Please stop for a minute and think about the first Optimist that comes to mind. What makes them so special? I believe many of us have grown up feeling the advantages of a world that cared about doing whatever it could to improve the lives of children. We as Optimists and especially that person you just brought to mind are truly some of the best people in this world. Ask yourself if this Member possesses somewhere deep inside a spark - a spark of childhood memories or even that desire to never grow up. I believe all good Optimists enjoy reliving their youth through the eyes of children. The things we did that were fun as a child are the inspiration that moves us forward to affect the lives of children today.
While many of us have gotten older and lack the youthful exuberance to crouch behind home plate or run the race, we still know how. We still feel that desire to do so. The children we serve, teach and mentor are our vehicle to find that spark once again.
Ron Huxley, 2013-14 International President
As your President, I have been blessed. I have seen your spark. I have witnessed your desire and the smiles on the faces of the children whose hearts you have touched. If we have learned one thing through the years, it is that it is more fun to share our spark, to allow someone we know to show us their spark, to give a friend, neighbor, brother or sister the opportunity to relive their memories through the avenues offered by Optimism.
As we proceed through the last half of this Optimist year, there should not be any excuse to find that we have not met our goals. If we get to the end and look back, only to find we have not made a difference in our Clubs, our community or the life of a child, then what was accomplished? There is still time, so please make that extra effort. Find those replacements to keep your Club strong and filled with sparks. It really is that simple and it has to be everyone's responsibility. Put a plan together and make it happen. Be proud of your successes!
Yours in Optimism,
The Election is Near
Optimist International has partnered with Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) to administer the 2014 International officer election. To assure your Club's election specific broadcast email arrives safely in your inbox on June 2, simply add the following email address as an approved sender: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To be eligible to vote, your Club's dues must be paid in full prior to the start of the election on June 2. Voting will continue through June 30 at 5:00 p.m. CDT.
Proposed Bylaws Amendments
Optimist Clubs and Members will have the opportunity to cast their vote for several proposed amendments to the International Bylaws at the upcoming International Convention in Las Vegas. The 2014-15 Proposed Bylaws Amendments will be sent to all Optimist Leaders in a separate announcement later this week. They will also be posted on the Optimist International homepage, www.optimist.org.
Become an International Convention Sponsor and Earn Recognition
The Convention Committee has developed a fundraising project to raise funds needed to defray expenses not covered by attendee registration fees. Both Clubs and individuals can participate and help sponsor the upcoming convention.
Clubs that make a $50 minimum donation will receive a 96th Annual Optimist Convention Sponsor banner patch and their Club's name will be listed as a sponsor at convention. Individuals who make a donation of $25 or more will receive a Certificate of Appreciation and their names will be listed at convention.
If you would like to be a Convention Sponsor, please complete the attached form and mail a check payable to Optimist International 2014 Convention to: Events and Travel Department, Optimist International, 4494 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108. For additional information, contact the Meetings department at 800-500-8130 ext 205 or email@example.com.
Fundraise for Your Club and the International Convention The Convention Committee is pleased to announce two great raffles in which Clubs and Members can participate.
Prize Raffle - a great fundraiser for Clubs too!
Tickets are $5 each - Clubs receive $2, the International Convention budget receives $2 and the Childhood Cancer Campaign (US or Canada) receives $1 per ticket sold.
Click here for details on how you and your Club can participate. All sellers are awarded 1 personal ticket per 20 tickets sold. Winners will be drawn at convention, but do not need to be present to win.
Prizes include a 7" Samsung Galaxy III Tablet (valued at $250) with 3 year warranty, strands of opera length pearls for 3 separate raffles (combined value over $1,000), gift cards to popular restaurant and department store chains and more.
Gas Card Raffle
There will be multiple drawings and chances to win! Tickets are $100 each. One $1,000 gas card will be awarded for every 50 tickets sold. Seller is awarded one raffle ticket per ticket sold. Entrants do not have to be Optimist Members. Gift cards purchased will be the winner's brand of choice. For information on how to participate, please contact the Meetings department at 800-500-8130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All funds raised from these efforts will be used to cover expenses including youth activities, entertainment, decorations, tours, transportation and more. Please consider doing what you can to help support your upcoming Vegas convention, as well as your Club!
Presidential Recruitment Incentive
Congratulations to the second quarter winners of President Ron's Recruitment Incentive! Every quarter, each Member that sponsors three or more Members has their name placed in a pool and one name is drawn from each Region.
The second quarter winners are:
Region 1: Howard Bentley - Optimist Club of Hamilton-East, ON
Region 2: Vera Hendrix - Optimist Club of Talladega, AL
Region 3: Ben Bashom - Optimist Club of Bowling Green-Warren East, KY
Region 4: Deborah Dunham - Optimist Club of Chesterfield, IN
Region 5: Taylor Seliger - St. Norbert College Optimist Club, WI
Region 6: Henrietta Boyer - Optimist Club of Salina, KS
Region 7: Rosalie Abacherlie - Bakersfield Optimist Club, CA
Region 8: Louise Dugal - Club Optimiste de Cap Rouge, QC
The winners will have $250 awarded to their Club in their name, to be used for youth activities.
Seeking Rising Stars
If you are interested in running for an International Office or may be in the future, please consider attending a very important workshop at the International Convention called "Seeking Rising Stars." The session will be hosted by the International Candidate Qualifications Committee. "Seeking Rising Stars" will give you insight in to what the committee is looking for in qualified candidates for the office of International President, Vice President, or member of the Board of Directors.
Please plan on attending if you are interested in becoming an officer of Optimist International. The information is invaluable. Check your convention program for date, time and location.
Showcase Your Club Project or Fundraiser
Optimist International is sponsoring the annual Bragger's Hall at the 2014 International Convention in Las Vegas. Each participating Club will be assigned a table to display information and materials about their project. Show off pictures, brochures, handouts, a CPA entry or other items that would help attendees conduct a similar project in their area. Clubs will be responsible for transporting their own materials.
As attendees leave the Hall, they will be able to vote for the best project display. The winning Club will be awarded one free registration to the 2015 International Convention in New Orleans! For more information or to receive a registration form, contact email@example.com.
Vote for Your Favorite Reel Optimism Video
Ready, set, vote! Congratulations to the five finalists for the second annual Reel Optimism Video Contest. Voting is now open and will remain open through May 15.
The winning videos will be announced during the 2014 Optimist International Convention and Clubs will be invited on stage to receive their Club Grant, courtesy of the Optimist International Foundation and the Canadian Children's Optimist Foundation.
Get Your Tickets for the Optimist International Foundation Golf Raffle
Tickets for the annual Optimist International Foundation (OIF) golf raffle are available in every OIF District now through July. Chances are 1 for $10 or 3 for $20.
To purchase tickets, please see your District Foundation Representative, visit the Foundation kiosk during Convention, or contact the Foundation office at (800) 500-8130.
Adobe Golf has once again provided fabulous prizes. Click here for more information. The drawing will be held during the Foundation presentation at the International Convention in Las Vegas.
Donate Your Bags to Help the Optimist International Foundation
The Optimist International Foundation and the Women's Philanthropy Council will be hosting their annual "Purse Snatching" at the 2014 International Convention.
The Foundation is seeking donations of bags for this event. Donations being accepted include purses, handbags, wallets, golf bags, backpacks, luggage pieces, suitcases and briefcases. The bags will be auctioned off at convention and the money raised will go to the Foundation.
Please send your bags to the Foundation office at 4494 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108. For more information about donating, please call 800-500-8130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn Strategies for Service from Successful Clubs
Is your Club looking for new ideas? Are you wondering how other Clubs are serving the needs of children in their communities? Do you want to learn how to bring out the best in MORE kids?
During a White Paper Summit at last year's International Convention, Clubs were asked a simple question: "What makes your Club successful?" Check out this video and share it with your fellow Optimists!
Announcing the 2014 Hugh Cranford All Scholastic Optimist Junior Golf Team
Optimist Junior Golf is proud to announce the junior golfers who will make up the 2014 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team. The team recognizes junior golfers who excel not just on the golf course but also in the classroom. After reviewing the qualifications of 64 impressive applicants, the Optimist Junior Golf All-Scholastic Committee selected five students for the team.
Optimist Junior Golf bestowed the All-Scholastic Team honor to the following exceptional student athletes:
Lucas Hicks of Milton, Massachusetts
Jake Leffew of Vero Beach, Florida
Sabrina Long of Alpharetta, Georgia
Radi Sauro of Lake Worth, Florida
And receiving the "Bringing Out the Best in Kids" Community Service Award
is Moran Schaffer of Mason, Ohio.
As members of the 2014 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team, the five junior golfers will receive an automatic exemption into the 2014 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships July 24-29 at PGA National Resort and Spa. Their registration fee for the tournament will be waived, which includes their golf, 5 nights lodging and meals. They will also be recognized for the honor at the tournament's Opening Ceremonies.
Applicants must be between the ages of 16-18 and were required to complete an application, submit current school transcripts, most recent grade reports and test results, and complete an essay on the following topic, “You have played another team sport your entire life. You have made a decision to play only golf. What do you tell your teammates?”
Thank you to Optimist Members Stephen Feinstein, Chair (Providence, RI), Richard Bloom (Gladwin, MI), Russ Hightower (Ellenton, FL) and Mike Sprague (The Villages, FL) for making up the Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Committee.
The All-Scholastic Team is named for Hugh Cranford, who served as Executive Director of Optimist International from 1967 to 1986. He was instrumental in starting the Optimist Junior Golf program and in 1978 led the efforts to co-sponsor the Optimist Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, the forerunner to today’s Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. In past years, Cranford has served as chairman and member of the committee that oversees the Optimist Junior Golf program. He is currently an emeritus member of the committee.