Optimist International holds its status among service organizations due to dedicated members including leadership that provide popular projects with their clubs. We continue to conduct projects that have continued for 20 years or more. These include youth athletic teams and scholarship opportunities. Safety on wheels that has changed from bicycles to sidewalk roller skates to skateboards. Helmets and other safety equipment becomes the prize for participating. It is the ideas for new projects that new members provide that keep Optimist Clubs growing in the community.
Projects are conducted to serve elderly citizens in rural communities. Optimists promote fun in senior citizen homes with games like Bingo, monthly dances, and visits by musicians and choral groups. They especially enjoy youth groups to visit and interact with the senior residents.
Changing technology allow Optimist members to keep informed of what their club is doing. Cell phones used for messaging. Facebook for publicity and members come together to conduct their project for fundraisers. There are still a few members who must be contacted by telephone, and make sure they are involved. They remain enthusiastic about working on a project.
The Iowa District will work with the other 48 Districts in North America to start new clubs and increase members to spread Optimism to new communities. The goal of the Optimist TEAM for 2017-2018 is to create an environment of empowerment throughout Optimist International that provides our leadership and each of our member/volunteer a level of fulfillment that far exceeds any of our competition. Providing knowledge, inspiration, guidance and support will develop a strong organization from the top down enabling it to sustain itself and continue to strengthen Optimist International.
There are three primary challenges facing the sustained existence of Optimist International for now and the future:
- The need for a managed plan that focuses on membership growth and retention
- Leadership development that holds all leaders accountable
- An emphasis on developing a greater recognition of the Optimist International brand.
You as a member of the Iowa District Optimist Clubs will be part of this exciting year. Attend the First Quarter Conference on Oct. 20-21 at Stoney Creek Resort. Refer to the Iowa District Optimist website for registration information and District Chairperson contact information.
Plan to attend the Iowa District Convention at the Riverside Resort and Convention Center in Riverside, Iowa. This will be held on August 3, 4, 5, 2018. The Kalona Optimist Club and other clubs of Zone 12 will host you for these three days.
Donald Pfeiffer, Iowa District Governor 2017-2018
Optimist Club of Washington