Less than 25% of all service clubs provide what Optimist International considers to be exemplary, outstanding service. They give the clubs that earn that level the honor of being called an Honor Club. What does it mean to earn that distinction?Please read on to learn what being an Honor Club President meant to me.
A purple and gold rectangle bears my name on my Optimist Club's banner. I wouldn't want it any other way. Representing a year of dedication and commitment, that symbol set in motion a career in Optimism.
I chose to be president of my Optimist Club even though others had turned down the opportunity. I smiled and said yes when asked to serve because I knew our Optimist Club made a difference in our community. We served kids, we were civic leaders, and we offered hope to those who were less fortunate. We gave of ourselves and in doing so, developed a sense of pride and teamwork. How could anyone decline the opportunity to lead such an admirable cause?
My Optimist Club flourished. We sponsored service projects and fund raisers, we paid our bills and made reports to the district and Optimist International. We recruited new members and never failed to honor the Optimist of the Year with a Life Membership. I began attending district meetings and discovered that what we were doing was not a secret. We were successful because we were following the steps to Honor Club status. We were not alone in our service, but we were among the elite.
It's an honor to be Honor. It truly is. Achieving Honor Club recognition proves an Optimist Club is serving the youth and community to its fullest capacity. It means the club has conducted no less than three service projects, achieved growth in membership and completed their financial and administrative requirements. The reward for doing everything right is the silent pride in knowing the Optimist Honor Club ranks among the top twenty-five percent of all service clubs in the world.
From Honor Club president, I rose to District and International service; but it is always most rewarding to return home, to where it all began. My name, emblazoned on that banner, declares I am first and foremost an Optimist volunteer. I roll up my sleeves and go to work, for it is only at the club level that I can personally touch the life of a child.
This essay was written by Linda Vaught and was first published in the April/May 1998 edition of the Optimist. Please click on the administrative year to discover the current requirements for Honor Club.
2007-2008 or 2008-2009 .
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