July 31, 2010

Christmas in July?

As I was surfing Optimist Club Facebook pages, I found this intriguing picture of Santa Claus. There he is, the jolly old elf himself, front and center with a group of motorcycles and police officers who have his back. I had to find out more!

As it turns out, this picture was actually uploaded by Susan Messina of the Oviedo Optimist Club back in January.  She was excited about the Annual Santa Run that her Optimist Club organizes with the police department and Boys and Girls Town every Christmas. Santa and his brigade race through town with lights and sirens to deliver presents and cheer to kids at Boys and Girls Town. The Optimist Club barbecues and everyone has a wonderful time.

This might be a good time to start planning for such an event in your community.  It's a safe bet that Santa will be ready when you are!

Thank you Susan for the picture and story and for what you do to share Optimism in your community.

July 30, 2010

Optimist Club introduces disc golf to their community

What do you plan to do this weekend? While other Optimist Clubs are busy holding bicycle safety days, traditional golf tournaments and getting ready to send kids back to school, the Optimist Club of Washington, Iowa is doing something different: They are holding a Disc Golf Tournament.

The Washington Optimist Club Disc Golf Tournament is a free activity for children and adults. The Optimist Club is giving away discs to everyone who participates and since it is a different sporting event - one that not everyone has heard of - they are  holding a free clinic to teach people how to play before the tournament begins. At the end of the activity, trophies will be awarded in a number of different categories.

It all looks pretty simple and fun for all ages.  Take a look at the video that I found at the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) website. The PDGA is holding a national tournament this weekend. Who knows? Maybe the Washington Optimist Club will spark an interest for a future PDGA tournament in their community.

If you live near Washington, Iowa, please join the Optimist Club on Saturday, July 31, 10 a.m., Sunset Park for the Disc Golf Tournament. It's free and open to the public.

July 29, 2010

Service clubs provide friendships and fulfillment

The Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota is celebrating the great contributions of their local service clubs in a section called Positive Perspectives today.With such a title, it's only fair that they begin with the Optimist Club.

According to the story, the service clubs are a community lifeline where members find friends and fulfillment. Please read the full story about the Worthington Optimist Club.

July 28, 2010

Optimist Club launches Rhythm and Ribs Festival

The Optimist Club of Erin,Ontario is planning a new event for their community this year: the Rhythm and Ribs Festival. They hope that thousands will turn out for the event; however, according to the organizing committee it is has not been planned as a fundraiser, but rather as a celebration of McMillan Park, 109 N. Main Street, that opened up in the downtown core last year.

Rhythm and Ribs will feature ribs from three local restaurants, Bistro Riviere, Dave's and What's Cookin', a beer garden and arts booths. Plus nine bands will perform over the two day period

The Erin Optimist Club and other associations were involved in developing the park and see the event as a way to celebrate the community. Rhythm and Ribs will take place August 14-15, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

July 27, 2010

Optimist Community Park in Janesville

More than $50,000 and 18,000 volunteer hours have gone into the development of the Optimist Community Park in Janesville, Wisconsin and more improvements are planned and currently in the works.  According to Optimist Club spokesman Al Draeger, electricity, a new shelter and a new pavilion are next on their to-do list.

The Optimist Community Park has been a project of the Tuesday Morning, Wednesday Morning and Thursday Noon Optimist Clubs in Janesville for 17 years. It is the location of the Annual Family Day Celebration organized by the clubs in early August, but most importantly, the park serves the community year round. Offering amenities like electricity and extra pavilions just add to everyone's positive experiences.

In addition to developing and maintaining the 37-acre city park, the Optimist Clubs built a concrete bridge over Spring Brook Creek, developed nature trails, and coordinate an annual park clean-up day for the community.

And to think, it all began with a candy bar sale.  Fifty cents of every dollar raised, or every candy bar sold, by the Optimist Clubs brought this park to life.

July 26, 2010

Groaning allowed

Yes, you can groan at this message as long as you do so with a smile because I want to take just a few lines to tell you that laughter really is the best medicine. I know that you have heard that all your life.  I bet you have even experienced it more than a time or two.  I know that when I laugh, my stress level subsides, my muscles relax and my attitude changes.

I didn't need the You Docs to tell me any of that this morning, but a reminder never hurts. Please read the column from Drs. Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen as it appeared in the Idaho Statesman today: Laughter really is the best medicine. 

And then send us a joke or story that makes you smile or discuss it in the comment section here. Here's a couple to get you started:

  • A guy walks into the doctors office and says, "Doc you gotta help me I can't remember anything." "How long have you been having this problem?" asks the doctor. "What problem?" says the man. 
  • A woman received a bill from her dentist and she called to inquire about it. "But Doctor, this is three times what you normally charge me," she said. "I know," said the dentist, "But you yelled so loud that you scared away two other patients." 
  • A blonde walks into a library (YouTube).

I'm ready to laugh all through the day because I can't think of a better way to open up my senses so I may experience optimism. You?  Please add your funnies now.

July 25, 2010

Your dreams can make a difference

I have a few goals that I hope to accomplish with this blog:
  • To write about positive experiences from Optimist Clubs around the world
  • To encourage Optimist Clubs to write about their own experiences in their own blogs
  • To offer tips for other Optimist Club members to make changes when necessary in order to do more in their communities
  • To share ideas so that Optimist Club members and others are inspired to volunteer
  • To connect Optimist Clubs with other organizations and people who want to make the world a better place to live
  • To make a difference
That last one is the biggie, now isn't it? We all want to make a difference; we want to know that something good will come about now or in the future from the work that we put forward. That reminds me of John Lennon when he sang, "They say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

The world needs dreamers. The world needs doers. Think big, share your vision and optimism...you can make a difference if you just try.

July 24, 2010

What did you do today?

Why didn't I know about this sooner?  It's July 24 and filmmakers Kevin MacDonald and Ridley Scott want to know more about you today.

They ask that you take some time today, July 24, to film something that you do and load it on to YouTube. They will then edit all the entries and create a "Life in a Day" film for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The film will also be available on YouTube. They ask that you also answer a few questions while filming:

  1. What are you most fearful of?
  2. What makes you laugh?
  3. What is in your pocket? 

Got your Flip video ready?  Go for it.

July 23, 2010

York Optimist Club meets Ms. Wheelchair Nebraska

In addition to sharing fellowship and planning projects, during meetings Optimist Club members have the opportunity to learn many interesting things about people and activities in their communities.  In York, Nebraska, the Optimist Club recently heard from Joan Naber, Ms. Wheelchair Nebraska.

Ms. Naber began using a wheelchair in 1996, ten years after undergoing radiation treatments for benign tumors in her back, but she has never let her disability keep her from doing the things she loves to do. One of those things is volunteering. "The little things we do today, they may make a big difference in someone's life," she explained.

As a nurse and mother of three children, she has had the opportunity to be an active co-worker and volunteer. She looks forward to competing in Ms. Wheelchair America where she can share her message that individuals in wheelchairs are capable of doing what the same as others, just in their own time and way. Ms. Naber told the group, "In order to get through life in a wheelchair, you have to be an optimist."

Watch the video from the York News-Times and learn more about Ms. Naber's optimism. 

July 22, 2010

Optimist International - Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology

Attendees at the Optimist International Convention in Denver, Colorado were moved by this video describing how the Optimist International Childhood Cancer Campaign made a difference in this young lady's life.

Optimist International has fulfilled a commitment to Johns Hopkins Research Hospital to raise $5 million to fund research to find a cure to eradicate childhood cancers. Optimist International has also fully funded an endowed chair.

They have now turned their attention to local communities where clubs will be able to make a similar impact on local children and their families as the young lady in the video.

We believe that sharing optimism is the way to better health.

July 21, 2010

Being a friend of youth

Optimist Clubs often find causes or segments of the population that get special attention. In Pinal County, Arizona, the Sunrise Optimist Club of Casa Grande  are giving special attention to children in foster care.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Optimist Club has provided an evening of fun at foster family night at the Casa Grande Aquatics Park. They reserve the facility and offer a swim party and pizza night for foster children and families and children in group homes. Judges, county personnel, CASA volunteers and advocates join them.

As of this writing, there are 566 children in the foster care system who have been neglected, abandoned or abused by their families. Efforts like this give the kids something to look forward to especially the siblings who have been separated from one another due to the system.

The Sunrise Optimist Club doesn't stop with the party. When the children go home, they leave with a backpack full of school supplies to help them be ready for the coming school year.

The project draws community-wide awareness to the foster care program and encourages others to be involved by donating or providing assistance and care to the children who fall under the court system's supervision through no fault of their own. But for the Optimist Club, it's just another way to be a friend of youth.

July 20, 2010

Optimist International Junior Golf Championships on tap this week

Play begins this week at the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. This year more than 600 young golfers will converge on the PGA National Golf Resort and Spa. They represent 43 states in the United States and 33 nations.

Golfers 10 to 15 will compete July 24-26 and golfers 16 to 18 will compete July 29 through August 1.  See the player list here.

You can also keep updated on daily activities, pictures and news releases at www.golf.optimist.org.

July 19, 2010

Advertising done right

There's a Lions sign front and center of our Experience Optimism blog today and it is there to give you a marketing tip.

Signs can be intrusive and ugly, but if done correctly they can contribute to the culture of a community while providing a service. The Lions Club in Crystal Lake, Illinois is doing it right with an attractive electronic sign board with a river rock foundation. It looks nice and it has good information for all events in the community.

Now while other organizations get the message out about fundraising activities and other programs, the Lions are fundraising as well as sending a subliminal message about how they interact with everyone in the community. The Chamber of Commerce confirms that the sign has been well received.

Read an article about how the club is reaching at least 27,000 people each day and then consider how your Optimist Club might do the same in your community.

Photo courtesy of the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce.

July 18, 2010

A look at on-your-honor bicycle programs

Denver, Colorado played host to the Optimist International Convention this year and two weeks after the fact, Optimist Club members from around the world are talking about what a great convention city Denver proved to be.  Our accommodations at the Sheraton were well suited to our group and everyone loved the 16th Street Mall area and the ability to take a walk to dining and shopping. I agree that it was a great experience.

Part of the fun of having our convention in different cities is getting to learn more about them. During the opening ceremonies, the director of the chamber of commerce told us about the business, health and environmentally friendly attributes of the state and Denver in particular. The rail and bus system is well used and just added was a  shared community bicycle program. With the bike program, healthy riders could pick up a free bike in one area of town, ride to their meeting or shopping destination and leave the bike or pick it up afterwards and return to work. The on-your-honor system makes it easy to get around. 

Having that program in my mind made me take notice of the Yellow Bike Program in Great Falls, Montana. Organized by the PM Optimist Club of Great Falls, the Yellow Bike Program began like the Denver program, an on-your-honor system.  According to Bill Beckett, President, PM Optimist Club, that program didn't work for them. "We kept finding the bikes in the river, " he said. 

So they revamped the program into an organized, practically free loaned-bicycle program that runs out of the PM Bike Shop. For a $2 registration fee, anyone can borrow a bike on the condition they promise to make minor repairs to it for flat tires and such while it is in their possession.  If major damage occurs, they can return it for another bike. All are asked to return them when they are no longer needed and according to Jim Edwards, a volunteer repairman at the shop, "Most people are pretty good about bringing the bicycles back." 

The bikes are donated, many of the supplies are donated and the labor is provided free of charge by the Optimist Club.  Borrowers are usually grandparents with children visiting over the summer, persons who may have lost their drivers licenses, parents who can't afford to buy bicycles for their children and persons living in the Great Falls Transition Center. 

The PM Optimist Club Yellow Bike Program has been serving the Treat Falls community for twelve years. Read more about it here. 

July 17, 2010

Mixing generations of fun

It's Saturday! What do you have planned for this hot mid-summer day?

Many of our Optimist Clubs are hopping with activities from classic car cruise-ins at the local drive-in to splash-downs at area water parks.  One activity especially caught my attention today: Wausau Noon Optimists are holding a skateboard event.

The Optimist Club of Wausau, Wisconsin is reaching out to children and young adults with contemporary interests with what is being billed as a skateboarding event.  They have set up a half-pipe in the city square for a day for the Mini Ramp Jam. Furthermore, they are celebrating their 50th anniversary with this event.

That's awesome, dude! The Wausau Noon Optimist Club is celebrating fifty years of service with a supervised skateboarding event for kids, a skateboard contest for children under 17. That's a great way to mix the generations and be remarkable.

Congratulations to the Wausau Noon Optimist Club on your anniversary and your ingenuity and thank you for the story.

July 16, 2010

Talk to teens?

Best Buy stores have created an initiative to empower young adults called BestBuyat15. I follow them on Twitter and while I haven't spent a lot of time yet to figure out how to connect them to my Optimist Club, I know there is a connection that needs to be made.  Please take a look at this video and think about what your Optimist Club might do to harness the power of Best Buy, social media and optimism with teens in your community.  Please comment and share your ideas with us!

July 15, 2010

Optimist Clubs should add members of all ages

I received a Google alert today about the Optimist Club of Knoxville. The alert mentioned my friends Buzz and Donna Buzzwell so I clicked quickly to see what they had accomplished. The link took me to a photo album with the history of their club. It was fun to see how this club has matured and added programs and members throughout its ninety years.

This picture especially caught my attention.  These six gentleman were honored in 1982 for achieving 25 years of perfect attendance.  What an accomplishment!

As I looked closely at the men standing proudly in front of their club banner, I thought they don't look all that different from many of our members today.

I find this significant because there is such a push by many clubs and Optimist International to find younger members. If you don't add youthful members they lament that we are destined to fade away.

I argue that we have always had this concern and somehow our club make-up continues to look the same. My advice: add young members. Add middle aged members. Add any members that share your desire to live an optimistic life and bring out the best in kids. We need members of all ages to serve our communities and purpose.

Thanks to the Optimist Club of Knoxville for allowing me to share their photo. 

July 14, 2010

Optimist Club recognizes school principal with Friend of Youth Award

Every year the Optimist Club of Westfield, New Jersey honors someone who has given exemplary service to youth with the Friend of Youth Award. This year's honoree is Ms. Claudia Andreski, Principal, McKinley School.

Ms. Andreski was recognized as being a "remarkable role model" and someone "who has gone to great lengths to instill a lifelong love of learning and the importance of compassion and kindness to thousands of Westfield children."

She was awarded a plaque and a $250 donation was made to the McKinley School Fund in her name.

Recognizing teachers and school administrators is a great way to build relationships between Optimist Clubs and school districts so they will encourage their students to participate in Optimist International programs. Plus it brings attention to the people who spend so much time with our children in a positive, optimistic way.

July 13, 2010

Should your club focus on the young adult market?

Service organizations are looking to younger generations to help them grow. The attempt to corner the volunteer service market by starting youth clubs that loosely resemble their adult counterparts is not exclusive to Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions or Optimist Clubs. That is why all can be found in our schools mentoring students for leadership skills and providing a community service ethic.

We sometimes marvel at the generosity, ingenuity and servant leadership that our youth provide. I wonder why because most students, especially in the US and Canada, live sheltered lives. They are provided for and the desire to provide for others is a natural extension borne of their safety and security.

However, when our students graduate from high school and embark on their college education or chosen vocation, their goals begin to change. I think this is because they have their first taste of freedom away from their parents. It's not that their desire to serve has changed, it has been interrupted by so many other pursuits from schoolwork and finances to fraternities, sororities and dating. And these are pursuits that are happening in the real world.

Did you realize that the students who will enter college in 2011 have always had a virtual world to retreat to when the real world was too harsh or uninteresting? For them, music has always been unplugged, MTV has never featured music videos, Jerry Springer has always been known for lowering the level of discourse on public TV and Rush Limbaugh has always been criticizing liberals along with his Dittohead followers.

One might speculate that the networked world leaves today's young adults overstimulated. In order to speak on their students' level, Beloit College produces a college mindset list for their faculty each year. This Mindset List might be a good tool for you if your club or organization is targeting a youthful market under 25-years of age.

See the Beloit College Mindset List here.

July 11, 2010

International President-Designate Danny Rodgers rocks the 2010 Optimist International Convention

It was late in the afternoon. The third business session at the Optimist International Convention in Denver, Colorado was running long due to a contested election for two seats on the Board of Directors. After four ballots International President Mark Shriver declared candidates Chris Jernigan, North Carolina and Fatima Plater, Michigan victorious and presented the 2010-2011 officers to the delegates.

And then, with a special introduction from his family and close friends, International President-Designate Danny Rodgers stepped away from the podium and gave a rousing free form introduction of himself, his family and the 2010-2011 leadership team. Key points in his presentation included:

  • Leadership comes from within; we are all leaders and Optimist International needs each of us to lead right now
  • Next year will not be "Danny's Year," but rather "our year" because we are all Optimist Club members working towards the same goals
  • Change will occur and change is good
  • Change will include online technology and forward-thinking initiatives
  • Danny is approachable and anyone may reach him by phone or email
Danny's presentation was powerful in its transparency and energy. I know that he will deliver a positive experience; in fact, I think we can expect a positive, optimistic movement. 

Photo courtesy of Marc Katz, Vice President, Optimist International
Please enjoy the official Black Eyed Peas video of "I've gotta feeling" 

July 10, 2010

This makes me smile

I thought it was a great story with a catchy headline when I first wrote about the Port City Optimist Club.  I smiled at the headline "Optimist Club going better than hoped" and I agreed with author Si Cantwell that 44 new members in 4 months was a great accomplishment.

Now Jay Leno has gotten in on the action.  He too thinks that headline was worthy of attention on the Headlines Segment of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. About 1:45 into the segment, after reading the headline, you'll hear Jay ask, "Really, did you think it was gonna suck? What is that?" 

I think the nod was in good taste and love that Mr. Cantwell is so positive about gaining national attention to his column Behind the Headlines in StarNews Media.

Want to know even more?  Lori Harris, the newly elected president and organizer of the Port City Optimist Club was recruited and hired by StarNews Media to coordinate their online and print marketing efforts.

Yes, this series of events make me smile.

Read the original post here: Port City Optimist Club going better than hoped.

July 8, 2010

Keep moving onward

We have three months left in the 2009-2010 Optimist International administrative year. In just three short months, new officers will be installed in their Optimist Clubs. I have seen it happen year after year, those new officers come with such fresh zeal that it is contagious and their members become filled with optimistic enthusiasm for the good things that their clubs are doing in their communities.  Club members talk openly about club projects, give themselves high-fives and a pat on the back and then somewhere about six months down the road they lose their focus. Some even shut the doors and wait for a new school year to begin.

This post is a quick how-to refocus your energy so that you can inspire others to go the distance: 
  • Reevaluate the goals of the club - if you are done with your projects mid-year, are you really serving your community or could you do just a little bit more?
  • Examine the projects that your club conducts - are the projects inclusive? Do members feel engaged? If the answers are no or maybe, it might be time to think about adding a new activity.
  • Are there too many projects? - Be careful not to cause burnout with an agenda that is too aggressive. 
  • Look at your membership roster - are people asking to join your club? Think about reframing your message and image so that your Optimist Club is approachable.
  • Take a vacation - an Optimist Club president is always in the "on" mode. Some time away might help an overwhelmed president prioritize their projects. 
  • Make a new list - set a new plan into action. 
  • Express your joy - tell others how wonderfully blessed you feel to be able to serve your fellow members and community.
Members belong to Optimist Clubs, or any club, because they want to feel a part of something that is bigger than themselves. A balanced schedule is a member maintenance tool. Keep your members happy and involved and moving in a forward direction.  Your club will grow and your community will benefit. 

July 7, 2010

Training day!

In the business world I always ask is it possible to train someone to be an entrepreneur? In my volunteer life, I find myself asking is it possible to train someone to be an optimist?

After careful consideration and a little discussion with others, I say no and yes to both.  First, I think that entrepreneurs are born: the ability to conceive and take a creative idea to market is an inherent trait. However, the skills to recognize a creative idea and market it successfully can be learned and some learn it better than others. It takes an open mind and a positive attitude to recognize our limitations and pull in the right people and resources to make our product attractive, affordable and in demand.

Similarly, some people are born optimists. Such people see the positive attributes of any situation first without regard to risk or potential pitfalls. Others are more cautious, aware of potential distractions and some are born cynics. For the latter two, optimism must be learned; it must be taught.

Teaching optimism elevates both the teacher and the students attitudes. By using positive stories, inspirational quotes and upbeat people to help others identify the positives in their lives, we can help others be grateful and happy.  Once someone can identify and accept happiness in their life, they have achieved the attitude necessary for optimism. That is a talent and a blessing.

July 6, 2010

The future is now

The Optimist International Convention is being held this week in Denver, Colorado.  Thousands of Optimist Club members will gather in the Mile High City to share friendship and stories and to make plans for the future of the organization.

Optimist International was officially organized in 1919, but the first Optimist Clubs could be found as early as 1911. We have nearly a one hundred-year history to celebrate. This year, however, the theme for the convention is "The future is now."  No reminiscing - we will be invited to live today and every day to its fullest.

I'm looking forward to attending the convention. As I said in my post yesterday, history is important, but it's time to look to today and embrace the talents around us.  The future is now and as Dean Acheson reminds us, it comes one day at a time.  Hope to see you in Denver!

Official Twitter hashtag for the Optimist International Convention: #OIC2010
Photo credit: Denver at night from http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CitiesAtNight/

July 5, 2010

Change for the better

When I awoke today and checked my email and Twitter accounts (in that order), I saw the Barack Obama quote that I have listed as the quote of the day: We are the ones that we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.  This quote spoke to me on the day following Independence Day and reminded me of a saying often mentioned by a fellow Optimist Club member, "If it is to be, it is up to me."

My friend credits the latter statement to a past international president of Optimist International, but I found that the quote actually belongs to a man named William H. Johnsen. Although no biography appears readily available for Mr. Johnsen, it is quite apparent from entries on Wikipedia that he had something to do with building, flying and/or documenting military aircraft.

It seems to me that Optimist International leaders often have a legacy of military service. Military leaders are excellent managers. They know how to command and motivate troops to follow orders that often take them into harm's way. Military leaders and their troops accept the on-the-ground responsibility to get things done and they are accountable to those whom they serve. Rising through military ranks is very orderly, based on a do this, this and this and then you are eligible for that premise.

My thought for today for Optimist International or any service club or organization is that model doesn't work anymore. The first reason it doesn't work has to do with critical mass.  With declining numbers in traditional service clubs, there are not as many people available who have fulfilled the "this, this, this and then that" role.

The second reason it doesn't work is since the Baby Boomer generation began, our country has raised independent thinkers and doers. It is widely accepted that with the right amount of encouragement and passion that anyone can be an entrepreneur. The same is true for thought leaders: people create their own forums and generate their own followers. Individuals are less likely to follow the "this, this, this, and then that" model and even if they do, they do so at a much quicker pace than those who came before them.

The third reason this model no longer works has to do with attitude. Consider the very slight difference in these words:

  • If it is to be; it is up to me 
  • We are the change that we seek
Both recognize that personal involvement is crucial; however, one is self-centered while the other is altruistic. One says I can do it alone; the other says I want and need help from others. 

Consider the latter for a moment. If we have collectively become a nation of entrepreneurs, when we ask for help and embrace the contributions of others, we are in fact recognizing their different skills and abilities. We therefore inherently accept that others can and will exceed our abilities and perhaps rise to greater power. That is the true essence of change. 

I believe that is the true essence of change for the better. 

July 4, 2010

Celebrating freedom

Today we celebrate our freedom with flags and fireworks and an extra day off from work.  Please join me in extending gratitude to our public servants, men and women in the military, who ensure our safety and our right to dream and pursue a better world.

Happy Fourth of July.  Happy Birthday USA.

July 3, 2010

The conversation starter

I've long believed in the value of an elevator speech as a way to introduce an Optimist Club to a new acquaintance.  However, an elevator speech, or pitch if you prefer, should never be one-sided. Like any communication, it only works when there is engagement. That means speaker and listener must converse.

Imagine you are an investor or a newspaper reporter and everyone you meet wants to tell you about their product, idea or event. Such well-meaning promoters send emails and start talking non-stop without pause or consideration for your time. That would become trying very quickly.

The last thing that you want to do when you represent your Optimist Club is be overbearing.  So consider your 30-second elevator speech as your conversation starter. If the person you are speaking to is not interested, ask if there might be another time you could meet, perhaps leave a one-page sheet of information, and then move on. You'll be remembered for your brevity and courtesy and that, my friend, is the beginning of a relationship.

Relationships are what matter.  We all have them and they extend to more than dating, finding your significant other and family ties.  When you smile at your neighbor, answer the telephone cordially, or thank the cashier in the checkout lane at the grocery store, you are participating in a relationship. When you buy or sell a product you open yourself up for a relationship.  When you join a club or church, or go to work for a company, you are committing to a relationship.

The next time you set out to talk about your Optimist Club or a project that is near and dear to your heart, please remember the relationship that you establish with others is what will make the difference in whether or not you are heard. Be gracious. Be informative. And don't wear out your welcome.

July 2, 2010

Businesses recognized for their contribution to Optimist Bike Rodeo

The Optimist Club of Lewiston - Auburn, Maine is the latest club to get in on the bike safety game.  With a donation from Oxford Networks, they were able to give away three new bikes at the Bike Safety Rodeo.  Rainbow Bikes made safety inspections and adjustments for every bicycle at the event and the Police Department gave safety tips.  Another well organized community effort for the kids.

Normally I would wonder where is the picture of the children enjoying the day, but I thought it might be nice to point out that this club chose to recognize the adults for their participation. Not as cute a picture, sorry folks, but every bit as important.  It shows that the club is grateful for the donation, it gives a little advertising for the event, and it allows the community to know that Oxford Networks and Rainbow Bikes are involved with the children of the community and with the Optimist Club.  Good job all around.

Shown in the picture are AnnMarie Payne, Rene Braun, Lauren Eastman, employees of Oxford Networks; John Grenier, owner of Rainbow Bikes; and Shane Wright, president of the Optimist Club. Photo courtesy of the Lewiston-Auburn Optimist Club.  

July 1, 2010

PNW Optimist Clubs: Celebrate Canada

Optimist Clubs are most prevalent in the United States and Canada. During the first week of July, we all celebrate the birthdays of our countries with fireworks, hometown festivals and more. On July 1, it is my pleasure to say Happy Canada Day.


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