January 2017

Greetings Fellow Optimists, 

It’s hard to believe that we have completed the first quarter of the 2016-17 Optimist Year. I would like to thank each of you for your efforts, and for your commitment to Optimist International, youth and communities. We are off to one of the best starts in the last dozen years. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

Reminder: 2016-17 is the “Year of the Honor Club." We are returning to the basics that helped us grow for decades. We do not grow for the sake of growth, but rather to enhance our ability to serve more youth, provide Optimism to more communities, and develop personally as we serve others!  I would ask every Optimist to continue work toward Honor Club status. This is a tried and true way to help your Club stay strong and continue to serve our youth and our communities. 

We have two President’s Midyear Planning Conferences coming in February. This will be an opportunity for our Vice Presidents, Governors, and Members of the District Growth Teams to join together and look at the second half of our year. We want to ensure we are all on the same page as we head into the second half of the 2016-17 Year. It will be a great opportunity for the whole leadership team to meet, exchange ides, and learn from each other! I look forward to seeing you there. 

We are still in the “Season of Giving” through January 31.  This is a great way to share your Optimism with a friend, neighbor or co-worker. Invite someone so they too can share in the spirit of Optimism. We also have started the “Social, Service and Young Professionals Group” initiative. This is a great way for existing Clubs to add new Members to your Club. If you have any questions, contact either your Vice President or the Optimist International office. Congratulations to Governor Tracy Huxley of the Southwestern Ontario District on building the first “Social, Service and Young Professionals Group” of the year! 

While attending a meeting with the presidents of the Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions organizations, I had the pleasure of visiting a number of our California Districts. I’d like to personally thank them for their hospitality and friendship. What a great group of dedicated and hardworking Optimists! 

Lastly, I hope you all had a great holiday season and a happy New Year.  

Together We Can!

Jim Kondrasuk
2016-17 International President
Optimist International
NEW! Program Logos

The International Board of Directors have approved new logos for the following programs:  Childhood Cancer Campaign (CCC),  Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH),  Essay Contest,  Oratorical Contest,  Respect for Law,  Tri-Star Sports,  Youth Appreciation and  Youth Safety
    New logos can be found here . For questions and more information, email programs@optimist.org .

    Club Fitness Corner

    2017 and the second quarter have arrived! Time for your Club to Renew-Refresh-Revitalize! The 3-R Program is a great tool for Clubs to evaluate their health and perform a self-assessment in a positive way. Click here for more information.

    If you have any questions or want to know more about the 3-R Program, contact your District Club Fitness Advisor or e-mail clubfitness@optimist.org.


    Make Valuable Changes Organization-wide

    Please take time to evaluate the Optimist International bylaws to ensure they continue to effectively serve the organization. This process allows you and your Club to help shape and improve all of Optimist International. To recommend a revision, your Club must submit a proposed amendment citing the article(s) and section(s) and exact proposed wording change to the articles and sections cited, along with a written rationale in 200 words or less for the change.  The Club must submit the proposal on Club letterhead signed by the Club President. The proposal may be emailed and/or faxed to the International Office, but the original Club letter must be received by the International Office in order for the proposal to be considered.  All submitted changes will be brought before the International Convention delegates for vote and possible endorsement. All proposed change submissions to the bylaws must be received at the International Office by 5:00 p.m. (CST) Friday, April 7. Please mail them to: Dana Thomas, Executive Assistant, Optimist International, 4494 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108.

    Make Your Club Heard

    The Convention resolutions process can be used for any aspect of the organization not covered in the bylaws. Clubs must submit resolutions by 5:00 p.m. (CST) Sunday, May 7 to the Resolutions Committee.  The committee will choose the strongest resolutions and report them to Convention delegates for debate and vote. Resolutions endorsed by Convention delegates are non-binding and are sent to the International Board of Directors for further consideration and study. Please type resolutions on Club stationery and include your Club name, Club number and Club President's signature. All resolutions should be written in standard resolution format: "Whereas... , Whereas... , Whereas... , Be it resolved that the Board of Directors of Optimist International is asked to consider...." Resolutions should be mailed to: Resolutions Committee, Optimist International, 4494 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108.

    Call for Nominations for International Officers

    The deadline for self-nominations for the positions of International President, International Board Member and International Vice President is Saturday, April 1

    The following requirements must be met:

    International Vice President nominees:

    • Must be nominated by two Club within the Region in which the individual resides
    • Send to the Candidate Qualifications Committee at dana.thomas@optimist.org or mail to the International Headquarters. Mail must be post marked no later than April 1.

    International Board Member nominees:

    • File an intent to run to the Candidate Qualifications Committee at dana.thomas@optimist.org or mail to the International Headquarters.  Mail must be post marked no later than April 1.
    International President nominees:
    • Must be nominated by two Clubs from two different Regions. 
    • Send to the Candidate Qualifications Committee at dana.thomas@optimist.org or mail to the International Headquarters. Mail must be post marked no later than April 1.
    Clubs must submit a letter on Club letterhead signed by the Club President.
    Please contact the International Office or send a letter to:  International Officer Nomination,  Optimist International,  4494 Lindell Blvd.,  St. Louis, MO 63108

    President’s Midyear Planning Conferences

    Have you registered for a President’s Midyear Planning Conference in your area yet? 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. For more information about the President’s Midyear Planning Conferences, click here.

    Create a Video and Win!

    Optimist International presents the 2017 Reel Optimism Video Contest.  Your Club could win a $750 Club Grant by creating a short video based on the topic: "Optimism." 

    Learn more at www.optimist.org/ReelOptimism and follow the conversation with #ReelOptimism. 

    Fund-seeking from Friends

    The Optimist International Oratorical World Championships will be June 15-16 at Saint Louis University Center of Global Citizenship in St. Louis, Missouri. The event is designed to empower youth to become effective communicators and confident global citizens.

    Optimist Members support over 70% of the oratorical scholarship awards. Give the gift of higher education by donating to the event here . We encourage you to post the Firstgiving Donation link on your Facebook/Twitter pages to share with your non-Optimist Member friends.

    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 leadership@optimist.org .

    Distinguished New Club Building Chair

    A good District New Club Building Chair is critical for facilitating growth in a District through the addition of new Clubs. The New Club Building Chair’s job is to actively build Clubs, but also to ensure that Clubs are being built by training and engaging other Members in their District. For requirements on achieving distinguished status as a District New Club Building Chair, click here

    If you have any questions, contact the New Club Building Department at newclub@optimist.org .

    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 December Global Spotlight, click here.
    Junior Optimist International

    The 2017 Winter edition of The Torch is now available here. The Torch is the official newsletter of Junior Optimist International.

    For more information about Junior Optimist International or if you have questions about starting a Junior Optimist Club, click here.

    Register for Convention Online

    Online registration for the 99th Annual Optimist International Convention in Albuquerque is now open! Share Optimism with fellow Optimists from around the world July 6-8.

    For all convention information, including online registration, click here.

    Season of Giving

    Your Club still has time to participate in the “Season of Giving!” During the “Season Of Giving,” the New Member Fee for all new Members added between December 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017 will be waived.

    For more information, click here.

    Upcoming Events
    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
    Optimist Golf logo

    Optimist Junior Golf

    Upcoming Optimist Junior Tour Events
    These 36-hole events are for male and female junior golfers ages 11-18 and are ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard.  Top finishers advance to the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships held at PGA National Resort and Spa. For more information, click here.

    Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team
    Two special awards recognizing the Academic accomplishments and/or Community Service of five Junior Golfers. Golfers have a chance to apply for one or both. There are separate applications for each award category. Applications are now being accepted. For more information, click here.

    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 Twin City Area Optimist Club loves giving back during the holidays. They participate in a project called Headstart Christmas Parties providing items such as toys, mittens, books, shoes, and socks for less fortunate children in the Jefferson County area. The children have the opportunity to tell their Christmas wishes to Santa and Mrs. Claus. The gifts and time spent with these children between the ages of 3-5 are more than appreciated. Additionally, the Junior Optimist International Club, Junior Optimist Society, partnered with the Twin City Area Optimist Club to sing Christmas carols to the residents of Crystal Oaks Nursing center. Read more.

    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 board@optimist.org

    Optimist International Foundation

    Optimist International Foundation is accepting applications for the 2017 Club Grant Program.  Any Adult Club served by Optimist International Foundation is eligible to apply for a $500 grant to be used for a NEW project of the Club.  Applications must be received in the St. Louis office by March 10. Applications and more information are available here .

    Canadian Children's Optimist Foundation

    Kick off the new year by making a donation to the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation and help students like Félix, Marielle and Shazia'Ayn to reach their dreams through scholarships. Visit the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation website to make your donation or call 1-800-363-7151 ext. 336.