December 2016

Optimist International President Jim Kondrasuk wishes all Optimists a very Happy Holidays and announces the Season of Giving membership incentive for Optimist Clubs beginning December 1. For all new Members added between December 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017, the $15 new Member fee will be waived.  

NEW! Social, Service and Young Professionals Group

Looking for a way to add new, fresh energy to your Club? Expand your Club's outreach and strength in your community by adding a Social, Service and Young Professionals Group!

For more information, click here.

Live from the Board Room

The International Board's next meeting - this Friday and Saturday, December 9 & 10 - will be streaming live here.

The meeting will take place at the Optimist International headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.

NEW! Benchmark Club Projects

Every month, Optimist International will feature a Club project in the Leadership Hotline and on the Optimist International website. The Benchmark Club Projects will highlight a successful project, along with information about the host Optimist Club.

The Watertown Optimists’ Winter Wonderland has grown from a small light show to a town tradition. Winter Wonderland has taken place at the Stokes-Thomas City Park at Lake Kampeska for five years. Over the years, approximately 30,000 people have viewed the Winter Wonderland displays. The displays are open from Thanksgiving until the weekend after Christmas. There is no charge to visit Winter Wonderland, but donations are encouraged and welcomed. Winter Wonderland is one of the biggest attractions during the holidays. With donations received and the hard work of volunteers, the Watertown Optimist Club has raised $50,000 to contribute to the community’s youth and programs. Read more about Benchmark Club Projects here.

Webinar: Professional Development Program

The Leadership Development Committee will be hosting a "Professional Development Program" webinar on Tuesday, January 17 at 7:00pm (CST). The Committee will discuss the importance of using the program for self-development and explain the program requirements. Learn how to reach your full potential to better your life and the lives of others.

To sign up, click here . If you have any questions, contact the Leadership Development Department at .

Global Spotlight

The Optimist International Global Spotlight was created to provide another means of communication between Optimist International and the Optimist Club Presidents outside of the United States and Canada.  The newsletter is sent monthly.

To view the November Global Spotlight, click here.
Recruiting Tips

Are you looking to expand your Club and need recruiting ideas? Click here to watch Herb Strather, Membership Committee Member, explain recruiting tips during NOW events.

For more recruitment and retention information, click here.

Plan for Convention Now!

Optimists from around the world will travel to the 99th Optimist International Convention, July 6-8, 2017 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For a hassle-free experience, begin planning your trip now! To book your housing reservation, click here. For travel information, including airline discounts, click here. For questions, contact See you in Albuquerque!

Register to Attend a President’s Midyear Planning Conference!

Two midyear planning conferences will be held during the 2016-17 Optimist year: Winston-Salem and St. Louis. District Governors, District Membership Chairs, District New Club Building Chairs and District Club Fitness Chairs are encouraged to attend, but all Optimist Members are invited. Topics will include: state of the organization, goals & successes, awards program, alternative strategies, road to Honor Club and more. For more information and to register, click here .

Upcoming Events

International Board of Directors Meeting
December 9-10, 2016 (St. Louis, MO)
President’s Midyear Planning Conference 
February 3-4, 2017 (Winston-Salem, NC)

President’s Midyear Planning Conference 
February 10-11, 2017 (St. Louis, MO)
Official Optimist International Suppliers

United States and the Caribbean:

Ansell's Awards and Specialties

Help Us Help Youth

The Optimist International Oratorical & Essay Contests wouldn’t be possible without the support of our Optimist community. Here's what you helped us accomplish over the past year:

  • $250,000 yearly scholarships awarded to youth winners of Optimist International Oratorical & Essay Contests
  • 2,000 Optimist Clubs each year participate in Optimist International Oratorical & Essay Contest
  • 61 participants competed in the First Annual Optimist International Oratorical World Championships
  • 8 countries represented at the First Annual Optimist International Oratorical World Championships

Help us plan for a successful 2017. Consider donating to the Optimist International Oratorical World Championships. For more information, click here.

Club Fitness Corner

Are you on track for Honor Club? Take one step at a time:

  • Be at +1 in membership by the end of the first quarter – take advantage of “Season of Giving”
  • Pay International dues by Saturday, December 31
  • Keep track of all Honor Club requirements by using the Honor Club Tracking Form

We are here to help! For questions, call (800) 500-8130 ext. 214 or e-mail

Save the Date: Junior Optimist International Convention 

The Junior Optimist International Convention is July 3-5, 2017 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The registration (including seven meals) is $199 (US) for adults and youth.  The room rate at the DoubleTree by Hilton is $129 (US).  There will be new workshops and District Officer Training.  Continue to check for updates or email for questions.

Update Member Information

To ensure each Optimist Member is receiving important information from Optimist International, encourage each Member to update their contact information with a leader in your Club. This includes addresses, email addresses and phone numbers. Each leader (Club President, Secretary, or Treasurer) has a log-in for Optimist Leaders to update the Members’ information. For log-in instructions, click here.
Contact the International Board of Directors 

If you have comments, concerns or suggestions for the International Board of Directors, please send to

Optimist International Foundation

Year-end Appeal
Consider donating to the Foundation this Holiday season.  As the end of the year approaches, please make sure your gifts are in on time.  To donate, click here. Thank you for your gifts to the Foundation! 
Foundation Board Nominations
Optimist International Foundation is accepting Board Member nominations for the Board of Directors. Nominations must be received by January 2, 2017. More information on Board nominations can be found on the Foundation website
There is a quick and easy way to support Optimist International Foundation when you shop at Amazon. Every time you shop, AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the Foundation.  Use the link to support the Foundation every time you shop!

Canadian Children's Optimist Foundation

Ho! Ho! Ho!
Santa has $500 to give to one Optimist Club through the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation Club Grant Program. What a great way to start 2017! The application deadline is Saturday, December 31. For more information, visit the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation website or call 1-800-363-7151 ext. 336.

Giving Back During the Holidays
Be generous during the holiday season by donating to the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation. A receipt for income tax purposes will be delivered for any donation over $20 to the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation. Calculate your charitable donation tax credit here. From your Foundation, have a wonderful holiday season!