April marks the start of the last six months of the "MO" Optimist year. For Club leadership, it may be that time when some start asking, "What have I gotten myself into?" Those that have been more successful may say, "This has been an incredible experience!" In either case, April is a time for renewed energy and focus. If some of the things you have been doing don't seem to be working, then take this opportunity to change them. If things are working fine, then make plans and think of ways to improve for the future. Don't get bogged down in the same ol', same ol'.
April is also the time to plan for succession in the Optimist world, including Club officers and Lieutenant Governors. We struggle when we cannot find a willing Optimist to move forward into these positions. It is vital that we motivate new Members to bring energy and a fresh perspective to these leadership positions. Be mindful of the fact that a lack of willingness to serve may be the result of an overworked Member and a lack of planning.
I am impressed by the number of strong Clubs that share with me they have never had a repeat President. One Club that comes to mind is sixty-two years old this year. Can you imagine such success? What do they do that others are not? The answer is simple. These Clubs have a succession plan that includes an awareness to inspire new membership. New membership brings with it an eagerness to get involved. Take advantage of that, as it can be contagious! At the same time, you need to be cautious and give positive guidance where guidance is needed.
Promise yourself to watch over the children of your community and the world, for they are all that we have, all that we are and all that we will ever be. Build an "MO."
Yours in Optimism,
April is Internet Safety Month
Optimist International Internet Safety Month is here! Statistics show that 99% of all teens have access to the internet and 94% of students admitted to being cyber bullied and did not tell an adult.
The importance of protecting the children in your community is a major undertaking and Optimists Clubs can play a vital role. To learn how your Club can educate children and teens about the dangers of the internet - and keep their parents and teachers informed as well - click here.
Remember to Submit Your District Essay Winner
The District Essay Contest deadline is April 15! The District Entry Form, Winner's Information Form, a copy of the essay and the winner's birth certificate or passport must be turned in to the Programs Department.
If you are involved in the contest at the District level, make sure all the materials are turned in on time, so the winner can be recognized and receive their scholarship. For more information, click here or e-mail email@example.com.
Membership Programs Bring New Energy to Clubs Now is the time to spring your membership forward with 30 Under 30 and Friends of Optimists! These programs are a great way to re-energize your Club and expand your reach in the community.
The 30 Under 30 promotion can bring younger Members who come with fresh ideas, new passions and extra energy. Combine this eagerness with the seasoned Optimist Members, and your Club's possibilities are endless.
The Friend of Optimists (FOO) program is the perfect way to get someone involved who may not have the time to attend every meeting or event. It is also a great way to get local businesses to support your Club and show their Optimist pride!
If you have any questions about these programs, contact the Membership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 500-8130 x227.
First Online Election of Officers is Coming Soon
Your Club's right to vote for the Optimist International President, Board Directors and Vice Presidents has never been easier.
To be able to vote for the next Optimist International President, two At Large Board Directors, and your Regional Vice President, your Optimist Club MUST be up to date with all Optimist International dues and fees by April 30, 2014. Voting will take place during the month of June 2014.
Please make sure that your 2013-2014 Club President's email address is correct in the Optimist Membership database to ensure your Club receives the voting procedures, which will be sent in May.
Go to www.optimistleaders.org and login with your credentials. If you do not know your credentials, click on the "Password Recovery" link. Select yourself-confirm email is correct or enter in correct address.
Check out the Spring edition of The Optimist magazine for more information.
Become a Knowledgeable Officer-Elect
The 2014 International Convention is the place to be for Officer-Elects from the Club to the District level! There will be District Secretary-Treasurer Designate Training to explain the who, what, where, when and why of this important position as the District Governor's right hand person. Club Secretary-Treasurer Designate Training will also be conducted to outline the importance of this position and provide strategies to benefit your Club.
Club President Training will be filled with ideas and information to ensure your team's success, as presenters focus on leadership and the important responsibilities of this position throughout the Optimist year. Attendees will gain the confidence to lead their Clubs through the next year, building membership, taking care of business and having fun!
District Chair Designate Training for Club Services, Leadership Development, Membership and New Club Building Chairs will be conducted. The sessions will be tailored specifically to the responsibilities of these significant leadership positions. Learn how you can help your District, motivate Clubs and fulfill the requirements of your new leadership role.
Don't Miss the Great Entertainment at the 2014 International Convention
Austin Gatus - Opening Ceremonies on Thursday, July 10 Brought to you by Members of the Host Region and the Childhood Cancer Campaign
Music is Austin's calling and is in his blood, even while battling the blood cancer, leukemia, at age nine and undergoing four years of chemotherapy. Since age twelve, he has shared the stage with saxophone superstars Kenny G and Dave Koz, with Mindi Abair, and with the Average White Band and their saxman, Freddy V. Now at the age of seventeen, he composes and performs his own music as a multi-instrumentalist on keyboard, guitar, saxophone and vocals. To learn more about Austin, visit his website.
Wally Eastwood - Old Timers Breakfast on Friday, July 11
Wally Eastwood is the longest playing Comedy Juggler in Las Vegas history, with over 20 years and more than 10,000 shows in Las Vegas alone. He has a unique knack for charming and entertaining all types of audiences with his visual comedy, incredible mastery of juggling and his charismatic personality.
Kenton Weaver - Presidential Banquet & Ball on Friday, July 11
Kenton Weaver is a singer's singer with a voice so resonant and a repertoire so versatile it spans the whole gamut from Broadway to country and old-time rock and roll. His vocal impressions are not parodies, but marvelous renditions of time-tested standards. He will take you on a memory tour of your feel-good days from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Opera-Kadabra: the World's Only Opera-Singing Magician - Appreciation Luncheon on Saturday, July 12
Patrick Bell, baritone and magician, launched his career as a professional magician at the age of thirteen. Patrick has earned both Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees in Vocal Performance at UCLA, and has enjoyed several seasons with the Los Angeles Opera Chorus and the worldwide TV ministry Hour of Power Choir. Make sure to check out Patrick's website.
Junior Golf Season Tees Off
It was a great start to the junior golf season as the Optimist Junior Tour events kicked off two successful back-to-back tournaments. These events are 36-hole tournaments and are ranked by the Junior Golf Scoreboard.
Myrtle Beach, SC - Partnering with Greg Norman Golf Academy, this event debuted with 60 players at Barefoot Resort. The top five golfers in each age division will advance to the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships in July. Golfers advancing are:
Girls 14-18: Maria Balcazar (Florida), Ashley Sloup (North Carolina), Megan Carter (Georgia), Chelsea Dantonio (New York) and Lauren Lightfritz (Georgia).
Boys 14-15: Kyle Spencer (South Carolina), Javier Gonzales (South Carolina), Lawrence Kent (South Carolina), Patrick Golden (South Carolina) and Landson Robbins (North Carolina).
Boys 16-18: Luis Cordova Garza (Mexico), Manuel Torres (Venezuela), Andres Arango (Florida), Elliott Grayson (North Carolina) and Jose Galanda (Mexico).
The 2nd Annual Optimist Junior Tour event in Fort Worth, Texas, was held on a blustery weekend at Waterchase Golf Club, but that didn't keep the golfers away. Congratulations to the qualifiers who will be moving on to the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships:
Girls 14-18: Julie Houston (Texas) and Maria Edwards (Texas)
Boys 14-15: Gerardo Herrera (Mexico) and Weylen Change (Texas)
Boys 16-18: Zach Cole (Texas) and William Myers (Louisiana)
In addition to Myrtle Beach and Fort Worth, Optimist Junior Golf is looking to add Florida and Ontario, Canada, to the list for 2015. Help us grow Optimist Junior Golf!
Optimist Junior Golf District Qualifiers
Junior golfers are headed to the qualifiers with dreams of qualifying for the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships held in July at the prestigious PGA National Resort & Spa. Optimist Junior Golf needs help from Districts and Clubs to make it affordable for these golfers to attend. Volunteers, donations and sponsorships are needed. For more information about Optimist Junior Golf and District qualifiers, visit www.optimist.org/golf. Members are encouraged to contact Optimist Junior Golf at (800) 500-8130 ext. 207 or email email@example.com to learn more.
2014 Optimist Junior Golf All-Scholastic Team
Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team. The deadline is April 5. The All-Scholastic Team is a special award recognizing the academic accomplishments and community service record of junior golfers who are past participants of Optimist International championship tournaments or District qualifiers.
Junior golfers selected to the team will receive an automatic exemption into the Optimist International Junior Golf championships and complimentary registration. The exemption includes an invitation to participate in the International Championships without having to play in a qualifying tournament. For more information and to apply click here.
Calling Future Leaders
If you know of a JOOI Member that has been considering running for an international office or one that should, now is the time to get them motivated! Applications are due to the JOOI Department by June 1. JOOI Members should fill out the application and biographical release found here.
Those running will have the opportunity to present a speech at the JOOI Convention right before the election. If you have questions regarding International JOOI Board qualifications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reel Optimism: Voting Opens May 1
Thank you to all the Clubs that submitted an entry for the 2014 Reel Optimism Video Contest. Optimist International received several submissions and the quality of the videos was tremendous! The finalists will be announced on May 1 and Members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite video until May 15 at www.optimist.org/ReelOptimism. Please plan to cast your vote!
Social media is an excellent way for Optimist officers to network with fellow Members and Clubs. It can also be used to spread the word about your Club and recruit new Members. If you are not already active on Social Media, please consider joining some of the more popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
For a list of Optimist International's official social media pages, click here. You can also find resources to help you get started.
Introducing Optimist International endorsed WOW!Calendars™
WOW!Calendars™ are a simple and profitable way for your Club to raise money for the projects your Club supports within your community. And, they're super easy to sell!
"Our success is the product itself. We more than doubled sales this year due to people seeing the calendar from last year. We also had two businesses use the calendar as a business gift. It sells itself. Grandparents and businesses have already told us that they are looking forward to next year!"