January 3, 2016

Smiles are what being an Optimist is all about

The motto of Optimist International and its 2,500 Optimist Clubs around the world is Friend of
Youth. The history of the organization says that the first group of Optimists formed in 1911 to deter young boys who were vandalizing their stores. The merchants came together to combat a social issue and found that they could do so much more with their positive attitudes to make their community, Buffalo, New York, a better place to live.

As we go forward many years to 2016, we learn that Optimist Clubs not only help delinquent children choose better pathways, club members also help recognize children for just doing good things. The annual, and sometimes monthly, program conducted by Optimist Clubs is called Youth Appreciation.

In December, the Optimist Club of Greenville, Tennessee announced its recipients for the fall months. Shown in this picture with Optimist Club members are Halie Sane and Gage Pomrof for October; Ariel Foster and Cole Franklin for November; and Kennedy Franklin and Benjamin Lougheed for December. These students, chosen from the Boys & Girls Club depict what its like to be a child, full of play, hope and potential. Their recognition by the Optimist Club of Greenville says, "You're doing a good job. Keep it up."

For me, the photo, with the crinkly nose of the middle girl, is one of the best parts of being an Optimist Club member. Bringing smiles to our children and opportunity to our communities brings out the best in ourselves.

Find out more and join an Optimist Club today.

Photo courtesy of the Greenville Optimist Club. 
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