Welcome to what I hope will be an exciting year in the East Missouri District! We are celebrating the Centennial of Optimist International!
As we move forward this year, let’s make our clubs more visible in the communities we serve. By marketing our clubs, using the Centennial logo signs, participating in our community fairs, partnering with other like-minded organizations, and so on, we are more recognized for our efforts. It becomes a circle – as we become more active in our communities, our communities respond more to us by helping support our fundraising efforts. As our clubs have more funds at our disposal, the more children we can serve. We, as individuals, are bolstered by being able to offer more services to children and we are rewarded with their gratitude reflected in their smiles. As we see the positive impact we have in our communities, we are inspired to volunteer even more time with and for the children. Then when the public notices us in Optimist logo apparel or sees our signs, they happily assist us in our efforts and thus the circle continues and grows.
Now who actually does the work with children? Why it’s our members! Not the abstract Optimist International entity, not the East Missouri District, not even the club - it’s the members! Of course we need to invite new members to assist us with our service projects. Invite our friends to be part of our fundraising efforts. Once they experience the joy of seeing the smile on a child’s face who has just been awarded a scholarship or received a pat on the back through Youth Appreciation recognition, they are hooked. Those friends become members. We should listen to those new members, mentor them in the spirit of Optimism and stoke that fire burning within to help children. They will be driven to continue to help more children in any way possible and so the circle continues.
Thank you for trusting me to be part of the East Missouri District team! I hope to inspire our members to be the best they can be and be inspired about all of the possibilities for helping kids be the best they can be. I am passionate about being part of the solution rather than being a couch potato. I want to ignite that passion in our members and I want our existing members to welcome new members into the folds of our clubs so that they, too, will feel the burning desire to reach more children. And thus, our community of Optimism will grow into the next century.
Promise Yourself To Keep Doing It For The Kids Into The Next Century!