We love stories about your Optimist Club. Please tell us one and we'll add it to the website.
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Job posting: Motivational representative for PNW District Optimist Clubs

Do you want to share your optimistic ideas with others? Then this job is for you!

Motivational representative for PNW District Optimist Clubs

The company: The Pacific Northwest District is a regional division of Optimist International with an outstanding reputation and strong community ties. We have been a source of inspiration in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia since 1922 where Optimist Clubs have grown and thrived.  Our adult members are known for their positive outlooks and dependable community service activities.  

The role: We need a reliable representative to share their optimism with new communities and to inspire others to do the same. This person will develop and implement a plan to start not less than two Optimist Clubs in the 2013-2014 administrative year using members from neighboring Optimist Clubs as catalysts for growth.

Requirements: The candidate should have an entrepreneurial and civic-minded spirit, have been an Optimist Club member for at least one year, and enjoy meeting new people. She or he must be comfortable making presentations for small and large groups and have the flexibility to travel within the Pacific Northwest District at least once per quarter.  Efficient computer skills and a comfortable telephone presence would be a plus; optimism is a must.

Apply to this position by providing your name, contact information, and the name of your Optimist Club to Governor Fred Wallace. Please use the subject line: New Club Building Chair. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tell Sarah about your Optimist Club

The PNW District - Optimist International is excited to welcome a new bulletin editor to the leadership team this year. Sarah Newton, who joined the Hillsboro Optimist Club only a little over one year ago, has accepted the opportunity to write for and about the district in her new role. Her positive outlook will bring a fresh voice to the publication.

At the recent district meeting, Sarah explained that she hopes to hear from Optimist Clubs frequently with stories about people and projects.

Please add Sarah to your club bulletin distribution list and be sure to share stories about people and projects with her too.

Click here for Sarah's email and send her a note now.

*Sarah was the bulletin editor for 2013-2014. Please address your note to pnwdistrict@gmail.com. Thank you.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rose Brodie is going to Disneyland

From April 1 to September 30, 2013, Optimist Club members were entered into a drawing for sponsoring new members into Optimist Clubs. The prize, $500 or a trip to Disneyland, was drawn at the first quarter meeting. Rose Brodie, you're going to Disneyland! Congratulations.

Other membership mentions included Linda Jackson, Fran Bounds and Boyd Yaden who received the five and three member sponsor awards from Immediate Past Governor Larry Blackburn on behalf of International President 2012-2013 JC St. Onge.

The Twin Falls Optimist Club led the way in new member additions during the final half of the administrative year, followed by Lebanon, Albany and the Middleton Area Optimist Clubs.

Thanks to all for sharing your optimism by inviting someone to join an Optimist Club.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The 2013-14 PNW District Optimist Leadership Team

The Pacific Northwest District held its first quarter meeting on October 25-26. Each year, approximately twenty-five or so individuals volunteer to help with training and governance functions. The're a good looking group, Santas and all.

As a disclaimer, this year, many of the group dressed up for Halloween. If you want to know more, including who makes up this cast of characters, please check our our Facebook Page. Thank you.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

An invitation to lead

Ray Hilts, PNW District Secretary-Treasurer, has submitted the proposed district budget for 2013-2014 for your review.

Please click here to review the proposed budget for the PNWD 2013-2014. 

According to Ray, he and Governor Fred Wallace met with finance chair Jim Jensen to evaluate and assign budget amounts based on the district history while taking into account goals for the coming year and decisions reached at the district convention. Jim will make a presentation on the proposed budget at the upcoming district meeting on Saturday, October 26.

Club presidents, please take time to review this information and be prepared to ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask for changes if you see areas that are addressed differently than you think wise.


In my years of attending district meetings, I've noticed that there is a tendency to just accept a budget as presented for various reasons. Some say, "It's just a guideline." Others say, "It's the governor's year, he or she can do what they want." Some just don't care because they fail to see how the budget might affect them.

All of these perspectives are wrong. The budget impacts very Optimist Club in the district. First and foremost, the dues have increased by $3.00 this year for every club member. That means that there should be more money to help us accomplish more. However, the sad truth is that dues were raised because membership has declined over the past three years. Each club member now must contribute more to receive the same level of service.

Second, I would like to point out that it not just a guideline. As the district has foregone the use of strategic planning, the only way we know what is planned for the year is through budget analysis. The district leadership is expected to do what it says it will do with its members' money.

Third, it's not "the governor's year." It's really not. Every year is yet another administrative year for Optimist Clubs, Districts and Optimist International and it is merely the elected governor's turn to lead the organization. We always hope that the governor will do so in a manner that sustains and nurtures the clubs in their district and helps Optimist International to grow. If they come at their duty with a sense of entitlement, that may not happen.

The purpose of this post is to help Optimist Club leaders overcome their fear of being engaged participants at the district meeting. It's okay to ask questions, and to agree or disagree with what you hear. The only way our organization will grow is by enabling our new leaders to lead.

Club presidents, this is your invitation. Come to the District Meeting on October 25-26, 2013 and lend your voice; please share your ideas and your optimism.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

See the PNW District financial report for 2012-2013

One of the purposes of holding district conferences is to gather the club presidents who make up the district board of directors. It is their responsibility to provide counsel to the district so that the district may provide services that Optimist Clubs need to expand the organization and serve their communities.

That responsibility includes reviewing and advising on the district budget. Chris Stearns, District Secretary-Treasurer, 2012-2013 has prepared the final budget report for the administrative year completed on September 30, 2013 and she asked me to share it with you so that you may be aware as you attend the upcoming district meeting on October 25-26, 2013.

Click here to review and download the Profit&Loss Statement for the PNWD 2012-2013. 

This information is used to help prepare an appropriate and strategic budget for the next year. In addition to reviewing and accepting the 2012-2013 administration's final report, members of the board of directors (club presidents or their representatives) will set priorities for the PNW District when they vote on the proposed budget for 2013-2014. Optimist Club presidents, please don't take this responsibility lightly. If you want the district to do more to help your club in your local community, this is the time to make your voice heard so that plans may be adopted and implemented in 2013-2014.

As a reminder, if the club president cannot attend this or any district meeting, they must provide in writing their named representative in order for the club to be able to vote.

If you want more information about the final report from 2012-2013, please contact Chris.

Click here if you would like more information about the budgeting process.

We will publish the proposed budget for 2013-2014 on this blog when received.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Optimist International Essay Contest Update

The PNW District has been alerted to a typographical error on the Optimist International Essay Contest entry form. It appears in Sections V and VI regarding scoring and penalties.  As printed, the penalties of self identification and proper word count appear in Section V (scoring of contest) and they should be in Section VI (penalties).

We don't think that this should prevent students from participating, but we wanted to let Optimist Clubs and Essay Contest chairpersons know so that they may advise the complete rules to participants and especially teachers who are encouraging their classes to be involved.

The correct rules may be found on PAGE 5 of the Club Planning Guide. Sections V and VI appear here as they should appear on the entry form. We anticipate that Optimist International will correct the form and post it to the website soon.

Please consider sharing the complete rules from the Club Planning Guide, found on pages 4 and 5, with your Optimist International Essay Contestants.

Download the Essay Contest Club Chair Planning Guide here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

North Shore Optimist Club are stewards of the salmon

Andrew Saxton, MP and
Darrell Mussatto, Mayor
Optimist Clubs and members have many different interests, but there is always one constant theme: Optimist Clubs support projects that make our world a better place to live. That might have been what was on the minds of the Vancouver North Shore Optimist Club when they attended an open house held by the Seymour Salmonid Society.

The first open house in ten years, the event drew dignitaries and community organizations and honored them for their contributions and support of the Seymour River Hatchery. Included along with the North Shore Optimist Club were Andrew Saxton, MP, North Vancouver; Darrel Mussatto, Mayor, City of North Vancouver; and Jane Thornthwaite, MLA, North Vancouver/Seymour, representing the government of British Columbia.

Following the ceremony, Optimist Club members Bob Renshaw and Robert Jackson joined a tour of the Seymour Hatchery where they discovered the many fry that are being prepared for their trip to the ocean within the next two years. They learned about the habitat created for the fish to lay eggs and how student field trips are conducted. The Optimist Club was invited to return in the spring to interact with the classes and students.
Bob Renshaw, Matt Casselman,
and Robert Jackson

When the tour was over, Robert and Bob met with Matt Casselman and Ed Walls of the Salmonind Society and presented the organization with a $1,000 donation.

It's important that our Optimist Clubs be present for important community events, showing both financial and moral support for what is good in our communities. Kudos the North Shore Optimist Club for their involvement.

Story and photos courtesy of Robert Jackson, Vancouver North Shore Optimist Club. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Let's be optimistic

Optimist International President Ron Huxley is using all resources to reach out to Optimist Club members. In the following beginning of the year video, he explains about how the theme "My Optimism" can inspire individuals to be involved with an Optimist Club.



This year, we encourage you to follow President Ron's lead. Record a video and share it with your Optimist Club members. Send us a link too so we can share it with the world. As the Vancouver, WA Optimist Club says, "Let's be optimistic." My addendum, "Let's share our optimism."

Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to this blog for regular updates about optimism in the PNW District - Optimist International.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A new year of optimism begins today



On the first of October every year, Optimist Clubs, Districts, and Optimist International welcome new
leaders. In the PNW District, Fred Wallace, Gresham Optimist Club, will take over the reins as governor. His motto is, "Step it up for the kids."

On an international level, Ron Huxley, Optimist Clubs of Ausable-Port Franks, ON and Jeffersonville, IN will share his version of optimism with the world as he spreads his theme, "My Optimism." 

What does being an optimist mean to you? President Ron overcame adversity to become the optimist that he is today and he shares the following letter with you. 
"My Optimism" ... an open letter to fellow Optimists

My friends, one and all,

Every member is an Optimist because of a feeling they get when they affect the lives of young people. Whether it is at the club or the district or international level, each of us moves forward with one unified goal in mind; make our community and our world a better place for our children to live in.

How we portray our optimism varies for each of us. Some of us strive to be a part of the decision making process. While others are happy with witnessing the smiles on the faces of the young people we serve. It is important that every club and district of Optimist International recognizes that the involvement of our members must be filled with personal enjoyment. It must be entertaining and it must capture the underlining need of our members to feel that they make a difference.

In 2013 -2014 it is my wish that every club and district recognize that our children are served by active members. All members place their involvement in club and district meetings and activities on their social priority list. If we satisfy their desire for fun and enjoyment we move higher up on their personal list. We need to find out what makes our members happy and make it happen. The answer may be different for every club but the results will return big rewards in more working members and new leadership.


We can no longer lose members without a proactive plan to replace them first. For what ever reason, even the smallest of deletions has a major effect on the ability of this organization to continue to support its endeavors. Every club must understand the fact that we are all Optimist International. We are all a voice that makes a difference in our communities and our districts. It is time to raise that voice so that it echoes from club to club, village to village, city to city. Build Optimism to a stature that everyone wants to be apart of. That is my “MO” (MyOptimism). Put a smile on a child and love in your heart.

Only you can make the difference.

Yours in Optimism,
Ron Huxley
2013-2014 President Optimist International
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