August 31, 2009
August 30, 2009
But I digress. The reason for this post was both to smile at the headline and to recognize a really great project being performed with the Optimist Club of Pembroke Pines, Florida. The Optimist Club has started up a junior golf program. To support their efforts the Hollybrook Golf and Tennis Club Men's Golf Association is collecting used golf clubs and donating them to the children in the Optimist program. One look at the picture and you can tell these "old-time" golfers are happy that their old clubs will receive a new life with the Optimist junior golf program.
Each year in July, Optimist International sponsors the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. Competition begins at the club level. We love to hear when new programs take hold in a community. Great job Pembroke Pines Optimists. Many thanks to you and your supporters.
August 28, 2009
Optimist Clubs share an important mission: to bring out the best in children. Through their positive, upbeat vision, Optimist Club members provide creative, fun and needed activities in their communities. Start or join an Optimist Club today and make a difference in yours.
Link to the Optimist International district and club directory.
August 27, 2009
According to the Optimist Club organizers, the soapbox derby is more than winning prizes and advancing in competition. It is also a day of family fun where everyone learns teamwork and good sportsmanship.
As with any Optimist Club activity, the community is encouraged to get involved and this year some local celebrities got in on the action with two adult-size soapbox cars. In the first race, Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Phyllis Chase beat out University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton. In the second race Mayor Darwin Hindman nosed out Boone County Presiding Commissioner Ken Pearson.
What a wonderful tradition Optimists! Keep racing forward.
Photo courtesy of the Columbia Tribune, Julia Robinson photo.
August 26, 2009
You will find conversation, gossip, friendship and more every time the word pancake is uttered with the word fundraiser. Plan your pancake breakfast today and you can share your Optimism with the whole community and raise a few dollars for your cause in the process.
Simple how-to-host a pancake breakfast ideas.
August 25, 2009
August 24, 2009
The Optimist Club chose Glenn Martin, "a valuable asset to the community in the form of his history and information on Caldwell County." Mr. Martin has been the county historian since 2005 and spent all but two of his eighty-two years in Princeton. He resides on the land of his family's original homestead, he can recall mud roads and farming, and following a two-year stint in the army found his lifelong career in the railroad in his hometown.
His colorful life includes encounters with hobos during the Great Depression and the growth of Caldwell County, a full-time avocation that he celebrates by documenting and sharing its history.
Optimist Clubs share rich legacies in their communities, with members who personify history, growth and change. Recognizing their stories is just one way that Optimist Clubs make a difference with adults as well as children. Congratulations Mr. Martin and the Optimist Club of Caldwell County. Thank you for sharing your stories.
August 23, 2009
August 21, 2009
August 20, 2009
It is what you think - another way to beat the heat and keep our children entertained for hours. The Optimist Club of Moore, Ontario helped the Corunna Athletic Park create this water playground that features above-ground interactive water toys such as water turrets, buckets and fountains.
The Optimist Club raised half of the $160,000 price tag through a number of fundraising events including a comedy show, a youth dance and barbecues. According to Fred Strickland, Club President,“We thought it would be the ideal thing to have in the community.”
The St. Clair Township matched the other half and plans to cover the $7,000 water bill each year. This is an example of another great way that Optimist Clubs can work with their government officials to make their community a great place to live and raise a family.
August 19, 2009
Thanks to the Optimist Club of Knoxville for sharing the story and the pictures.
August 18, 2009
Congratulations to Marc Biunno, a Language Arts and Journalism teacher at Roosevelt School, on being named one of the Westfield Optimist Club's Intermediate Teachers of the Year. Each year the club singles out a teacher from each middle school.Biunno was honored by the club and the Board of Education also noted his distinction by presenting him with a resolution at the recent WHS Annual Awards Night. He received additional recognition that night when Liz Griesmer, an 8th grader who is one of Biunno's Journalism students, read a speech she composed in honor of her teacher.
Congratulations to Mr. Biunno and colleagues and the Westfield Optimist Club for setting a positive example.
All honorees are shown in the picture above: Westfield BOE President Ginny Leiz (left) presented resolutions to: WHS teachers l-r: Louis De Angelo, Mabel Huynh, and Judith McLoughlin and EIS teacher Marnie Kirschenbaum and RIS teacher Marc Biunno.
August 17, 2009
These certainly seem like missed opportunities. So today's post is more of a challenge for our Optimist Clubs. Let's do something to recognize teachers. Here are some thoughts:
- Hold an essay contest where the students nominate their favorite teacher.
- Hold a poster contest where the students draw their favorite teacher.
- Ask the PTA or PTO to help find the most inspirational teacher.
- Ask teachers to nominate their colleagues.
- Have the principal recommend likely candidates for teacher of the year.
One of the greatest things about Optimist Clubs is they have the ability to start-up and carry out meaningful programs. This one might be just the right thing for your community.
Do you have any suggestions for getting this program off the ground? What about prizes? What would be appropriate? Leave us your thoughts please, or send them to me at linda [at] newoptimistclub.com.
August 16, 2009
On July 1, 1867, the British North American Act was signed making Canada a united country. This federal statutory holiday is celebrated throughout Canada with fireworks, parades and barbecues; all of the traditional elements that bring a community together.
This year, the Optimist Club of Bright's Grove, Ontario was right in the middle of the celebration. They hosted a bigger parade than usual and recruited both decorated vehicles and bicycles to join the fun. Shriners, scouts and guides joined the Air Cadets Band and Flag Party, First Hussars, fire trucks and the Forest Legion Pipe Band. Finally, the Optimist Club hosted rides, games, clowns and music throughout the day.
Happy Anniversary Canada. Please don't take my delayed posting as a slight; but as a recognition of your achievement and community.
August 15, 2009
August 14, 2009
The most popular Optimist Club sponsored children's attractions were the Big Wheel Trike Race and the Fishing Derby. Families also enjoyed a hay bale toss, music, food and friends during the 38th annual event. Community traditions are important. What tradition is your Optimist Club involved in? Please leave us a comment and tell us all about it.
August 13, 2009
Choose the winner, give them a token of appreciation and get their picture in the paper as part of the recognition. As the school year comes to a close, invite all the students and their parents to attend a special dinner or picnic in their honor. Your Optimist Club will build lasting relationships with schools, students and parents with this one event. You will also find participants for scholarship contests and youthful hands to help your club carry out projects.
August 12, 2009
August 11, 2009
With more than 6,000 organizations, businesses, and groups participating in North Carolina, it might be easy for the efforts of of one group to be lost in the mix, but the North Carolina Department of Transportation makes sure to recognizes the 10, 15 and 20 year anniversaries of their Adopt-A-Highway sponsors annually.
It was important to me to see that the Optimist Club was included. Projects like this build cohesiveness in a club and are meaningful to the community. It takes a lot of commitment and a lot of volunteers to Keep America Beautiful. Thank you Optimists and others throughout the United States for volunteering.
Click on the Keep America Beautiful link to find out how your club can get involved.
Trivia question: Do you know the name of the Native American Indian from the Keep America Beautiful commercials and shown above? Find the answer in the labels for this post.
August 10, 2009
Say what? My Optimist Club gets together every week to fulfill the Optimist International motto of being a friend to youth. Could it be true that they only get together every five years?
Of course not. What is left unsaid is they only celebrate their accomplishments every five years; that is, they only pat each other on the back, award each other for service and brag to each other about what they have done in a formal setting every five years. The rest of the time they are leading sports programs, hosting scholarship contests, involving students in community service, holding informative club meetings and recruiting new members to carry out their mission of being friends to youth.
This made me think; one of the first things we tell our leaders is to give thanks to members, recognize them and celebrate their accomplishments. Could it be we do that too much? Has our mission of service gotten lost in the social activities and glad-handing?
The key to survival for any organization is to have a good mix of both social and service activities that creates a positive experience for all. That means as a leaders and members, you must go out of your way to make sure everyone - members and guests - feel welcome and that their voice and service are welcome additions to the club. You must also take care to include everyone in projects by letting them know why your club does it and how to be involved. Finally, most people are busy and they don't need a social group to eat with - they have family, friends and co-workers for that. If your group meets over a meal, make sure that there is a speaker or program at every meeting so that everyone has the opportunity to learn something new every time your Optimist Club gathers.
August 9, 2009
Hooray for the "Lemonade Kids!" Ranging from 5 to 15 years of age, they describe their project as "Helping the Homeless One Squeeze at a Time." They use the lemonade stand to conduct three drives per year and all money that is earned is given to the Center for Women and Children, a ministry of the Miami Rescue Mission.
The Optimist Club of Miami Springs, Florida does their part by matching the funds raised by the Lemonade Kids. According to Optimist board member Cristina Vico, the club is well-known for their sports programs, but members chose to respond to this activity because the children "learn to work with each other and working builds a solid foundation of service for them. It's a humbling experience."
August 8, 2009
The Optimist Club of Princeton, Kentucky hosted a free back-to-school bash at the City-County Pool for all school aged youth from kindergarten to 12th grade in Caldwell County on August 5.
An Optimist Club spokesperson commented that sometimes the simple projects meet the needs of the community the best. The free swim party was a great way for children to beat the heat and renew old friendships as the summer winds down and thoughts return to the classroom. The club struck a deal for admission and helped get the word out throughout the community. The kids did the rest, including paying for their own refreshments at the concession stand.
August 7, 2009
The poster contest is a fairly simple process and one that teachers look forward to each year. Teachers can plan lessons around substance abuse prevention and kids can creatively record what they have learned. The Optimist Club then awards the students on their creativity.
If your district conducts a poster contest, please send me a message and some details of your event. I would love to share the information with others. Thanks!
August 6, 2009
August 5, 2009
The City of Jackson, New Jersey and Mayor Mike Reina praised the Optimist Buddies at a recent Jackson Township Council meeting. He recognized the group, made up of forty students, for service to their community, especially for the effort of kids helping kids.
The Optimist Buddy program is coordinated by the Optimist Club of Jackson. They help the students find and perform work with Community Alliance programs, enabling children with special needs to participate in sports activities and other pursuits.
Mayor Reina congratulated the group and commented, "You can't feel anything but proud of these students. It's just another fine example of how Jackson comes together as a community."
August 4, 2009
The convention attendees had the opportunity to attend education and networking sessions on leadership and community service and to meet with the Board of Directors of Optimist International. Shown with the delegation here are Don Sievers, President and his spouse Anita; Theo Golding, Chairman of the Board; and Mark Shriver, President-designate and his spouse Patricia McKay, M.D.
Link to Anguilla News.