August 30, 2013

Hire an optimist

If you live in the Whitewater, Wisconsin area, here is a deal that you don't want to miss! Hire an optimist and you'll help support the University of Whitewater Student Optimist Club's service learning trip to Burkina Faso. Your contribution is tax deductible, you'll get some chores done around your home or business and the community of Burkina Faso will benefit from the talent and passion of some fabulous young people.


The UW-W Student Optimist Club has a history of making mission-style trips. in 2012 they worked with an orphanage, multiple schools and many underprivileged youth in four regions of Ecuador. While the onsite work is rewarding for both the students and beneficiaries, much goes on behind the scenes as well as the students prepare to go. Not only do they fund raise for expenses, they raise money to purchase needed supplies, hold clothing drives and learn about the region they will be serving.

In Burkina Faso, the group of students will be:
  • Building computer lab
  • Creating sustainable gardens
  • Building a Student Optimist Club
  • Delivering soccer balls and interacting with children 
  • Delivering medical supplies, equipment and knowledge 
  • Delivering educational supplies and hygiene supplies
But before they leave, they must raise enough money to ship an ambulance to Dedougou. It will be the first emergency vehicle in the African community. 

Find out more about the trip and how you can contribute to the Student Optimist Club's success: 


Or make a donation to the UW-Whitewater Student Optimist Club Service Learning Trip to Burkina Faso by sending a check to:

Optimist International Foundation
c/o Kim Adams
800 W. Main St. UC 250
Whitewater, WI 53190

August 28, 2013

Optimist Clubs at the Minnesota State Fair

For twelve days, Optimist Club members in Minnesota have taken to the State Fair. Running from August 22 to September 2, 2013, several different Minnesota Optimist Clubs will be hosting a booth in search of new members. They'll also share the projects that stir their passion and interests and generally let others know about the good things that Optimist Clubs do in their communities. They'll let kids know how to participate in the scholarship programs and adults will learn how to join or contribute and be a part of the most positive movement in town.

But what I found especially cool about this project is that it is being documented with a video tribute called "Optimists at the Fair." The video below was posted by My Music Matters Radio Show; however, more videos can be found on Facebook uploaded by Kelly Casey.  She's posting a new one every day.

Sharing the Optimist Club story with potential new members is essential and the Minnesota Optimist Clubs have proved that it can also be fun. You want to join now, don't you?


August 27, 2013

Live the Optimist Creed

Sharing the Optimist Creed is one of my favorite things to do. And it is oh-so easy with social media, from Facebook to Pinterest and beyond, to spread its message far and wide.

Experience Optimism Optimist Creed

The Optimist Creed was written by Christian D. Larson in 1912. In 1922, Optimist International adopted the Optimist Creed as a statement of self-responsibility to make our world a better place to live. It has been adopted by other causes, but none other are as far-reaching as the Optimist Club's ability to do good things in local communities around the world. Every Optimist Club meeting begins or ends by its members reciting the Creed together as they share its promises with one another. Shared promises become more than a dream, they become a responsibility and in time, a reality.

Many individuals choose particular lines from the Optimist Creed as their favorite. As for me, I like them all and depending on the day, one may have more meaning. Today, for instance, I'm finding motivation in, "Press on to the greater achievements of the future."

You see, the summer is almost over and as children return to school, the fall begins with a zest for new beginnings. At work, the summer lull is blossoming into a full schedule of autumn events, events that will nurture the participants. I will take care to share the tenet, "To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others," as I coordinate professional development activities for my employer and as I work with my Optimist Club and District, I will give special attention to, "Make all your friends feel that there is something in them."

There's something in the Optimist Creed for everybody. Read it. Enjoy it. Share it. Most of all, live it. Live the Optimist Creed.

August 25, 2013

Optimist Club spearheads splash pad project

The end of summer may be near, but some communities are still celebrating. That was the case in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, where the city and county came together with the Optimist Club to dedicate the city's new splash pad. 

It took nearly three years and multiple partners to raise the $750,000 necessary for the water playground and Friday, August 23, 2013 was an exciting day for all, especially the kids. 
“Opening the new splash pad park today makes it a great day for Fitchburg,” said Mayor Shawn Pfaff. 
“Through our collaborative efforts with the City, the Optimist Club and community residents, we have made the investment to build this important public amenity – just like our new library and our bike trails –to continue making Fitchburg an even better connected community for families and children from all walks of life for generations to come.”
The splash pad is located at McKee Farms Park. The idea came from the Optimist Club with President Joan Mohr spearheading the three year project. The time and effort has all been worth it. Optimists always perform projects that acknowledge or benefit kids and Joan says,  “Kids have always been special in my heart. I wanted to give kids of all abilities a special place to have fun and cool down in the summer. The splash pad project became a passion. May families enjoy it for a long time.”

Indeed. That's the reason Optimist Clubs do what they do - so families may enjoy their communities for a long time, perhaps forever.

Photo courtesy of the Fitchburg Optimist Club. See more about this story at connectfitchburg.com

August 20, 2013

Back to school time brings out the Optimist Club

For sixteen years, the Sheboygan Noon Optimist Club has helped students go back to school. And over the years, the school supply drive has grown to serving 800 students to more than 1700 at last count. It's a family tradition for some. Having received the supplies when they were a student, they now return to volunteer in the program.

 Approximately 100 volunteers, Optimist Club members and others, volunteer the day of the event. According to program co-chair Linda Machtig, families begin to line up as early as 3:00 in the morning. It's like Best Buy after Thanksgiving Day, she explains.

She also explained that the need is so great that next year they will begin to advertise earlier for donations. More than 15,000 products were purchased this year, totally depleting their funds. The Optimistic way though is not to complain, but instead, find a way to do more. The Sheboygan Noon Optimist Club promises to do just that.

 Watch a clip of the Sheboygan Noon Optimist Club’s Back to School Basics School Supply Giveaway.


      

Video courtesy of the Sheboygan Press. 

August 18, 2013

Clap along and be happy

Here's a happy song. No commentary for Music Sunday at Experience Optimism today. Gather your minions, hit play and then clap your hands and enjoy.

Click here for "Happy" by Pharrell Williams for Despicable Me 2.


August 16, 2013

Be sexy, work hard, and you will create the world in which you want to live

Earlier this week, Ashton Kutcher was honored at the Teen Choice Awards 2013. His acceptance speech has gone viral as people, bloggers, reporters and others have added kudos and commentary to his words. Many say that politicians should be paying attention to his style and substance. Perhaps. But I am proud to say that Optimist Club members, and members of other service clubs already do this.

  •  Optimist Club members build their lives to create the world in which they live. 
  •  Optimist Club members don't shy away from work and because of that, the door to opportunity opens for them. 
  •  Optimist Club members are sexy. Well, maybe not, but they are smart and according to Kutcher, it's the same thing. 
Watch Ashton Kutcher's speech now and tell me what you think. 

August 12, 2013

Why are you proud to be an Optimist?

"We share the same values" and "We create leaders" are just two reasons members cite for being proud to be an an Optimist. Please listen to Don Brose and Stéphanie Thériault in their own words. And then take a moment and then share your reason with us here. Why are you proud to be an Optimist?




  Video courtesy of Optimist International on YouTube.

August 10, 2013

Men's night out

I'm trying to decide if I like this program or not. An event targeted for men only seems a little bit sexist, but either way, raising more than $21,000 for youth serving projects is awesome! Great job, Yuma Optimist Club.

Optimist Club Yuma
Somerton Youth Center receive donation
from the Optimst Club
Following a 35-year tradition, the Yuma Optimist Club recently held "Continental Night." Men are invited to attend and for their $300 entry fee they are treated to an evening that includes a steak dinner, games and prizes and a drawing for a car. In years past, the car given away was a Lincoln Continental, hence the name of the event; but this year, the club opted to give away a Ford Mustang. 

And it was certainly successful. One hundred and twenty men were in attendance. One lucky individual walked away with a new car and two youth-serving organizations received the generous donations courtesy of the men's night out. 

Splitting the $21,000 bounty from Continental Night were the Somerton Youth Center and the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. According to Optimist Club spokesman Chris Townsend, these particular youth clubs provide outstanding youth mentoring and offer access to opportunities like no other. “These organizations are creative and afford a productive venue for our children to excel and grow as they participate and use what they learn at these programs in their everyday lives at home and school," he concluded. 

Both sound like great partners for an Optimist Club. 

Photo courtesy of the Yuma Optimist Club. 


August 7, 2013

Youth is our thing

The  motto for Optimist International is "Friend of Youth." Optimist Clubs will typically use the same motto and more recently, they use the alternate tagline which is a shortened version of the mission statement "Bringing out the Best in Children." 

Of course some get more creative as did the Optimist Club of Christiana, Jamaica. According to Jamaica newspaper The Gleaner, "the Optimist Club has been creating a positive impact on the lives of people of the Manchester town, in particular the children, as they work at nation building."

Club president David Grant sums up the Optimist Club's work much more concisely. He said, "Youth is our thing." And a new motto was born.

Among its many accomplishments, the Optimist Club of Christiana has given more than $7 million in scholarships and works with the local schools to refurbish facilities, buy books and landscape the buildings for the beauty of the community.

Yes, youth is their thing. Yes, youth is our thing - the thing that binds all Optimist Clubs together in service.

August 4, 2013

Congratulations to the winners of #TheOPTIMIST Junior Golf Championships

junior golf OPTIMIST 2013 boys
John Mancinotti, Claudio Correa, and Corey Pereira 
The 2013 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships came to a close today and the top golfers have been awarded their prizes.

For boys 16-18 category, Corey Pereira, Cameron Park, CA, landed soundly in first place with 69-70-69-67 for a total of 275.

Following were Claudio Correa, Santiago, Chile, claimed second place with 74-71-68-71 and a total of 284. He eclipsed third place golfer John Mancinotti, Toledo, Ohio by only one stroke. Mancinotti posted 74-72-68-71.

girls OPTIMIST 2013 junior golf
Tiana Gwenn Lau, Victoria Chandra, and Coralia Arias
In the girls 15-18 category Coralia Arias, Quito, Ecuador, claimed first place with a four round total of 290 (74-69-73-74).

In second place was Victoria Chandra, Denpasar, Bali, with a score of 291 (73-74-73).

Tiana Gwenn Lau, Hong Kong,  finished in third place with 292 (71-76-73-72).

The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships are played annually in late July-early August. Approximately 600 junior golfers from around the world are welcomed to the tournament at PGA National Resort & Spa in Pam Beach Gardens, Florida, USA. While there are some at-large entries, most golfers have earned their place in the tournament by qualifying through district-level events with a local Optimist Club. To find out more, please visit Optimist.org/junior golf.

Photos courtesy of Optimist International. See more photos on Facebook. 

August 2, 2013

"How a penny made me feel like a millionaire"

Gratitude.

We often fail to appreciate or to communicate just how grateful we are for where we find ourselves in our life's journey. But there is always something to be thankful for, something to overcome, and something new to experience. We hope that for you those experiences are always viewed with optimism. Only then will they be as rewarding as Tania Little's journey from post-Chernobyl Russia to life in the United States.

Please watch "How a penny made me feel like a millionaire," a Ted Talk by Tania Luna. Grab a tissue, smile, enjoy and yes, be thankful.


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