My fellow Optimists,
July is a month of celebration. We celebrate our Nation’s birthday, our favorite baseball team, and our fathers (belated), to name a few. Ohio Optimists celebrate the achievements of our youth and communities - “The Heart of It All” - through service.
I, along with 16 other Ohio delegates, just returned from this year’s International Convention in Quebec. Everyone enjoyed being together as Optimists in friendship and in ambiance of this beautiful old city. Valuable training and enlightening workshops were partook. At the business session, delegates voted to change the official name of Junior Optimist International “JOI”, College clubs bi-annual dues schedule, and District Sec/Treas three year term limit. Congratulations to Centerville-Noon for winning $1,500 in the Reel Optimism Video Contest and to Wapakoneta Noon for winning a $500 OI Foundation club grant.
The District Convention, being held August 18-20 in Dayton, is only weeks away! Register today and join your fellow Optimist friends in all the FUN. This year’s activities include: golf outing (new), game show night, “Meet the Judge” skit, US Air Force Museum tour, and fun auction. Governor-Elect Cherie Gentry and her leadership team have put together a comprehensive list of training sessions taught by seasoned District trainers to help get District and Club leaders prepared for the upcoming year. Important changes to the Awards and PGI programs will be thoroughly discussed. There are only a few days remaining to take advantage of the discounted hotel room rate of $110 (includes breakfast); deadline is Monday, August 1 before midnight.
Our District continues to be net positive in membership at +8. Fifteen new Optimist were added to our family during the month to serve 525 more kids. Keep up your hard work moving forward towards our goals. Is your club one of the 24 that are currently positive in membership and “honor” status? Great! But, 28 are just one or two new members away from this honored distinction. Make it your legacy to finish the year strong. Soon, the District will be expanding optimism in the following communities to serve more kids with new clubs forming in Bryan, Ohio and at Sinclair Community College.
The inaugural Optimist International World Oratorical Championships was recently held in St. Louis where 61 contestants from around the world competed (29 in person and 32 via virtual technology) for $22,500 in scholarships. Madison Downing from Lima Shawnee High School proudly represented our District at the competition. Even though she did not win the Middle America Regional or the World Championship, Cameron Tyler from the East Missouri District within our Region did. I encourage you to watch his outstanding performance streamed at optimist.org. Next year’s scholarship topics: oratorical “What the World Gains from Optimism” & essay “Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges”.
The Ohio District gives best wishes to all our young golfs who will be competing in “The Optimist” OI Junior Golf Championships tournament being held in the coming weeks at the prestigious PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Fifty-two contestants (37 boys and 15 girls) will proudly represent the buckeye state. Thanks to OIJGC chairperson Ken MacDonald, his committee, and all Optimist volunteers who contributed to the success of this year’s District Qualifiers.
Let’s finish the last quarter strong by bringing out the BEST in youth, ourselves, and our communities – Right Here, Right Now!
Yours in Optimism,
District Governor 2015 - 2016