July 31, 2012

The Windsor Optimist Youth Band delights audiences

We often hear of Optimist Clubs supporting bands, but this is the first that I've heard of an Optimist Youth Band. Supported by the Optimist Club of  Downtown Windsor, Ontario, the band recently gave a performance for the Charlie Brooks Memorial Peace Fountain.

The Windsor Optimist Youth Band has been performing for 46 years. Entirely run by volunteers, the band members range from 10 to 22 years of age. They have traveled to Germany, Baltimore, Calgary and Florida to perform in just the last ten years. According to the band's co-chairs, the opportunity to travel, please others through music and learn the basic morals of discipline, teamwork and personal development are the reasons often given for joining the group.

Everyone is welcome to join the Windsor Optimist Youth Band. Practice happens every Saturday morning, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Remington Park Community Centre, 2720 Lillian Avenue, Windsor.

The next performance for the group will be on August 4 at 11:00 a.m. for the Amherstberg 1812 Bicentennial Parade.

July 29, 2012

Just another sing along for Music Sunday

Train performs "50 Ways to Say Goodbye" for Music Sunday at Experience Optimism. I'm kind of torn on this song for it sounds like so many other songs that I like from "Phantom of the Opera" to Train's very own "Drive By." But then I guess that is the point of the posts that I make here - songs that make me want to sing because singing makes me happy. How about you?

July 24, 2012

Service clubs go to the Fair

It's Fair Time in Johnson County, Indiana and that means the service clubs are about to make some big money. That includes the Optimist Club of Center Grove-Bargerville that is selling "Beaver Tails" at this year's event.

What's a beaver tail? According to sources, a beaver tail is a cross between an elephant ear and a doughnut. This trademarked delicacy can only be purchased during the Johnson County Fair and only from the Optimist Club.

The club expects to raise more than $7,000 at the fair in 2012. The money is earmarked for youth projects, specifically scholarships, scouting trips and the girls basketball team.

Other organizations, including Kiwanis and Shriners make a similar amount each year from their food booths at the fair. Gateway Services, however, garners about $15,000 annually as the only organization selling lemon shake-ups.

Service clubs benefit from the fair-goers and the community benefits from all.

Thanks to the Center Grove-Bargerville Optimist Club for the photo and story.

July 22, 2012

"Tongue Tied" and all that jazz

Sometimes it's better to listen than to watch and that is how it is with this video. "Tongue Tied" by GROUPLOVE is one of those because going backwards through time can be confusing. But it can also help you identify perhaps something you might not want to do in the future. (Party animals, this means you.)

Of course all that we are doing here at the Experience Optimism blog is featuring songs for Music Sunday that caught our eye for whatever reason, but I'll give you a hint: it's probably because I wanted to singalong. Enjoy.


July 21, 2012

Canada Day with the Summerside Optimists

This isn't going to be a very reflective post. I just happened to see this video on YouTube and thought that I should share it with our readers here at Experience Optimism.

Outside of the United States, the largest number of Optimist Clubs can be found in Canada. There are a great number of projects that we do that are alike. However, due the provincial government, I've also noticed that some projects get a bit of a twist to fit into a Canadian model.

But one thing that remains the same is the opportunity for our Optimist Clubs to celebrate our nations' heritage. In Canada, that day is called "Canada Day" and it happens annually on July 1. This video is a three-minute look at how the Summerside Optimist Club in London, Ontario celebrated Canada's birthday this year. Enjoy.


July 16, 2012

It's never too late to recognize outstanding students

President Dick Kugler of the Breakfast
Optimist Club of Spartanburg, SC is
flanked by the Oratorical Contest
I haven't posted Optimist International Oratorical Contest winners on the Experience Optimism blog this year because I started a Pinterest pin board for them instead. It is by no means complete and I would welcome any additions that you may have. Please share links and pictures with me (Linda Jackson) so that all of the wonderful student contestants may be recognized.

However, I decided to share a photo today to serve as both a reminder and a congratulations.

First, the students who participate in Optimist International and Optimist Club scholarship programs are brave young souls who deserve compliments and love for their speeches, essays and points of view. We think that they are all great and by choosing winners, we give all contestants something to strive for when they return next year. Over $150,000 is given away every year by the Optimist International Foundation for these contests. With more donated by individual Optimist Clubs, we think that promoting excellence in communication is well worth the effort.

The second reason for this post today is to give a shout-out to the students in this picture. Courtney Brink, Terin Tyson, Tara Ferris, Mackenzie Johnson, Jackson Erb and Cameron Hall were named the winners of the Breakfast Optimist Club of Spartanburg, South Carolina in April yet their pictures didn't appear in the paper until July 6. Thank you, students, we appreciate you!

And finally, if your club held a contest this year, but did not submit the information to your local paper - it is not too late! The students deserve the recognition and your Optimist Club will benefit from being associated with such young, high achievers. So go ahead, write a press release, include a picture, and submit it to your local newspaper today.

Photo courtesy of the Spartanburg, SC Breakfast Optimist Club. 

July 15, 2012

"Domino" for Music Sunday

Usually I prefer male singers, but there are certainly some solid ladies recording tunes today. I think that's why Music Sunday at Experience Optimism takes a look at Jessie J and "Domino."

I could tell you that I hear this song every time I get in my car. Yes, it's popular in Idaho, but the real reason I picked it was for the driving beat that says get out and enjoy the summer. Cheers.

July 12, 2012

Preview: Junior Golf at the OPTIMIST

July is a busy month for Optimist International and its member Optimist Clubs. Early in the month is the Optimist International Convention, currently taking place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Later in the month is the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships at the PGA National Resort in Florida.

The OPTIMIST is scheduled to tee off next weekend, July 19-24 for boys 10 to 15 and girls 10 to 14.  Boys 16 to 18 and girls 15 to 18 will play July 24 to 26.

One of the premier junior golf tournaments in the United States, the OPTIMIST draws junior golfers from thirty countries outside of the United States and players from every state within. Over 600 junior golfers will participate in 2012.

Find out more about all Optimist International Junior Golf programs by clicking here.

Find out who is playing in the OPTIMIST in 2012 by clicking here.

Find out how you can be involved with youth sports in an Optimist Club by clicking here.

Photo credit: Optimist International Junior Golf on Facebook

July 11, 2012

Reel Optimism coming to an Optimist Club near you

Optimist International is about to enter the "like" contest wars.

Announced today on YouTube, I'm giving Experience Optimism readers a preview of what others will learn during the Optimist International Convention later this week. The Optimist International Foundation and Optimist International are hosting a video contest for adult Optimist Clubs. Titled "Reel Optimism," the contest asks that your club produce a video that describes "What does optimism mean to you and your club?" 

The contest officially begins in October. Entries must be submitted online to YouTube between October 1, 2012 and March 1, 2013 and include the hashtag #ReelOptimism. Public voting will take place in May 2013 with winners announced during the 2013 Optimist International Convention. The first place entry will receive a $1,000 club grant, second place $500 and third place $250.

Read the Reel Optimism contest rules here. Watch the promo video for Reel Optimism on YouTube.

July 8, 2012

Optimists to gather for annual party in Milwaukee

"There's a party on the rooftop, top of the world. Tonight, tonight."

How could  I resist a party? You know I can't! The Experience Optimism blog features celebrations and on Music Sunday, dancing and singing is required. Go ahead and give it a go with Hot Chelle Rae and "Tonight, Tonight."

In other news, the Optimist International Convention will be taking place this week, July 12-14, 2012, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Every year, Optimist Club members come together to renew their friendships and share their purpose of community service. They also share their positive attitudes. Now that's cause for a celebration of optimistic proportions.

This song is dedicated to the spirit of optimism.

July 5, 2012

Barbados-Bridgetown shares the Eat What You Grow program

Earlier this week, the Optimist Club of Barbados-Bridgetown shared their most recent club newsletter on Facebook with the encouragement to read it and share it with others. As their activities always impress, that was an easy request to fulfill.

Inside the newsletter, one will find information about membership recruitment in "How to Recruit a Busy Person," and "How to Keep Your Optimism Alive" with passion, dedication and commitment. One will also read about a project that I believe is unique to their club, but a topic that is gaining interest in other communities: Eat What You Grow.

The Eat What You Grow program teaches children to be self sufficient by growing vegetables and brings club members to the Sterling Children's Home at least once per month to assist with the garden and provide entertainment, among other things. Click for more information about Eat What You Grow and other activities of the Optimist Club of Barbados-Bridgetown. Enjoy and share.


July 4, 2012

US optimism formally began on the 4th of July

"Optimism is the foundation of courage." - Nicholas Murray Butler, American philosopher

optimism_trumbullWith courage and resolve, on July 4, 1776, the United States formally declared independence from Great Britain with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. I don't know if optimism was specifically on the signers' minds; however, the outcome was and has always been to foster a nation of hope. 

Happy Independence Day. 

Photo credit: Trumbull's Declaration of Independence, Wikimedia Commons 

July 1, 2012

Music Sunday: Don't Stop Believing

Rock of Ages, the musical, has moved from Broadway to the big screen and while Tom Cruise isn't really my idea of a rock star, I enjoyed the movie anyway. What was most enjoyable was the music of course. Featuring rock songs from the 80s, it was a trip back in time remembering the hopes and dreams of a college student as well as the angst and insecurity of the same.

Because of the opportunity for reflection, I believe that Journey's "Don't Stop Believing," belongs here at Experience Optimism as a choice for Music Sunday. Take a moment to recall your dreams. Are you living them now? Did your revise your college aspirations for something even better? Are you still full of hope? I hope so.

Here's to your dreams; big, bold and beautiful. Believe in them, work for them, and make them come true.

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