September 2017

Greetings Fellow Optimists,

We are now in the last month of the “Year of The Honor Club!” It’s been a great experience for all of us. Our goal has been, and still is, to serve more youth and communities at the end of this year than we were able to do at the start of this year. Serving more youth is what we are all about as Optimists.

To help our Clubs achieve the goal of more service, we have empowered you with great tools to do just that:
  • “Year of the Honor Club” – a time tested and proven way to keep your Club strong, healthy and active, thus serving more youth. Honor Club should be the minimum level of service for any Club.
  • $30 Teacher incentive – recruit a teacher, our direct link to serving kids.
  • 30 under 30 – recruit younger Members to help re-invigorate your Club.
  • Junior Optimist International high school graduates – one year of a complimentary membership in an adult Club, another way to add new, young Members.
  • 4th Quarter Incentive – Add five Members in the 4th quarter, and be an Honor Club – receive a complementary registration to the 100th Convention in Ottawa

And, last and the best of all – THE POWER OF ONE. Each of us must ensure our Clubs will be able to serve as they do now when we, individually, are no longer here for whatever reason. Recruit your successor! If every Club adds one Member, we as an organization will serve thousands upon thousands of new youth. We have thirty some days to create our legacy as Optimist leaders, and what better legacy can there be than to serve more youth and more communities. Now is the time to sprint toward that finish line of September 30. Just add ONE.

A super hearty thank you to all for the hard work you have been doing in serving our children and our communities during the “Year of the Honor Club.” Hold your heads high, together we are making a huge difference in the lives of those communities and youth we touch. We have committed to the “Year of the Honor Club” – and Honor Club will keep our Clubs healthy, active, and fun – make every effort to achieve that status.

As Mother Theresa said: “You can do things I cannot. I can do things you cannot. Together we can do great things!”

Together We Can! Together We Will! Together WE are Optimist Strong!

Jim Kondrasuk
2016-17 International President
Optimist International
Junior Optimist International

The delegates at the 2017 Junior Optimist International Convention voted and approved the following Policy for Governance change. As of October 1, 2017 all new chartered Clubs are required to have “Junior Optimist” listed as part of their Club name. Already existing Clubs do not have to change their name. 

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

Effective October 1, 2018, all Clubs and Districts will be required to hold non-gender Oratorical Contests. Please be aware there are a few other rule changes that may subsequently apply due to this new mandate. 

Stay tuned for further updates! There are no rule changes for the 2017-18 Oratorical Contest. 

To view Planning Guides, click here .
Optimist Strong Conferences: Coming Soon!

Make an investment in yourself. Attend an Optimist Strong Conference in your District and find out how to bring out the best in you. Contact your Lieutenant Governor for more information about your District's Optimist Strong Conference. For general information, contact .
Recruit a Teacher - Renewed!

The "Recruit a Teacher for $30" incentive has been renewed until September 30, 2017! Optimist International is waiving the $15.00 membership fee and offering a year's dues for only $30 for teachers!

Contact for more information.
Help Make Education Affordable

Are you looking for a simple way to give the gift of higher education and help youth reach their full potential?

Donate to the oratorical program here . Share the link on your social media accounts to encourage non-Optimists to donate.
Upcoming Webinar

Utilizing Skype as a Communication Tool
Tuesday, October 3 at 7PM (CDT)

Communication is the key to the success of our Clubs, Districts and our overall organization. We cannot always connect with people in person, which then typically leads us to use other types of communication or, worst of all, not communicate at all.

Skype is a computer program that offers a way to visually connect with one or more people. Join this webinar and find out what it is, why and when to use it, the benefits of using it, how to get started and how to make a call. To register for the webinar, click here!

For questions, contact the Leadership Development Department at .  
Overseas Partnerships

The number of new Clubs overseas continues to expand with new Clubs recently in Nigeria and Nepal, and projects underway in China, Liberia, Kenya, India and Myanmar. This is in addition to an Optimist presence in places like Mexico, and Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Morocco and Uganda on the African continent. Optimist International is looking for Clubs in Canada and the U.S. willing to mentor a Club overseas.

Responsibilities include keeping them abreast of new developments in the organization, staying on track with financial requirements, how the Club should function, etc. If your Club would be interested in an overseas partnership, contact Jim Boyd, Director of Strategic Growth, 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 August Global Spotlight, click  here .
Official Optimist International Suppliers

United States and the Caribbean:

Ansell's Awards and Specialties
Club Pride Report

Has your Club completed successful programs and activities this year? Make sure to note them on the Club Pride Report for 2016-17. Submitting a Club Pride Report is a requirement for Honor Club to show the projects that your Club has conducted this year.

The report is available on the Optimist Leaders website. Go to , log in and click on "Reports" on the right side of the screen. On the next screen, select the Club Pride Report. Hard copies can be printed from the Forms page of the Optimist website, , and faxed or mailed to Optimist International. The form is due online by September 30, but hard copies sent or faxed to Optimist International headquarters will be accepted after September 30.

If you have any questions, please contact the Programs Department at (800) 500-8130 or via e-mail at
Club Officer Elect Report  

Does your Club have a leadership team in place now for the 2017-18 Optimist year? An August mailing will be sent to all Club President-Elects who have completed the Club Officer Elect Report. A current Club officer will need to login to the Optimist Leaders website and click "Reports" on the right-hand side of the screen. Then click on "Club Officer Elect Report" and you will be able to select the names of the Club Members who will be filling leadership roles during the upcoming Optimist year.

If you have questions or need assistance, contact Charlotte in the Member Services Department at .
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
Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation

Does your Club strive to reach Honor Club status? The only way that this can happen is if your Club nominates a Club Foundation Representative and donates to the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation. Last year alone, the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation remitted a total of $95,400 in scholarships to young Canadians, in addition to offering Club Grants for community projects and providing receipts for tax purposes to donors of the Outsourcing projects. Help the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation help Canadian Optimist Clubs by making a Club donation. For more information about our programs, visit our website:
Donate to Disaster Relief Efforts

Optimist International, through our  Optimist International Foundation , is accepting donations to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. All donations will go directly to recovery and relief efforts.

Please consider a donation to the Optimist International Foundation to assist those affected, including our own Optimist Members, in short-term and long-term disaster response.

Visit  to donate.