January 6, 2014

Are they intrepid or optimistic?

optimist clubOne of my Optimist Club alerts returned the following news to me today, "Optimist Club donations 'zoom' to local charities: A couple of inches of new snow didn't stop 14 intrepid Optimists from showing up for breakfast and an informal meeting..."

Appearing in the Oakland Press, those two lines held plenty of hook for me to bite on as a follower of all things optimistic, but what really grabbed my attention was the word intrepid. Optimist is frequently accompanied by a plethora of modifiers, from average to zealous and all letters in between; however, intrepid is not a common one.

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the definition of intrepid is: characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance.

From that definition, it strikes me that perhaps the reason that they are rarely used together is that intrepid and optimist are rather like synonyms. Those who go forward relentlessly hoping only for the best on their journey.

For the intrepid optimists in my story, they certainly plowed through a snowy Michigan morning to gather as the Royal Oak Optimist Club and as they do at every meeting, they passed around the Zoom-Zoom Car. The Zoom-Zoom Car collects change year-round for the community's Give-A-Christmas Year Around Fund. The Optimist Club is generally a top giver to this fund that serves different community youth groups including Common Ground, CARE House of Oakland County, Boys & Girls Club of Oakland and Macome and the Welcome Inn day warming center for the homeless.

The Zoom-Zoom Car has a history of its own; it was started by member Randy Booden, owner of a collision repair company in 1992. With his business, he had a reputation for fundraising in the community with remote control race cars and a classic car show. When he joined the Optimist Club, he brought his enthusiasm for the sport with him and the tradition stuck. That means for more than 20 years, the Zoom-Zoom Car has been helping the Royal Oak Optimist Club help its community.

Traditions are important for Optimist Clubs for they provide a story along with the legacy that your club leaves for its community. Do you have a tradition in your club? Please, tell us about it in the comments.
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