Follow Rebecca's year as International President on her official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Welcome to our January 2019 Leadership Hotline, highlighting recent and upcoming activities for Optimist leaders and Club Members! We wish you a Happy New Year!
Mid-Year Trainer Classes

The Club and District Trainer classes will be held at 9 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, at Optimist International Headquarters in St. Louis. The classes will end around 4:30 p.m. and a lunch break will be provided. 

For members who are interested in participating in the Certified Trainer program, the Club Trainer class is the place to start! The District Trainer class is the next step for Members who have completed the Club Trainer class and would like to continue advancing in the Certified Trainer program.

There is no charge for the classes but pre-registration is required and a minimum number of attendees must be reached in order to hold the class. Final deadline for registration is Jan. 22. Attendees will receive further instructions after registration is closed. To register for either class, please send name, District and email address along with which class you would like to take to
Junior Optimist International Souper Bowl of Caring

Souper Bowl of Caring is a national youth-led movement of giving and serving that unites communities in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl Weekend. In schools, collection of items takes place during the weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 3. Your Junior Optimist Club can make a significant impact in your community by participating. Visit the December section of the planning guide at for more information.  
Optimist Day - Feb. 7

Members of Optimist International will celebrate Optimist Day throughout the world the first Thursday of every February to promote our efforts in bringing out the best in youth, our communities and ourselves. On Optimist Day, Optimists around the world are asked to wear Optimist attire - shirts, pins, hats, etc. Post your best Optimist attire on social media and tag Optimist International or use the #OptimistDay hashtag. Send your photos to   to be featured in future publications. Visit our Optimist Day web site for more information.
Upcoming Webinars
The Leadership Development Committee will be having the following webinars over the next few months:
Jan. 14                     Engaging Our Youth       Patrick Prendergast/Evelyn Gagnon
There are so many opportunities in Optimism to engage our children and young people and yet our bright future stars and leaders are not feeling the love, the hope, the vision. Let’s get our children to Speak Out, to lead clubs in their schools, to be children helping children and simply feel good as Optimists. This webinar explores ways in which we can celebrate our junior Optimists as they bring out the best in their communities and themselves. Registration Link is:

Feb. 11                     Select and Elect              Tracy Huxley/Robert Doyle
No matter how much you're enjoying the job you're doing right now whether it be for your Club or your District, the health and the future of our organization depends on how we foster new leadership. Before it's too late for elections let's look at how we can identify new leaders. We will explore how to foster confidence in these new potential leaders. Then lastly, how to properly run an election and ensure we have a successful election. Don't leave it until the last minute to think about who will replace you. We're all counting on you to find your replacement. Registration Link is:
March 11                NOW is the Time            Patrick Prendergast/Theresa Tremblay
NOW – New Optimists Welcome! What a great time to have people of like minds join our wonderful movement … 100 years and getting ready for the next 100. This webinar looks at the NOW program and how it can be incorporated in the many Club and District moments and activities that emerge as we spread Optimism. Registration Link is:
Webinars begin at 7 p.m. Central time. If you have any questions, please contact
Membership Recruitment

Fast Start Awards for $100 Convention Registrations

Don’t forget that any Clubs that have built a new adult Club and are net +5 at the end of the 2nd quarter (March 31, 2019) qualify for $100 Convention registrations for ALL CLUB MEMBERS. This is less than half the regular price.

Districts that have built 2 new adult Clubs and are net +15 at the end of the 2nd quarter (March 31, 2019) qualify for $100 Convention registrations for ALL DISTRICT MEMBERS. This is less than half the regular price.

Member Recruitment Calendar

The 2018-19 International Membership Committee is encouraging all Optimist Clubs to participate in “targeted recruitment” each month of this Optimist year. While all Members are valuable; this calendar   will hopefully encourage Clubs to look for new Members in areas that they may not have thought of. January’s group to recruit is:

One Less Decade

While young professionals are a great way to bring younger Members into your Club … recruiting Members in their 20s or early 30s can be difficult for many Clubs. In January, each Member is encouraged to recruit someone who is roughly 10 years younger than themselves. Some Clubs will lower their average age just by recruiting Members in their 40s, 50s, or 60s.

Free Memberships for Past Junior Optimists Expanded

Previously, Junior Optimists who were still Members when they graduated from high school were eligible to join any Optimist Club for one year completely free of cost. The Optimist Board of Directors has expanded this program to include ANY past Junior Optimist Members who wish to join a college or adult Optimist Club. Offer only valid for the first year of membership. District dues may still apply.
New Club Building

An International Development Ad Hoc Committee is working on a strategic initiative for future development and needs your help. The committee is asking for you to provide some guidance about where Optimist International could expand beyond North America and the Caribbean. If you have any leads, could you provide the name of the country or countries where you have friends, acquaintances, or business associates. The committee is not asking for contact information but just the name of the country.  This will enable the committee to learn where the most people known to Optimists live and could lead to designating a country as a focus for international development.  All you have to do is send an email to the International Development Ad Hoc Committee at listing the name of the country or countries where you have connections and thank you for your help.
Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Scholarship

The 2019 Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team will be two special awards recognizing the academic and community service accomplishments of five junior golfers. Golfers can apply for one or both awards. Golfers selected receive an exemption into the 2019 Optimist Championship, tournament entry (includes golf, hotel accommodations and meals) and a $1,000 scholarship. Click here for deadline dates and how to apply. For more information about the Optimist Junior Golf program, click here .
Optimist International Foundation

Optimist International Foundation is accepting applications for the 2019 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 8. Applications and more information are available   here .  
Optimist International has secured preferred access to discount travel site, offering hotel room rates that are up to 70 percent lower than other online travel sites such as Expedia and Travelocity. In addition to discounted hotels, you can book discounted flights, car rentals, entertainment tickets and more. Individual registration is fast, free and easy, requiring only a user name, password and valid email address. Click here to register.
Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation

Be a part of the Centennial celebration. Make a donation to the CCOF, show Optimism, and get a chance to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the organization with us, at the Optimist International Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

Each club where 10% of the membership has given a minimum of a Dime-a-Day before March 31, will receive a ticket for a draw for a registration (appr’x $250 each) to the Optimist International Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, or to their own District Convention.

Each club that has made a minimum donation of $100 before March 31, will receive a ticket for a draw for a registration (appr’x $250 each) to the Optimist International Convention in Louisville, Kentucky or to their own District Convention.

Each club where 10% of the membership has contributed a minimum of a Dime-a-Day and whose total donation from the members and the club has reached $1,000.00 by March 31, will automatically receive a reimbursement of one (1) registration (appr’x $250 each) to the Optimist International Convention in Louisville, Kentucky or to their own District Convention.
Our Centennial - Let's Celebrate

Each Optimist has a story to tell - it could be how you got involved, why you are still an Optimist, or an inspirational moment you had at an Optimist event. We want to hear your story! Submit an Optimist Story here . Video and written stories will be shared throughout the year on social media.

Centennial merchandise may be purchased at our official suppliers.
Official Optimist International Suppliers

United States and the Caribbean:
Ansell's Awards and Specialties
Contact the International Board of Directors 

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