(Late) Winter 2020
Making a Mountain in Saskatoon
THIS WILL BE A CONVENTION LIKE NO OTHER! June 28 â€“ July 1, 2020 The sleeping room rate is $128 plus applicable state and local taxes (currently 15%) in effect at the time of check out. optimist.org/convention
MISSION STATEMENT By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in youth, our communities and ourselves. VISION STATEMENT Optimist International will be recognized worldwide as the first volunteer organization that values all children and helps them develop to their full potential. PURPOSES OF OPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL To develop optimism as a philosophy of life utilizing the tenets of the Optimist Creed; To promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs; To inspire respect for the law; To promote patriotism and work for international agreement and friendship among all people; To aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world. THE OPTIMIST CREED Promise YourselfTo be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
Winter 2020 | Vol. 100, No. 2
The Impossible—Optimism moves mountains in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
10 12 13 15 18 21
22 24 25 29
Optimist Playlist—What does Optimism sound like?
Sports Fiesta—A legacy of athleticism in Coronado, California Get kids on their feet
Worth the Stretch: A new Optimist reflects on resilience
New Programs: Arts competitions, photography and more! Club News
Junior Optimists create a Week of Kindness
Optimist Junior Golf: Hugh Cranford scholarship and more Optimist International Foundation has grants
Go the extra mile for the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation Rewind: Optimists aren’t new to the slopes
The Official Publication of Optimist International Managing Editor Benny Ellerbe Editor Rachel Webb Designer Jason Cook Editorial Office 4494 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108 Office (314) 371-6000 Fax (314) 371-6006 Email email@example.com
Generous support from the Optimist International Foundation made this publication possible.
On the Cover
A skier hits the slopes at Optimist Hill in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The ski, sled and snowboard hill provides an opportunity for winter fitness that residents can take a city bus to. Photo courtesy of Bret Klarenbach. Optimist (ISSN 1085-5017) (CPN 40032242) (USPS 808-320) is published quarterly in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer by Optimist International, 4494 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108, a non-profit and incorporated association of Optimist Clubs in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe. Periodicals posted at St. Louis, Missouri, and at additional mailing offices. Subscription rate: $4.50 per year for Club Members, $5.00 per year for nonmembers. No responsibility is assumed for the opinions expressed by authors of articles or claims by advertisers. POSTMASTER:
Send address changes to The Optimist, 4494 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108. © Copyright 2020.
Winter 2020 • 1
Our global reach and geographic and cultural diversity make us one of the most effective and impactful service organizations in the world, and we have to constantly reiMagine new ways to make a difference in our global appeal for support and expansion. That is why I am so excited to introduce you to this new format of our magazine, using the dynamic digital platform of iSSUU. This will allow us to share the magazine beyond our membership in an economically sensible manner. We will continue to print and deliver the magazine twice per year, so look for our Spring issue in your mailbox.
It is an exciting time to be an Optimist!
Over the last five months, your Board of Directors has worked hard to ensure that our organization is “Fit for Purpose” as we reiMagine the way we prepare ourselves to carry out our service to the six million plus children we help annually and improving the communities in which they live. It is no coincidence that we have dedicated this issue of Optimists to “Fitness and Wellness!” In much the same way our organization must be fit for purpose, so must our members! For over a century, Optimist International has been at the vanguard of using sports as a tool to improve the mental and physical states of children. But fitness isn’t just about sports. It is also about our overall wellness and, once again, Optimist International has doubled down on its commitment to Childhood Health & Wellness, with dedicated focus by our leadership and monetary support from our Optimist Foundations in North America! We have provided millions of dollars to tackle issues such as childhood cancer research and we have now expanded that to include bullying, child trafficking, spectrum conditions like Autism, and many other programs. I am thrilled that Optimists around the world are tackling these issues head on!
2 • Optimist
These are exciting times for our organization and I encourage you to embrace the change! Let’s start by just hitting the SHARE button on your device and sharing this magazine with all of your contacts! Great! Wasn’t that fun and easy? And don’t forget to enrich our content by sharing the wonderful work you are doing in your community with high-quality videos and photos so that we can remain a beautifully authentic and impactful organization. For example, I just love the work that Optimists are doing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, creating a ski, sled and snowboarding hill. It’s also great to visit Southern California, where the Optimist Club of Coronado continues its tradition of the Sports Fiesta. These exciting projects, and more, can be found in this issue. On snow, sand, sea and streets, Optimists are making a difference in the health and fitness of their communities. As your Optimist International President, I am inspired to support your Club’s endeavors. I challenge you to come away from this issue with a new idea to improve health, fitness and wellness in your community. Optimism can move mountains, but it’s OK to start with a hill. iMagine!
ADRIAN ELCOCK International President 2019-20
Optimism Ahead A look at what’s coming up for Optimist International MARCH planning activities for Optimists 01 Start in Action Month.
MAY All Month
Order Optimist International flag if you don’t have one.
ptimist International O Foundation: Club grant applications due.
roposed changes to bylaws 30 Pmust be received by this day. Children’s Optimist Foundation: 31 Canadian Club
ptimists in Action Month— O plan a project, raise the Optimist flag and do more to bring awareness to your organization. Elections for International Officers.
Arts 01 TCompetition he Optimist-Visual Digital
images of the Club 1st place winner(s) must be submitted to OI no later than May 1.
grant applications due. Second quarter applications for Spread Relief also due.
JUNE nternational Convention 15 IAdvance Registration Rate deadline.
Contest 15 Cforommunications the Deaf and Hard of
Hearing: Last day to submit District materials to OI.
25 Start packing for convention. ptimist International 28 OConvention in Chicagoland! June 28-July 1
APRIL to sign up to run for 01 Deadline International Office. Junior Golfers 01 Deadline submitforOptimist to Junior
Golf Hugh Cranford $1,000 Scholarship Application.
Deadline 15 Optimist submitOratorical: to District winners for World Championships.
Optimist International Foundation: Childhood Health and Wellness Grant applications due, second round.
for 15 Essay DistrictsContest—Deadline to submit winning essays to International.
day for Clubs to submit 29 Last resolution proposals to Resolutions Committee.
30 Optimist ConventionInternational Early Bird
hotel 30 Deadline to make reservations for convention at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel.
unior Optimist International 28 JConvention in Chicagoland! June 28-30
JULY International Junior 11 Optimist Golf Championship Trump National Doral (Miami) July 11-26
ptimist International 16 OOratorical World Championships July 16-17
Registration Rate deadline. Winter 2020 • 3
News & Views
Club Fitness Advisors
WHO we are and WHAT we do Club Fitness Advisors support health and continuous growth at all levels within Optimist International Clubs and Districts. The International Committee has a Board Liaison and each committee member is considered a Regional Club Fitness Advisor. As a collaborator, the Club Fitness Advisor District Chair works as a team with other district committee chairs or lieutenant governors.
Encourage District and Club Leaders
Why Club Fitness Advisors (CFA)?
• Encourage Lt. Governors and Club Leaders to provide adequate time and opportunities for Club Fitness Advisors to present their materials.
• CFAs support Club and District Leaders (Lt. Governor, D-Sec/Treasurer, Governor) • CFAs advocate for Clubs and Districts to ensure continuous improvement
• At the beginning of the year, Clubs must conduct a self-assessment with a Club Fitness scorecard. Once completed, the Club Fitness Advisor will meet with the Governor and his or her team to provide the necessary support to each Club. • Learn to identify the warning signs of a Club that might be having difficulties.
• The International Club Fitness Advisor Committee continuously supports the Club Fitness Advisor District Chairs through the year.
Your Club Fitness Advisor is an important asset for your club, your zone and your district. Teamwork with New Club Building Chair, Membership Chair and Leadership Development Chair
• They shall assist the District Board of Directors and shall have regular meetings with the other Committee Chairs to coordinate the development of an integrated action plan thus ensuring that all are going in the same direction; look at the situation occurring in our clubs and find solutions together.
• The Club Fitness Advisor Committee is an important committee in the district.
4 • Optimist
• Change the way the Committee is viewed in order to ensure that the Club Fitness Advisor Team will not be seen as a last option but as a tool to growth and retention. • Regular Communications with all Districts Chairs, as well as with the Lt. Governor, District Sec/ Treasurer and the Governor is important in order to ensure that they understand the role of the CFA,and that any questions that may arise can be answered right away.
News & Views
Optimism Playlist What does Optimism sound like? President Adrian Elcock asked this question via social media. Optimists answered with their favorite Optimistic tunes. Check out these final results, and save them next time you need a musical pick-me-up. From Broadway to Bob Marley, there’s something for everyone. Andra Day—Rise Up
Up With People—Theme Song
Josh Groban—You Raise Me Up
Bob Marley—Three Little Birds
The Greatest Showman Cast—Come Alive
Rare Earth—I Just Want to Celebrate
Bette Midler—Wind Beneath My Wings
Ed Sheeran—What Do I Know
Justin Timberlake—Can’t Stop the Feeling
P!nk—A Million Dreams
New Radicals—You Get What You Give
Bob Marley—Get Up, Stand Up
Mercy Me—Happy Dance
John Legend and the Plastic Ono Band—Imagine
Agent Sasco—Winning Right Now
Dear Evan Hansen Cast—You Will Be Found
Louis Armstrong—What a Wonderful World
The Greatest Showman Cast—This is Me
Panic! At The Disco—High Hopes
Winter 2020 • 5
The Impossible The Optimists who created a ski hill Rachel Webb by By Rachel Webb All Photos courtesy of Bret Klarenbach
6 â€˘ Optimist
askatoon might seem like the perfect place for winter sports. The city, Saskatchewan’s largest, gets more than 90 centimeters of snow per year. Hockey is popular, but the region’s flat prairie landscape means that options to fling oneself down a giant hill were lacking. Optimists in Saskatoon put their resources together, and discovered that Optimism can move mountains. Optimist Hill opened in February 2019. It was a day with temperatures at -25 degrees celsius (-13 degrees Fahrenheit), but that didn’t put a freeze on enthusiasm. “I’ll never forget the first person that walked up to our ticket window,” says Joe Van’t Hof, a member of the Optimist Club of Saskatoon, and vice president of the nonprofit that operates the hill. “They said ‘this is the greatest day ever. It’s my birthday and I have a ski hill that I can come to every day in the city of Sasktaoon.’” Optimist Hill became an idea when Ken Cenaiko went for a walk along a nearby riverbank and spotted the remnants of an old ski jump. Cenaiko, a member of the Optimist Club of Saskatoon, began to float the idea of starting a ski hill. What followed was six years of conducting market research, developing business plans, building partnerships and raising funds. The project’s first phase had a price tag of $3.3 million, some of which is still being raised. The area’s Optimist Clubs approached the city for collaboration, including $685,000 in funding, and they formed the OSP Community Development Corp. to run the project in Diefenbaker park. In addition to Van’t Hof, OSP’s leaders are President Brad Sylvester, Finance Director Terry McAdam and Director Rob Letts. To date, the Optimist Club of Saskatoon has contributed $100,000 and the Hub City Optimist Club has raised nearly $30,000, Van’t Hof said. In addition, organizers approached individuals and businesses for further monetary donations as well as equipment.
Optimist Hill provides a place for family and friends to stay active throughout Saskatoon’s long winter.
Then, they had to move the dirt—147,000 cubic meters was transferred from the base of the park’s hill to the top. The facility has room for downhill skiing, snowboarding Winter 2020 • 7
and tubing, as well as equipment rentals. The next phase will be a comfortable chalet for visitors. “Thinking outside the box is really good and takes a lot of hard work to get over the line,” said Brad Babyak, recreation services manager for the city of Saskatoon. “I give credit to the Optimist group because they’re a small group but they put in a ton of hours to make it what it is today.” The best part is, Saskatoon residents can ride the city bus to the hill, and cost of a six-hour lift pass is a little more than an evening movie ticket. That means more time having fun, rather than traveling to the region’s nearest natural ski area, which is an hour’s drive out of town.
To see people spending time with families, with brothers, sisters, with the biggest smiles, enjoying the winter wonderland that we’ve created, there’s nothing that can replace it,” Van't Hof said.
“To see people spending time with families, with brothers, sisters, with the biggest smiles, enjoying the winter wonderland that we’ve created, there’s nothing that can replace it,” Van't Hof said. The site was only open for 29 days during its first season, but saw 6,500 visits. Winter sports often brings to mind skiers in slick suits and snowboarders flipping in midair. But Optimist Hill is going after a different market—everyday people who might have never skied before. Operators are also working with area schools and collaborating with other groups to offer activities for people with disabilities. In the US, most members of the National Ski Areas Association are traditional ski resorts, but community-based options are vital to the sport, says association spokeswoman Adrienne Saia Isaac. Snowsports facilities that are easily accessible are also a great way to promote physical and mental health during the winter. 8 • Optimist
Optimist Hill is part of the Saskatoon’s effort to adopt a Winter Cities strategy. The Winter Cities philosophy encourages cities to create opportunities for residents to live and have fun outdoors no matter the weather.
“You don’t have to go out and buy a lot of equipment,” Isaac says. “There are benefits to just being outside and letting your brain turn off from tech for a minute. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete flying down a mountain. You can just go out in the snow and have fun.” Optimist Hill also fits into Saskatoon’s adoption of the Winter City concept. This idea urges cities to create vibrant, livable communities that thrive despite the temperature. This includes basics such as city planning, and encouraging residents to get outdoors for recreation, rather than spending the dark months of the year hibernating on the couch. Service organizations like Optimist Clubs have an important role to play as well,said Patrick Coleman, executive director of the Winter Cities Institute, an international advocacy organization. “We can’t rely on the city organizers to do everything, and we need other organizations to step up, whether it’s making a ski hill or making a skating rink or ski trail,” Coleman says. “Sometimes it just needs a volunteer effort and a little bit of money.” For the Optimists in Saskatoon, their effort was worth it. Top: Everyone is welcome at Optimist Hill, from jibbers (experienced boarders) to joeys (newcomers). Bottom: Workers transferred 147,000 cubic meters of dirt from the base of a hill in Diefenbaker Park to the top to create a ski, snowboarding and sledding hill.
“It’s a game-changer for kids in Saskatoon,” Van’t Hof said. “Kids have got to get off the couch, get off the tablets and cell phones and go play outside.”
Winter 2020 • 9
Sports Fiesta Dominates the Field Photos by Douglas Grossman
or more than 40 years, hundreds of athletes have congregated on the beaches of Southern California, where the Optimist Club of Coronado has tested their skill, strength and speed on sand, street and sea. The Club’s Sports Fiesta offers competitions for youth and adults in running, swimming and volleyball. Its signature competition is the triathlon, the longestrunning in the world, challenges athletes in swimming, biking and running in one single race. The Sports Fiesta is both venerable and groundbreaking. The event’s 1975 triathlon served as a prototype for the Iron Man triathlon, which has grown into one of the premier endurance athletic events in the world. Winners receive prizes, but the event also serves as the Club’s major fundraiser. The Club distributes proceeds from the event to more than 50 youth-related organizations and causes in their community.
Volunteers from the Optimist Club of Coronado supervise the event’s swimming portion.
10 • Optimist
The event’s 1975 triathlon served as a prototype for the Iron Man triathlon, which has grown into one of the premier endurance athletic events in the world.
The Sports Fiesta offers opportunities for athletes of all ages to compete and win awards.
Swimmers head to the water for the swimming leg of the triathlon.
Winter 2020 â€˘ 11
Get kids on their feet and out of their seat!
ost child-health advocacy organizations are in agreement that kids around the world need to spend more time on their feet and less time in front of a screen. Exact recommendations vary, but both the American Heart Association and the Canadian Pediatric Society recommend at least 60 minutes of moderate activity per day for children 6 and above. Optimist Clubs are in a unique position to create opportunities for physical activity for children in their communities, from playgrounds to running clubs. Do you have an idea to get kids in your community more active? Here are some resources to bring your dreams to reality. Grants from your Optimist foundations. If you’re in Canada, the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation offers Spread Relief grants for projects that improve childhood health and wellness. For the US and elsewhere, the Optimist International Foundation offers Childhood Health and Wellness grants. Deadlines vary. Visit www.ccof-foec.org and www.oifoundation.org for more information.
12 • Optimist
All Kids Bike seeks to bring bike education to schools. Supported by the Strider Education Foundation, All Kids Bike offers programming for children, those with special needs and the elderly. Visit www.allkidsbike.org. KaBOOM! works to bring play opportunities to children across the US. Programming includes guidance on creating play spaces with existing infrastructure, partnerships to create playgrounds, grants and more. Visit www.kaboom.org. Jumpstart by Canadian Tire works to provide opportunities for all children to be physically active. Visit jumpstart.canadiantire.ca. The Playcore Grant Finder makes it easy for organizations in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere to find grants and other funding opportunities for their sports and recreation project. Visit playcore.com/funding.
Worth the Stretch: Can resilience be the key to Optimism? by Caryn Sullivan
s it possible to become an optimist if it isn’t within one’s nature to be so? I’d like to think so, for though I don’t have both feet in the optimist camp, I wish I did. And through resilience, I think I’m getting there.
How does one become more optimistic? In my case, the first step was to accept an invitation. Last spring, a friend invited me to a Roseville Area Optimist Club meeting. I went as a guest and soon became a member. I was intrigued by the longevity of Optimist International as well as its broad reach. Others must also welcome a place where those things that divide us are secondary to a philosophy that binds us. I love that we launch our meetings by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and conclude by reciting The Optimist Creed. Standing shoulderto-shoulder with people who share my values and saying them out loud affirms I’m in the right place. In September 2019, Bob Veninga spoke to our Club about resilience, the topic I write and speak about. A University of Minnesota professor emeritus, Veninga discovered patterns and lessons about how we
respond to occupational stress, crises, and loss as well as building resilience. His work includes the book “A Gift of Hope: How We Survive Our Tragedies.” Resilient people understand most personal and professional problems are solvable – with time and patience. Conventional wisdom is it takes about a year to deal with a loss. In fact, Veninga said, it often takes much longer than a year. Mastering resilience requires us to surrender the past, for there is no value in belaboring conversations or decisions or nursing old wounds. As the Optimist Creed says, we are wise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements.
Caryn Sullivan is a columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, a member of the Roseville Optimist Club, public speaker and author of Bitter or Better. Find more of her work at www.carynmsullivan.com.
Resilient people have more than a “to do” list. They also have a “joy list” that reminds them to give a stranger a smile, to do something that brings them joy. Support is integral to resilience and it can take various forms, Veninga said. Support may come in a group or in one-on-one relationships. Veninga said many resilient people have adult guard rails - people who offer honest feedback and opinions and help to keep us in our lanes or steer us away from potholes. Winter 2020 • 13
Though putting both feet squarely in the optimist camp may be a lofty goal, it’s worth the stretch.
In studies of occupational stress, Veninga discovered that teachers who have a principal they consider a supporter were less likely to experience burnout. Real estate agents were better able to manage the ups and downs of the business cycle if their supervisors offered guidance and encouragement. As a self-employed writer and speaker, I don’t have the opportunity for “water cooler” talks with colleagues, as I did when I was an attorney. I rely on an informal network of adult guard rails with whom I process all sorts of dilemmas and decisions. While I may not always agree with their viewpoints, I respect and value them. As Veninga spoke, I thought about the relationship between optimism and resilience. Can we have one without the other? Can we develop optimism, just as we can build resilience?
Out now in Digital and Print versions
All proceeds benefit the Optimist Oratorical Contest.
14 • Optimist
For much of my life, adversity was my companion. It’s been difficult to shed a deeply ingrained fear that the next phone call or doctor appointment will bring the latest round of bad news. It’s been counterintuitive to follow the Optimist Creed’s charge to “maintain a cheerful countenance and to look at the sunny side of everything.” Until now. Veninga helped me shift my thinking. I deliberately embrace the spirit of the Optimist Club, “to be too large for worry, to noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.” I’m creating both “to do” and “joy” lists. Though putting both feet squarely in the optimist camp may be a lofty goal, it’s worth the stretch.
New Programs Optimist International is thrilled to announce several new programs for this Optimist year. Now, Optimists have even more opportunities to bring out the best in youth, their communities and themselves. New Scholarship – The Optimist Visual Arts Competition!
This exciting new program is designed to encourage and celebrate youth’s visual art skills in two categories – painting and drawing—at both the Club and International level. Scholarships will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at the OI level for each category. OPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL
VISUAL ARTS COMPETITION
PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS
At the International level, 1st place in each category will receive a $250 scholarship; 2nd place in each category will receive a $150 scholarship and 3rd place in each category will receive a $100 scholarship. Participants must be age 11 and under. Digital images of winning pieces at the Club level must be submitted to OI by May 1.
Optimist Photography Contest
This contest exposes young people to “The Optimist Creed,” the philosophy of Optimism and assists them with developing an interest in photography. Contests will take place at the Club level, with a variety of options for participation, prizes, judging and more.
iMagine - A Kaleidoscope of the Performing Arts
This new program lets Clubs provide an outlet to showcase talented performing artists in their communities. Talent showcases highlighting these performing arts are not only fun, but innovative, giving young people the opportunity to express themselves using their own unique talents. Disciplines featured may include dance, singing, music, theater, puppetry, circus arts, spoken word, and more. For schools and communities, there is nothing more fun or memorable than to see talented individuals celebrated front-and‐center!
Optimists Spark Fun in the Park
Plan a day of play in the park, creating engagement between children of all abilities as well as JOI, College Optimist, and adult Optimist members. Optimist International provides a template for this event that can be customized according to your community’s needs and resources. This is a fun way of sharing our philosophy of Optimism to a wider cross section of the children we serve globally.
Kids Speak Out!
The ‘Kids Speak Out’ program is broadening its scope to engage children in our primary/ preparatory and elementary schools to compete with their fellow students, and importantly with children of other schools across the Zones and District. This Club and District option will be for students up to and including age 11, effective for the 2019-20 year. The goal of this competition is to give the competitors the opportunity to compete at different levels: school, club and zone; and to gain experience and confidence in preparation for the Oratorical Contest. For more information about these and other Optimist activities, visit www.optimist.org/member/activities1.cfm Winter 2020 • 15
Optimist Day 1
Optimists around the world celebrated Optimist Day on February 6 by wearing their Optimist International gear and engaging in service projects, seeking proclamations and other actions to raise the visibility of Optimism. Did Optimist Day pass you by? Start planning for May, which is Optimists in Action Month, and mark your calendars for the next Optimist Day, February 4, 2021! 1. Kingston - The Optimist Club of Kingston shared the world of reading by donating more than 200 books to the Jamaica House Basic School. 2. Daniel Boone - Members of the Douglassville-Daniel Boone Optimist Club of Pennsylvania only have eyes for Optimist International. 3. Cedartown - The Cedartown Optimist Club of Georgia is ready to serve in their Optimist International aprons. 4. Lloyds - Tom Lloyd, left and Janet Lloyd, right, brought their Optimism to get fit with their personal trainer. They belong to the Optimist Club of Des Moines Western-Noon. 16 â€˘ Optimist
5. Harbour View - The Optimist Club of Harbour View, Jamaica, sported their OI shirts and pins with pride. 6. Metro Riverfront - Members of the Metro-Riverfront Optimist Club of Detroit displayed the Optimist Creed during their celebration. 7. Festus Crystal City - The Festus-Crystal City Optimist Club of Missouri gathers for an Optimist Day photo. 8. Dade - The Trenton-Dade Optimist Club of Florida received a proclamation from their county commission designating the first Thursday in February as Optimist Day.
9. Okotoks - Amy Giroux, president of the Okotoks Optimist Club of Alberta, wore her OI hat to visit with her alpacas. Winter 2020 â€˘ 17
Club News Charlotte and Weddington, North Carolina, Optimist Clubs by John Laurents, President Charlotte Optimist Club
The Charlotte and Weddington Optimists Clubs undertook a campaign to raise $18,000 to provide 900 brand new coats for every student at Two little girls share excitement over realizing they have the Huntingtowne Farms same coat. Elementary School in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Optimists partnered with Operation Warm, a national non-profit, serving communities for 20 years, which brings warmth, confidence, and hope to disadvantaged children through the gift of new winter coats. In 2019, Operation Warm’s partners gifted coats to nearly 400,000 children. Operation Warm provided the marketing materials and a donation website that made it easy for members and friends to make an online donation. The fundraising kicked off on October 1 and in less than 90 days, the goal of $18,000 was reached. Optimists and friends and family in addition to members of the school’s PTA, conducted a coat party, on December 10. The Optimists and volunteers were overwhelmed by the stories, smiles and tears, of the students, most of whom lacked a warm coat. How did this happen? It was an accidental happenstance. At an Optimist luncheon, earlier in the year, a young lady showed up looking for the Rotary Club. President John Laurents responded that she 18 • Optimist
had found the Optimist Club. The young woman replied that she had planned to join the Rotary Club for lunch. John invited her to join the club for lunch. It was Temeka Brantley, a regional community partnership representative for Operation Warm. John invited Temeka to present the program at an upcoming luncheon meeting, and the board decided that this would be an extremely worthy project. The Weddington Club enthusiastically offered to partner with the Charlotte Club to help reach the fundraising goal and participate in the coat party. This year, the Charlotte Optimists will help the Weddington Optimists raise money to purchase brand new coats for a worthy elementary school in their community. It was meant to be.
Palmetto Optimist Club of South Carolina by Beth Abruzzino, Club President
The Palmetto Optimist Club held its fifth Battle Buddies Obstacle Course in Sumter, South Carolina. Battle Buddies is a children’s obstacle course that combines the physical fitness aspect of the Childhood Health and Wellness program with the Respect for Law program. Local law enforcement members assist the kids as a metaphor for how law enforcement can assist people through the obstacles in life while also allowing kids to enjoy fitness. Obstacles are created or purchased by members, including ladder walls, low crawls, balance-beam planks, tunnels and more. The obstacles themselves are inspired by military obstacle courses but painted in colorful primary colors making them friendly for kids. The event in November was held at a county sports pavilion and the obstacle course spanned across two
soccer fields. Law enforcement was well represented by the Sumter Sherriff ’s Department, the Sumter Fire Department, Shaw Air Force Base Security Forces and the Shaw Air Force Base K-9 unit. In addition, the Sherriff Explorers #333 and the University of South Carolina Sumter Campus Fire Ants Baseball team volunteered to help kids through the course. Kids of all ages are welcome to take multiple turns going through the obstacles. Children under five are assisted by a parent with older children being cheered on by volunteers. When kids were not going through the course, they were watching demonstrations from dance teams, martial arts studies and cheer squads. There was even a bit of line dancing. The Palmetto Optimist Club hosted the first Battle Buddies in September 2016 with 40 kids participating. They hosted the event twice in 2017 and have since made it an annual event. The recent edition hosted approximately 800 people.
From left to right are Club President David Glazener, Chief Steve Dye, and Club Member Sonnia Ortega.
Optimist Club of Grand Prairie, Texas by David J. Glazener, Club President
This is what can happen at a District meeting and have lasting after effects. During a quarterly meeting of the NTX District, Club members Vanessa Wattron and Sonnia Ortega bid on a special Respect For Law plaque in the silent auction. Their bid won, and they presented the plaque to me. I was very surprised but happy to accept their gift to the Club. The plaque had wording on it: “LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE YEAR.” I began to think how it could be used. When we returned home from the District meeting, we discovered our city police chief was retiring soon. I instantly thought of using this special plaque for him.
An officer helps a young participant during the wall climb of the Battle Buddies Obstacle Course.
On January 23, 2020, Chief Steve Dye, and his wife, Mimi, were present along with many Club members and guests for the presentation of the plaque. Upon seeing it, he said, “How impressive! I will be sure to hang this in my office. I have never seen such a nicelooking plaque.” I conveyed my appreciation to the two Club members for their donating this special plaque to the Club and they were happy with how it was used to honor our city’s retiring police Chief.
Winter 2020 • 19
North Carolina District by Linda Shepherd
The placement of a time capsule on November 9, 2019 marked the end of the Optimist International Centennial celebration for the North Carolina East Optimist District.
From left to right are International Vice President Teri Davis, Sunrise President Charles Heller, Milton President Lynn Bousfield, Dennis Cassidy, and Sunrise Secretary Leonard Tilney. Â
Sunrise Lockport, New York, and Milton, Ontario, Optimist Clubs Members of the Sunrise Optimist Club of Lockport, New York visited the Milton Ontario Optimist Club on November 9, 2019 to celebrate the 40th Twinning Anniversary of the two Clubs. Sunrise presented Milton a first-time issued dual U.S. Mint and Royal Canadian Mint set containing a silver Walking Liberty American dollar and silver Canadian $5 piece commemorating the friendship between the two countries.
The time capsule was buried adjacent to the entrance of the Optimist Cottage on the grounds of the Boys and Girls Homes at Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina. Immediate Past Governor Linda Shepherd conducted the ceremony attended by 25 people. Items in the capsule represented the treasures of the North Carolina East District, and were collected during the 2018-2019 Optimist year. Each Optimist in attendance presented a small paper with his or her thumbprint and signature for inclusion in the time capsule. The capsule is to be opened in 2083, the 100th anniversary of the formation of the North Carolina East District.
Milton presented Sunrise with a beautiful handmade lighted bird house inscribed with a 40th Anniversary commemorative plaque. Optimist International Vice President Teri Davis attended the dinner. Club representatives initially met in June 1979 at the International Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Formal twinning ceremonies were held November 1, 1979 in Milton. The clubs believe they are among the oldest continuous Twin Clubs in Optimist International.
Immediate Past Governor Linda Shepherd and Ray Cockrell, Vice President for Development at the Boys and Girls Homes, are ready to shovel dirt onto the newly placed time capsule.
Submit your Club or District news for the Spring edition of the Optimist Magazine to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1. Reports must be less than 400 words, and may be edited for length, clarity and style. Any pictures should be submitted as attachments. 20 â€˘ Optimist
Junior Optimists create
Week of Kindness W
ith less light and colder weather, winter can often leave people feeling sad and lonely. Junior Optimist International decided to combat the winter blues with a Week of Kindness. The Sand Creek High School JOI Club in Colorado, created the project that JOI adopted for its second quarter emphasizing kindness. Even though the project was initiated to run around Valentine’s Day, a Week of Kindness can be held at any time during the year. This would be an especially good program for the beginning of the school year. This project can` be modified for whatever your school and community needs, and actions adjusted for the specific age of the students involved. An easy way to get started is to pick out a week, and then come up with a different kindness-related action for each day of the week. Your JOI Members should lead the way in taking these actions while encouraging their school mates to do the same.
A typical week could look like this:
Monday — Talk to someone you don’t usually talk to. Tuesday — Give a compliment to someone. Wednesday — Leave notes of kindness around your school. Thursday — Share something of your own. Friday — Help someone out. Students at Scott Elementary in Colorado Springs, Colorado, participated in the Week of Kindness organized by Sand Creek JOI Club.
Be sure to give your fellow students a heads up by including your week of kindness in any school announcements or newsletters. This is also a good time to do a Club project. The Sand Creek JOI Club made posters with positive messages on them, and on a corner so that drivers could see the signs as they went by. Other ideas might include picking up litter. A Week of Kindness can make the world a warmer place, no matter what time of year it is!
Winter 2020 • 21
Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Scholarship The 2020 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team will recognize the academic and community service accomplishments of five junior golfers. Golfers selected receive an exemption into the 2020 Optimist Championship, tournament entry (includes golf, hotel accommodations and meals) and a $1,000 scholarship. Applicants must be ages 16 to 18 as of July 25, 2020. Candidates must submit a writing sample as well as two letters of recommendation. Applications must be postmarked by April 1, and arrive at Optimist International Headquarters by April 6. For more information on applying for this scholarship, including full eligibility requirements, visit www.optimist.org/golf. Contact Sharon Parton, Junior Golf Senior Director, atÂ email@example.com, (314) 881-1307 or toll free (800) 500-8130, ext. 207. 22 â€˘ Optimist
Dear Optim ist Member, It is my hon or to introdu ce you to Op the future le timist Junior aders of the Golf ! We hel w orld through International p to develop the challeng began sponso successful ch ing and hum ri ng the Junio the lives of n aracter traits b ling game of r World Golf early 25,000 in golf. Since O yo C h u ethic are just ng aspiring go ampionships ptimist a few of the in lf er 1 9 s. 6 Honesty, inte 8 qualities that platforms fo grity, sportsm , Optimists have impacte go r the best yo d anship, respec ung golfers in lf can instill. For this reas t and a stron on, we work the world to g w ork In 1995, Op tirelessly to cr display their timist Intern eate affordab talents. ational split The Optimis le from the Jun t Internation ior World C al Junior Go can host a un h am lf p ionships to d Championsh ique event th evelop our o ips was born at correspon Optimist, yo wn event. . By running ds with the va u can be pro our own tou lues and obje ud of the wo becoming su rn am ct rk iv ent, we es of Optimis that we are d ccessful adult oing to assist t Internation s. al yo . As an ung people in What can yo their journey u do to help to ? We always n eed volunteer s at the Cham tournament pionship as w each year. W ell as in your e depend on you for the p local area. Yo You can find ro ur district ho m otion of thes a list of these sts a qualifyi e events. competition ng s by going to: Golfers who w w w .o ptimist.org/g qualify for th olf/golf-qual e Optimist Ju These kids p ify1.cfm nior Golf Ch lay three com ampionships petitive roun Doral Miam ar d e s treated to a li of golf at on i, Florida. In e of the worl addition to th many other ac d’s premier go fe-changing week. e highly com tivities that w lf venues: Tru petitive golf ill allow for in mp National tournament, ternational re The dates of th es e kids are also la ti o n ship-buildin this years’ ev treated to g that is truly ent are as fo llows: priceless. July 11-16, 2 020; Boys 10 -11, 12-13 an d Girls 10-1 July 16-21, 2 2 020; Boys 14 -15 and Girls 1 3 -14 July 21-26 2 020; Boys 16 -18 and Girls 15-18 As you know , Optimist In ternational re Please consid lies on our m er getting in embers to m volved. The fu ake our prog ture leaders o rams successf f the world w ul. ill thank you . Clayton M. McGowan, P GA
Optimist Go lf Tournamen t Director If you have ad ditional ques tions or need visit Optimis more inform t Junior Golf ation, or Email: go lf@optimist. org, direct (3 14) 881-130 7.
Winter 2020 • 23
grants! This is a busy time at the Optimist International Foundation, as we prepare for our Club Grants, and take applications for our first round of Childhood Health and Wellness grants.
Get Creative with Club Grants
What do youth gardening programs, duffle bags for foster children, playground improvements and a cornhole tournament for autism awareness all have in common? They’re all projects that won Optimist International Foundation Club Grants in 2019. Applications are open for 2020 Club Grants, allowing Optimists to get creative in how they serve their communities. Any Adult Club served by OIF is eligible to apply for a $500 grant for a new project of the Club. The project must start and finish between April 2020 and March 2021. Grants to Clubs will be matching grants, with Clubs expected to show plans for matching the money and reporting the results. Clubs will complete a followup report. Applications must be received in the OI Foundation Headquarters office by March 13. Recipients will be notified May 8. Winning ideas from last year include the Youth Gardening Club, by the Optimist Club of Blair, Nebraska; the Summer Send Off Bicycle Helmet Giveaway by the Optimist Club of Appleton, Wisconsin; and Duffle Bags for Foster Kids by the Optimist Club of Roseburg, Oregon.
Childhood Health and Wellness Grants
Optimists have long supported children’s health and well-being, and they now have a new avenue to support those programs in their communities. This year, the OIF is proud to unveil its first round of applications for grants, in support of OI’s new focus on Childhood Health and Wellness. 24 • Optimist
“There are a lot of good ideas out there across the whole Optimist family of ways to promote health in your own community, whether it’s big or small,” Lloyd says. “There are different ways to help that maybe you haven’t thought of before. It’s all about helping your community and creating relationships with kids in your community.” Projects falling under this could include backpack programs that provide children with nutrition over weekends and school breaks; gardening projects that teach kids how to grow food; or a school or community hygiene closet that makes it easy for kids to access soap, deodorant or other items that they might not get at home. The grants of up to $1,000 will be distributed in the following areas. • Healthy Lifestyles (e.g., Physical Fitness, Nutrition) • Chronic Diseases (e.g., Childhood Cancer, Juvenile Diabetes, MS, Ronald McDonald House) • Mental Health (e.g., Depression, Abuse)
• Disabilities – Physical, Intellectual & Developmental (e.g., Autism, Special Olympics)
The first round of Childhood Health and Wellness grants will be due Feb. 29. Additional deadlines for the year are May 31, and August 30. Visit www.oifoundation.org for complete information on both of these programs.
When we “Go the Extra Mile”
This is an opportunity for a club to partake in a chance to receive a club grant of $2,500, $1,500 or $1,000. How can you achieve this? We are looking for innovative hand- on Club youth projects for your community during the 2019-2020 Optimist year. Optimist Clubs from across Canada have an opportunity to enter the process from now until April 30, 2020. After which time, we will not accept any further applications for this incentive.
Donors to the CCOF will then have an opportunity to vote on their club entry or support another club with their entry, for a period of one month. During that month, the three top projects will be identified based on voting. The more votes a project receives the higher they will proceed to the top three. The top three projects will be announced, and showcased during the Optimist International Convention, in Chicagoland (Schaumburg, IL), June 28, 2020. All individual Optimist donors are eligible to have a vote on a project. A contribution of a minimum of $36.50 Dime a Day to the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation is required to get one vote. For each incremental unrestricted donation of $50 a donor will receive an additional vote, so if you gave an amount of $200 you would have an additional four votes. If you have already given a donation since October 1, 2019 you will be eligible to vote, if for instance you have given an unrestricted donation of $250 in addition to your Dime a Day contribution you would be eligible to an additional five votes. Optimist club President are eligible to vote if the club makes a minimal unrestricted donation of $50. You could get other individuals and corporations as donors in your community involved with the voting process with a minimum unrestricted donation of $50, then they support the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation and receive a tax receipt. The actual details of the voting process and how many votes you could receive will be announced very shortly.
Winter 2020 • 25
CCOF FOUNDATION DONORS CCOF CHRISTIAN D. LARSON PARTNERS MEMBERSHIP 740
CCOF TOP TEN as of September 30, 2019 District
Average Contribution Per Member
Alberta, Montana, Saskatchewan & Northern Wyoming
Pacific North West
Ben De Remer
Alberta, Montana, Saskatchewan & Northern Wyoming Southwestern Ontario
Jurgen and Kathy Walther
CCOF DONOR LISTINGS This is a record of lifetime accumulation levels achieved from July 1, 2019 – September 30, 2019, for individuals and Clubs. This listing is for gifts recorded up to the deadline date for the printing of Optimist. Distinguished Benefactor - $5,000
Benefactor - $1,000
QUÉBEC CENTER Camillien Delisle Club Optimiste St-Roch de l’Achigan, QC
QUÉBEC CENTER Johanne Lamouche Carine Therrien
Honored Benefactor - $2,500
QUÉBEC SOUTH Huguette Frenière
QUÉBEC CENTER Club Optimiste de Beloeil, QC
MIDWESTERN ONTARIO Optimist Club of Walkerton, ON
QUÉBEC WEST Louis Dubois SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO Huron Sledge Hockey – Huron and Area Optimist Club, ON MIDWESTERN ONTARIO Optimist Club of Sydenham, ON PACIFIC NORTH-WEST Richard Brodie
26 • Optimist
OIF FOUNDATION DONORS OIF CHRISTIAN D. LARSON PARTNERS MEMBERSHIP 731
Debra M. Davis
Dr. Nancy Boyd
Linda G. Clark
Daniel J. Mills
Trent W. Sanford
Debra J. Berry
OIF TOP TEN as of January 31, 2020 District
Capital-Virginia Arizona Alabama-Mississippi Oklahoma Colorado-Wyoming South Carolina North Carolina East North Mexico-West Texas Alberta, Montana, Saskatchewan & Northern Wyoming South Texas
GATEway Michigan Alabama-Mississippi Colorado-Wyoming Capital-Virginia South Texas Iowa North Carolina East Dakotas-Manitoba-Minnesota North Carolina West
Average Contribution Per Member
Barbara L. Grizzard $10.72 Marcia Aurand $7.76 Nancy Boyd $7.71 Ron Whitaker $6.73 Ron Benson $6.35 Mike Sherbert $6.01 Errol Warren $5.86 Lynne Martin $5.14 James Rehm $5.04 Beverley Oaks $5.03
Connie Webb Monetta Foster Nancy Boyd Ron Benson Barbara L. Grizzard Beverley Oaks Janet Lloyd Errol Warren Charles Spavin Bill Teague
$9,287.03 $8,960.30 $8,577.50 $8,353.50 $7,661.50 $6,255.70 $6,229.00 $5,136.95 $4,988.16 $4,596.50
OIF DONOR LISTINGS This is a record of lifetime accumulation levels achieved from July 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020, for individuals and Clubs. This listing is for gifts recorded up to the deadline date for the printing of Optimist. Cooper Benefactor - $100,000
Bronze Benefactor - $15,000
EAST MISSOURI Optimist Club of Cape Girardeau, MO
ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI Optimist Club Hernando, MS
Golden Benefactor - $50,000 MARYLAND-SOUTH DELAWARE James and Sherry Hubbard
Silver Benefactor - $25,000 IOWA Optimist Club of Dubuque, IA
DAKOTAS-MANITOBA-MINNESOTA Central Minnesota Noon Optimist Club Inc., MN INDIANA NORTH Optimist Club of Portland-Evening, IN INDIANA SOUTH Optimist Club of Avon, IN IOWA Optimist Club of Bloomfield, IA Optimist Club of North Liberty, IA
KANSAS Optimist Club of Topeka-Sunrise North, KS KENTUCKY-WEST VIRGINIA Eulas J. Hayes NEBRASKA Optimist Club of Lincoln-Evening, NE PACIFIC CENTRAL Optimist Club of Sacramento-Breakfast, CA WISCONSIN NORTH-UPPER MICHIGAN Optimist Club of Fond Du Lac-Noon, WI Sunrise Optimist Club of Green Bay, WI
Winter 2020 • 27
OIF DONOR LISTINGS continued Eminent Benefactor - $10,000 ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI Nancy E. Boyd Optimist Club of Cleveland, MS Alberta, Montana, Saskatchewan & Northern Wyoming Debora A. Ettleman
IOWA Geraldine M. Barnett David H. Phillips KENTUCKY-WEST VIRGINIA Edwin R. Smith
MICHIGAN Theresa Jarratt Nicole M. Ingersoll COLORADO-WYOMING Front Range American Cancer Society Optimist Club- Mount Clemens Optimist Club, MI Denver, CO OHIO IOWA Optimist Club of Maquoketa, IA NEW MEXICO-WEST TEXAS Optimist Club of Albuquerque, NM NORTH FLORIDA David and Shari Pudles OKLAHOMA Judy K. Osborn SOUTH TEXAS Beverley W. Oaks Optimist Club of Corpus Christi-Downtown, TX WEST MISSOURI Optimist Club of St. Joseph-Sunrise, MO
Distinguished Benefactor - $5,000 COLORADO-WYOMING Philip Perington DAKOTAS-MANITOBA-MINNESOTA Optimist Club of Watertown, SD INDIANA NORTH Optimist Club of New Castle, IN INDIANA SOUTH Kenneth and Ann Kolmerten KANSAS G. Joseph and Diana Pierron LOUISIANA Optimist Club of Gretna-West Bank, LA MICHIGAN Michelle M. Kauffold Optimist Club of Charlotte, MI NORTH TEXAS Optimist Club of Lubbock, TX SOUTH CAROLINA Evening Optimist Club of Sumter Inc., SC
Honored Benefactor - $2,500
Optimist Club of Fairfield Inc., OH OKLAHOMA Joyce M. Filsinger PACIFIC CENTRAL Phyllis S. Caughran SOUTHERN WISCONSIN Jeffery L. Kuchenbecker WEST MISSOURI Larry J. Lynch WISCONSIN NORTH-UPPER MICHIGAN Judith A. Goodchild
Benefactor - $1,000 ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI Joyce F. Barnes Jacob Ransom, Jr. Gloria F. Vail ALBERTA, MONTANA, SASKATCHEWAN & NORTHERN WYOMING Eric A. Christian James B. Rehm Optimist Club of Havre, MT
CAPITAL-VIRGINIA James M. Douglas Charles Steininger CARIBBEAN Rose M. Medley Optimist Club of Kingston-Waterloo, Jamaica Optimist Club of Manor Park, JA COLORADO-WYOMING Robert L. Avery Harry S. Fegley Ruth A. Oss
CARIBBEAN Marcia Streete Hendricks
GATEWAY Linda Clark Trent W. Sanford
28 â€¢ Optimist
NORTH CAROLINA EAST Terry S. Corle NORTH CAROLINA WEST Gerenda D. Davis NORTH FLORIDA Elizabeth Kincheloe Mary Lowe Jean and Rick Rutan Brenda A. Sprague Coastal Optimist Club of Wakulla Inc., FL NORTH TEXAS Tommy and Judi Janes OHIO John L. Akerman Myron J. Rheaume OKLAHOMA Optimist Club of Glenpool Area, OK PACIFIC CENTRAL Richard I. Jones PACIFIC SOUTHEAST Morning Optimist Club of Moreno Valley, CA
SOUTH CAROLINA James P. Bradley Lola E. Cumbo
EAST MISSOURI Amy Keller
INDIANA SOUTH George S. Haerle
NEW YORK-NEW ENGLAND Debra M. Davis Lockport Monday Night Cruise Optimist Club Inc., NY Optimist Club of Utica-East, NY
ATLANTIC CENTRAL Maxcine S. Collier
CALIFORNIA SOUTH Bonnie M. Styles
ILLINOIS Optimist Club of Taylorville, IL
NEW MEXICO-WEST TEXAS Camino Real Optimist Club, NM
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST Lydia and Victor Espinoza
DAKOTAS-MANITOBA-MINNESOTA John Ashland Kevin J. Hammell Gary Nelson
GATEWAY Optimist Club of Gilmer County, GA Optimist Club of Laurel Canyon, GA
MICHIGAN Mary Ann Ampersee Ralph W. Meyer The Optimist Club of Holland, MI
ARIZONA Patricia A. McKerchie
ATLANTIC CENTRAL LaVera Seymour Optimist Club of Chester-South Chester, PA
COLORADO-WYOMING Cheyenne Optimist Club, WY
MARYLAND-SOUTH DELAWARE David J. Bowman
INDIANA SOUTH Greg A. Kuhn Michael R. Novak IOWA Richard A. Danielson Susan Enewold Mark G. Feilmann KANSAS Charles L. Galligher Marlene Natoli
SOUTHERN WISCONSIN Platteville Area Optimist Club, WI Optimist Club of Sun Prairie, WI TENNARK David and Linda Morgan WEST MISSOURI Rodwin L. McLaughlin
A look at more than 100 years of Optimist International memories
Photo: Optimist International Photo Archives
Optimists have a long tradition of encouraging participation in winter sports. In this photo from our archives, kids visit a ski area near Reno, Nevada, during a trip organized by local Optimist Clubs in February 1956.
Winter 2020 â€˘ 29
During the month of May, Optimist Clubs will create a widespread spirit of unity bringing together Optimist Members and other community volunteers for a variety of local-based activities, fundraisers and special events. Optimist Clubs can conduct any program or special event that meets the needs of their community! Take photos and videos and share your Club's program on social media by tagging #OptimistInAction
For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org