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6 • The Optimist Winter 2015 • 7
n October 1 of 2013, the Optimist Club of Cedartown, Georgia, started the year with just a dozen Members to serve the youth of their community. Twelve months later, the Club had reached 39 Members and had made donations to several local youth programs totaling $10,000.
Ronnie Dingler, 2013-14 Club President, said he had two goals in mind when he came into offce.
“I wanted to increase
our Membership and our bank accounts so we could contribute more money than ever to local youth groups.”
Asked how the Club recruited 29 Members, Dingler said, “I asked many people who were good citizens of our community to help us develop the youth to become our future leaders. I mentioned the under privileged children who are smart if given the chance and opportunity to prove themselves. This makes people think. In many cases, I get a Member.”
Dingler offers a few other tips that Clubs could use to expand their rosters. “We have our website on
Facebook and we post pictures on it,” he said. “We send pictures to our local newspaper so our local citizens see what we do.”
He also pushed Friend of Optimist memberships.
“Several people mentioned they would like to become a Member, but due to the times of our meeting they couldn’t participate.”
In addition to recruiting 29 Members, the Cedartown Club kept its Member deletions to two. "We try to keep our Members’ interest in projects and fundraisers,” Dingler said. “It’s been a good year for this and again I’m thankful for the support of the Members and the community.”
And Dingler isn’t taking it easy just because his year as President is over. He’s already working with 2014-15 Club President Tammy Minter to have a goal of 50 Members by the end of this year.
The Cedartown Club was frst in the Georgia District in growth and this, in turn, helped the Georgia District fnish third in Optimist International in membership growth in 2013-14.
Georgia Club More Than Triples Its Membership
A F e w T i p s f o r B e t t e r C l u b M e e t i n g s
Differences Between Club Meetings/Committee Meetings/Board Meetings
• A way for Members to get to know each other. • A way to promote the Club’s goals.
• A way for Members to have fun. • A way to learn more about what’s on in their community.
Club meetings should be fun.
Variety is desirable. It helps keep the meetings from becoming stereotyped.
Members should want to come to meetings because of…
• The fellowship • A good time
• Interesting programs
• A sense of being part of the Club’s activities
Members who want to come to meetings will be more willing to volunteer for Club projects and fundraising activities.
New Members (and prospective Members) will be more likely to want to come back because of the positive experience they’ve had.
Club Meetings >
Committees make recommendations for approval to the board or, in certain instances, to the Club Membership.
Committees meet for specific purposes to discuss ideas, make plans and recommendations.
The board guides the Club through group-thinking. Group-thinking should reflect the opinions of all board Members.
Matters which do not require a vote of the membership are the responsibility of the board.
The board controls and manages the Club’s activities, determines all policies, accepts new Members, disciplines Members and generally supervises the affairs of the Club.