Optimist Club 
604-261-4390, tel/fax

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A word about some amazing students

Judith Hillend, a member of the Gresham Optimist Club, wrote in to the PNW District today to tell us what a wonderful weekend she and other Optimist Club members shared with the contestants of the Oratorical and CCDHH contests in Newport during the third quarter meeting.

She said:
"When you are allowed to listen to nineteen wonderful students speak to you how Optimism helps them over obstacles, the outcome is overwhelming. These children of several ages spoke from their hearts about their lives, their obstacles, and their successes - obesity, family problems, hard of hearing and deafness - it brought tears to my eyes and many other Optimists in the audience. The previous list is very limited, but these kids were talking in one of the greatest obstacles in any child's life, talking to adults in a crowd. They are all winners, and those who didn't win prizes are encouraged to return next year. We will be waiting!"

We'll update you on the winners and all of the details of the weekend when more reports arrive. Thank you, Judith, for sharing your enthusiasm and respect!


Friday, May 18, 2012

How to relieve the stress of multi-tasking

The PNW District 3rd Quarter Meeting is taking place in Newport, Oregon this weekend. This is the meeting where students have always competed in the district finals of the Optimist International Oratorical Contest and now for three years the Communications Contest for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. It is always an inspirational event and one I hate to miss.

However, rather than travel 1,000 miles round-trip, this time I decided to support activities taking place with a local Optimist Club. It wasn't an easy decision to make and as I read the Twin Falls Blab this morning, I realized something. One of the greatest incentives to club membership growth should be: "Because one person can't be everywhere." 

In addition to the district meeting, some Optimist Club activities that are taking place this weekend include:

  • PNW District-Canada Qualifier for the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship
  • Roseburg Optimist Club Safety Day
  • Oregon City Optimist Club Pioneer Family Festival
  • Seuss on the Loose, Vision Charter School Junior Optimists and Middleton Area Optimist Club
  • Middleton Area Optimist Club Bingo Fundraiser
  • Twin Falls Optimist Club support of Magic Valley Relay for Life 

Clubs with larger memberships can afford to send people to multiple events. Not only do they have enough manpower to support the local project, they also have the financial resources to help delegates attend district activities. 

Veteran members will often say that they were able to do it all when they were in leadership positions. If I might make an observation, not only were there more members in our Optimist Clubs twenty+ years ago, there was not as much going on. An Optimist Club's major activity during this month was very likely the oratorical contest, but no more. We've become a world of multi-taskers. 

In order to meet the needs of our communities, Optimist Clubs have taken on projects outside the scope of the international programs recommended by Optimist International. Sometimes a champion of the cause will join the club and spearhead a new project, but more often than not, a new project simply stretches the resources, particularly the time, of the members already involved. It is easy for overworked club members to choose to stay home and make a difference rather than travel to serve. 

Now back to the Twin Falls Blab and my main reason for writing this post. Over the past 18 months the Twin Falls Optimist Club has added and retained more than 60 new members bringing their roster as of this post to 137 members. Adding new members has diversified their interests and given them enough people to do even more. 

During his presentation at the Twin Falls Regional Meeting in February, Barry Knoblich said, "If your club membership is less than 15 members, your only project should be membership." As the co-chair of the membership committee for the Twin Falls Optimist Club and the chief influencer of its remarkable growth, Barry knows what he is talking about. 

Cloning is not an option. Dividing your body three ways is not an option.  Your Optimist Club must add new members because you can't be everywhere at one time.  You owe it to yourself and your community to get some help. Now. 

Get started with two membership incentives from Optimist International:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Optimist Club of Horseshoe Bend is growing younger

click to enlarge
The Optimist Club of Horseshoe Bend is growing younger. Just this week, secretary  Deb Miller added six new members to the roster and five of those members are under 30 years old!

The Horseshoe Bend Optimist Club is the main source for athletics in the small community located about 45 minutes north of Boise. The club and its members sponsor and coach football, softball, baseball and basketball, among other sports and fund their activities largely through an annual fireworks sale. For the past two years, the club has branched out to sponsor a contestant in the Communications Contest for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students to the regional competition.

In a community where young adults often move away, finding younger members to carry on the traditions can be challenging. According to Deb, the Optimist International 30 under 30 promotion arrived at just the right time.

She wrote on the PNW Optimist District Facebook page, "I love this! I have 5 new members! Actually 6 new members, 5 are under 30. Hoping this will help us get more of our young people involved!"

The PNW District sends a big welcome to the new Horseshoe Bend Optimist Club members: Ron Jones, Ron Wolsleben, Keri Jones, Kylee Ranft, Acacia Hamilton and Gayle Frye.

Deb's next challenge is to add four more members before May 30 so that the club can add a new road sign to their community.

We're rooting for you Deb and the Horseshoe Bend Optimist Club! You can do it!

Click here for the road sign promotion.

Click here or enlarge the picture for the 30 under 30 promotion.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Caldwell Optimist Club kicks up some fun at annual jamboree

When you think of the Caldwell Optimist Club, you are likely to think of boxing and rodeo, but did you know that their original and longest-running program is youth soccer?

Governor-elect Larry Blackburn wrote today to let us know about a fun activity that the club held with the kids this week. Some Optimist Clubs might call it Tri-Star Soccer, but not content with only three activities, the Caldwell Optimists call their activity "The Obstacle Course."

Here's what Larry had to say:
The Caldwell Optimist Club held its annual jamboree for the soccer program Tuesday May 8; over 600 children participated. The Caldwell club sponsors two separate “obstacle courses” for all the soccer kids on this evening that officially concludes the spring program. 
Club President Connie Holt reports 16 members along with several spouses and JOII Club members from our Canyon Springs High School all pitched in and helped. The project started with the course setup at 3 pm with the competition ending at 8:30 pm. It took until nearly 10 pm to get everything completely cleaned up, put away, and many thanks are offered to all. 
Youth soccer is the single biggest project of the Caldwell Optimist Club with both a fall and spring season and this activity reaches well over 600 children each fall and spring.
In addition to Connie and Larry other club members participated including: Bob Kafka, Wayne Eisenbrandt, Mary Armstrong, Brenda Whelchel, Florence Blackburn, Chris Allgood, Alisha Allgood, Debbie Lenington, Rick Matkin, Lynne Matkin, Bill Moore, Doe Schamp, Joe Shreve, Diane Crookham, Lisa Karlberg, and several JOII members. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

A special fishing derby in Jerome

The Jerome Optimist Club held one of its favorite projects on Monday, May 7, at Martin's Pond in Jerome, Idaho when about 150 students with special needs went on their annual fishing outing. According to chairperson Sheri Mitchell, an event like this has been taking place at Martin's Pond for about 30 years.

The Optimist Club coordinates the activity with the schools, the bus service, the pond, Idaho Fish and Game and Clear Springs Food who donates the trout. This year Sportsman's Warehouse donated tackle and Trophy Bait supplied worms.

Another addition to the project this year was increased help from students at the high school, specifically Kylie Bright who worked with Sheri and the Optimist Club making the Annual Special Needs Fishing Derby her senior project.

The video, from KMVT, discusses her and her classmates involvement. Bright says, "It's one of the greatest feelings in the world, and to help them reel in the fish. And to get it off the line and to hear the screams and the laughter. It's something you can never forget, it's just a great experience for everyone."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Vote for new Optimist Club officers

Election season is well underway and you can imagine that the campaign rhetoric will soon accelerate as US citizens take part in the honorable decision-making process that leads to the election of the next US president. During the last presidential election, I became aware of just how closely my Canadian friends watched and shared opinions on the American election process. I imagine that is true for other countries around the world.

My question for you today: How involved are you in your Optimist Club officer elections?

Is the process something that you shy away from? Does your club elect the person that failed to show up to the meeting the day the elections were held? Do your club members look around the room on election day and say to one another, when was the last time you were president? Do you offer the opportunity to younger members? Do you force the position on the newest member?

That's not the way it should be, friends.

Serving as an Optimist Club president is an honor. It is an opportunity to be a leader in your community. It is an opportunity to work with your club members and collaborate with outside organizations to make a difference. It is also the opportunity for personal growth as you lead and inspire change to move your Optimist Club forward to new and different places than it has been before. Its opportunity is unlimited.

Will you take the opportunity to make a difference?

Club officer elections are taking place in Optimist Clubs throughout the PNW District and the world. Elections should be held and reported to Optimist International by May 20. Vote.

COER - Club officer-elect reports may be completed online at www.optimistleaders.org.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Membership incentive for the under 30 crowd

Optimist International has a new incentive to help your club attract new members. Called 30 under 30, it's an introductory offer for young professionals and students under 30 years of age to join and pay only $30 international dues for the first year of Optimist Club membership.

In order to qualify, new members under 30 must be added between May 1 and September 30, 2012. A onetime fee of $30 is due along with the completed application. Write '30/30' on the traditional hardcopy application or Club officers may click the designated checkbox on optimistleaders.org for online '30/30' roster additions.