MAY  2016
Optimist International President Dave Bruns encourages Optimist Members to participate in the Honoring Our Heroes program and discusses upcoming Optimist International events taking place this summer.
An Optimist Hero Can 
Re-Energize Your Club

The Four Towns Optimist Club in the North Florida District recently took advantage of the Honoring Our Heroes incentive by adding a law enforcement officer to the Club's ranks.  Wendell Bradford is a veteran of the US Army National Guard, a Military Police officer and a retired Seminole County Deputy Sheriff.    

According to Wendell, " Our children are our future and I feel investing time and energy into their development is critical."  As a new Member of the Four Towns Optimist Club, he plans to be "actively involved in helping our kids" in addition to being "a part of the enrichment and education of our youth." Wendell's favorite line from the Optimist Creed is: "To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. "  

Join us in welcoming Wendell to the Optimist family and please utilize the Honoring Our Heroes incentive to re-energize your Club!   
Optimist International Oratorical World Championships 

The first annual Optimist International Oratorical World Championships is next month!  District Oratorical Chairs must send in the required District and Regional contestant documents no later than Sunday, May 15.  Also, if at all possible, contact about your Regional contestant participating on site at Saint Louis University or remotely at a location chosen by the District. 
If your contestant is participating remotely, keep in mind the following:
  • Make arrangements for your contestant to deliver his/her speech to an audience.
  • There are no "do overs."  If your remote equipment is not ready at the time designated, your contestant will be disqualified.
  • At this point in time, the following countries are participating in the Global Region:  Haiti, Belize, Afghanistan, India. We are still waiting on France, Spain and Botswana to confirm contestants.
Is your Club interested in donating to the oratorical program? Donate to the Optimist International Oratorical World Championships Contest here. Share the link on your social media accounts to encourage non-Optimists to donate!
Happy Optimists in Action Month!

Optimists believe that the best way to make a difference is through action - positive action. Throughout the month of May, Optimist Clubs will create a widespread spirit of unity bringing together Optimist Members and other community volunteers for a variety of local-based activities, fundraisers and special events to celebrate Optimists in Action Month.

Take photos and videos and share your Club's program on social media by tagging #OptimistsInAction. Send Optimists in Action Month success stories to for consideration for future print and digital publications.

Optimist International's Board of Directors has set a goal of 100,000 Members by the organization's 100th year in 2019. Your Club is urged to do its part in setting its own goal of increasing its membership between now and our 100 Year Anniversary. Help assure that your Club will be "Bring Out the Best" well into the future.
Upcoming Events:
February through May, 2016 

June 23-24, 2016 (St. Louis, MO)

June 30-July 2, 2016 (Quebec City, QC) 
July 3-5, 2016 (Quebec City, QC)

July 20-Aug 4, 2016 (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
Top Clubs by Membership
Each Member effectively impacts the lives of 35 children a year.  How many is your Club reaching?

5. BFT-WARSAW, IN (187)
6. BOYERTOWN, PA (170)
7. HIGHLAND, IL (164)  
10. WAUSAU, WI (144)

*Membership numbers as of Friday, April 29, 2016


U nited States & Caribbean:

If you have any comments, concerns or suggestions for the International Board of Directors, please send to
NEW! Abuse & Molestation Coverage for US Clubs

Optimist International strives to create a safe environment for youth and Members to grow, learn, and have fun.  Beginning May 1, the Optimist International Club General Liability policy coverage will include Abuse & Molestation Coverage.

Here are highlights of this added insurance benefit:
  • Coverage Limits:   Occurrence Limit - $100,000; Aggregate Limit - $300,000.
  • No additional application required.
  • Free training courses and risk management tools are available to Club Members.  This training provides information about:
    • The Risk of Abuse
    • Facts and Misconceptions
    • Abuser Characteristics
  • Covers "abusive conduct" by reason of negligent for employment, investigation, supervision, reporting or not reporting to the proper authorities, or to provide professional services or neglect of the therapeutic needs of a person because of abusive conduct.
  • Abusive conduct means each, every and all actual, threatened or alleged acts of physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual molestation or sexual misconduct performed by one person or two or more people acting together.
  For questions, email .
98th Annual Convention  in Québec City

Excitement is building with the 98th International Convention fast approaching!  The International Convention will take place at the Québec City Convention Centre in Québec City, Québec June 30 - July 2, 2016. All Optimist Members are welcome and encouraged to attend!
Here are a few reminders:
  • Make sure your passport is ready and has not expired.
  • Your registration form for the  group tours is due in by Monday, May 30.
  • Don't forget to sign up for the pre-convention optional events:  Canadian Children's Optimist Foundation Gala and  La Citadelle de Québec Family Event.
  • To rent a wheelchair ($20 CAD for a week) or a scooter ($95 CAD for a week) contact Michel Bergeron by email at, by phone at (418) 681-6381 ext. 2048 or by fax at (418) 681-2766.
  • Although the early bird registration date has passed, be sure to register before Tuesday, May 31 as the rates will increase by an additional $20 per person starting Wednesday, June 1.
  • Early bird registration is extended to any officer elects until Friday, June 10. 
Do you still need to make a hotel reservation?  There are rooms available at the Four Points by Sheraton ideally situated on the beautiful 18-hole Golf de la Faune course.  Call toll-free (866) 627-8008 or direct (418) 627-8008, ask for in-house reservations and mention the block name "OIF27" to receive the group rate of $145 CAD per night (plus taxes and fees) for up to two people in a room and $15 more for each additional person. Parking is free and shuttle service will be provided between the hotel and the Québec City Convention Centre.
Show Off Your Club's Best Project!
Optimist International is sponsoring the annual Bragger's Hall at the 2016 International Convention in Québec City. New this year: Bragger's Hall area will be available Thursday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM and Friday: 7:30 AM - 1:30 PM The House of Optimism will be open to the public giving our Clubs' projects the opportunity to be showcased and play a very important role in the growth of our organization. Each participating Club will be assigned a table to display information and materials about their project.  Show off pictures, brochures, handouts, a CPA entry, etc. Clubs will be responsible for transporting their own materials. As attendees leave the Bragger's Hall, they will be able to vote for the best project display. The winning Club will be awarded one free registration to the 2017 International Convention in Albuquerque!
**A representative must be present during the entire sessions. Optimist International will not be responsible for any audio/visual equipment or supplies.
Click here for a registration form.

Click  here to access all of the aforementioned information and all there is to know about the upcoming convention. Contact for questions.
Traveling with Minors to Canada

Children under the age of 18 are considered minors in Canada.  The adult who is not the parent or legal guardian of the child should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the child. The permission letter should include addresses and telephone numbers where the parents or legal guardian can be reached.  The letter does not need to be certified. A photocopy of the parents' or legal guardian's signed passports or national identity cards should be attached to the letter.  Please see this example from the Government of Canada's website.

Note that children are also required to present their own passport when traveling by air.  U.S. citizen children ages 15 and under arriving by land or sea from a contiguous territory may present an original or copy of his or her birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records Department in the state where he or she was born), a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Naturalization Certificate.  If the child is a newborn and the actual birth certificate has not arrived from the Vital Records Department, we will accept a Hospital issued birth certificate.

Note:  The border services officer may not ask to see these documents when the child enters Canada. However, it is strongly recommended you bring them, in case that you are. The minor child will not be admitted to Canada if the officer is not convinced that the parents or legal guardian have authorized his stay.
For additional information, please visit this section of the Government of Canada's website . 
VIEW, SHARE and VOTE in the Reel Optimism Video Contest

Congratulations to the finalists of the fourth annual Reel Optimism video contest! Now that the  finalists have been determined, it's time to vote.  Please encourage all Members and Clubs in your District to visit from May 10-31 to submit their votes.  Adult Members, JOOI Members and the general public will be able to cast a vote for their favorite video in each of three categories:  Club Showcase, Youth Club Showcase and the "Put Your Optimism on Display" General Submission category.  Winning videos will be shown and announced at the International Convention in Québec City and will receive a $1000 Club grant courtesy of Optimist International, the Optimist International Foundation and the Canadian Children's Optimist Foundation.  There will also be a special $500 bonus for the winner of an onsite vote at the convention.  VIEW, SHARE and VOTE now!
Learn How to Organize a New Optimist Club

classy-laptop-woman.jpg Are you interested in becoming a Field Representative so that you can be involved in the excitement of bringing a new Optimist Club to your community?  Well, as part of President Dave's Growth Surge, Optimist International will be offering a special online webinar for Optimists.  This is an opportunity for Governors, Governors-Elect, New Club Builders and others to learn the ins and outs of conducting an organizational meeting.  So, please SAVE THE DATE of Tuesday, May 24 at 7:00 PM (CDT).  Jim Boyd, Optimist International's Director of Strategic Growth will host this informative session.  For more information and to register your intent to participate, go to .  The deadline to RSVP for the session is Friday, May 20.   
Only the Southeast Region Will Participate in the Election This Year

For the election of 2016-17 International officers, there is only one contested election this year. This is for the Southeast Region Vice President-Elect. Therefore, only Clubs in the Southeast Region need to cast votes. If your Club is part of the Southeast Region, you need to make sure that your Club's election-specific broadcast email arrives safely in your inbox on June 1. Please simply add the following email address as an approved sender:
Your Club's dues must be paid in full prior to be being allowed to vote. Elections open online at 9:00 AM (EDT) / 8:00 AM (CDT) on Wednesday, June 1. Delegates from Clubs in the Southeast Region attending the International Convention in Quebec City will be able to vote at a kiosk during regular convention office hours until election balloting closes at Noon (EDT) / 11:00 AM (CDT) on Friday, July 1. If you have questions, contact Tom Carver at (800) 500-8310 ext. 243 or (314) 881-1343, or email
Share Your Ideas: Optimism Summits & Regional Conferences

Did your Club host a successful event or fundraiser in the past? Share your success story at an  Optimism Summit & Regional Conference! There is still time to join an upcoming summit where you can meet International President Dave Bruns and share & network with fellow Optimists.  

Dates and locations for upcoming summits are:  May 14 (Bloomington, Minnesota) and May 28 (Barbados).   For event details and registration information, click   here .     
Bringing Out the Best

Congratulations to a number of  Members  for bringing in three new Members or being a Builder of Excellence since October 1. The "Bringing Out the Best" pin will be awarded to Members during the 2015-16 Optimist year.  For additional incentives, click  here

*List as of Wednesday, April 27

Optimist Junior Tour - Core Golf Academy Open
Optimist Golf logo  
Our third Optimist Junior Golf Tour event took place April 16-17 - the Core Golf Academy Open in Winter Garden, FL.  

For the results of the Core Golf Academy Open, click here .   
Optimist Junior Golf Hugh Cranford All-Scholastic Team Has Been Selected

The All-Scholastic Team is named for Hugh Cranford, who served as Executive Director of Optimist International from 1967 to 1986. He was instrumental in starting the Optimist Junior Golf program and in 1978 led the efforts to co-sponsor the Optimist Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, the forerunner to today's Optimist International Junior Golf Championships. Cranford passed away in August 2014.  Optimist Junior Golf received several outstanding applications to review.  The quality of the applicants is outstanding in terms of academic achievements and community service.  The committee reviewed all applications thoroughly and was faced with extremely difficult choices. 
The committee selected the following exceptional student athletes for the 2016 High Cranford All-Scholastic Team:
Sarah Pabst: Niceville, Florida, also the recipient of the "Bringing Out the Best in Kids" Community Service Award
Trevor Hecht: Tucson, Arizona
Alyssa Burritt: Dayton, Ohio
Elizabeth Nguyen: Pinehurst, North Carolina
Jared Wilson: Columbiana, Ohio

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