Optimist programs promote Optimism as a philosophy of life by bringing out the best in kids. The programs listed here are sponsored by Optimist International and are supported by the Colorado-Wyoming Optimist District or are sponsored solely by the district. Individual clubs choose whether to participate. If you are interested in finding a club near you, visit the Optimist International Club Directory.
The Optimist Brain Bowl is a high-energy academic quiz program for teams of 6 th, 7th and 8th grade students, with Optimists serving as organizers and game officials. Approximately 1200 Colorado/Wyoming students participate annually in three regional tournaments and one championship tournament. Teams of up to five students compete in a series of simultaneous team-to-team contests in a round-robin format, then move to single elimination contests among the best of the round-robin teams. More 100 Optimists serve at each contest as “game-show-hosts,” timers, scorekeepers, runners, checkers and in other positions. Optimists who wish to be room readers must attend advance training; all other volunteers are trained on the morning of the events The contests are generally in January-February. Full information and dates are at OptimistBrainBowl.org.
Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH)
Nearly identical to the Optimist Oratorical Contest, CCDHH offers two scholarships of $2,500 each. One is for a student who will present in sign language and another for a student who will present orally. The second scholarship is funded from contributions collected in the Colorado/Wyoming District. Due to the low number of students in the deaf community we do not have Zone contests but rather rely on clubs to work with teachers and parents to identify anyone who might want to participate, then give them a chance to practice at a club meeting before competing for the scholarships at the District level on the same date as the Oratorical Contest competitors. This year those contests will be held at the District 3rd Quarter Conference on April 27, 2019 at Bethany Lutheran Church 4500 E. Hampton Ave. Cherry Hills Village, CO 80113.
For an application with contest rules, click here.
Joe Priester, District CCDHH Chair, email@example.com
Childhood Cancer Campaign (CCC)
The Optimist Childhood Cancer Campaign is all about “Providing the Care … Find the Cure.” In line with the mission statement of “Optimist International shall be the leading force to rid the world of childhood cancer,”. The district program raises funds to provide support to cancer patients and their families as well as for cancer research both locally and through OI. We work with other clubs on activities to help support this mission and annually we conduct one big fund-raising event.
Our District’s* Childhood Cancer Campaign committee is the entire Front Range American Cancer Society Optimism Club. as well as members from other clubs.
COLORADO WYOMING OPTIMIST – AWARDS
Rookie of the Quarter
Awarded to a member who embraces the OI Creed along with their volunteerism during their first year.
Club Project of the Quarter
Awarded to a club that conducted a project that has “Brought out the Best” for the youth in our communities. This project must be completed within the current year.
Optimist of the Year
Each club can submit one nomination. The nominee can be either an old or new Optimist who has demonstrated an exemplary example of Optimism in the club and community, the award presented by Gov. Linda McDonald.
Deadline: January 30, 2019 2nd QTR
Deadline: April 19, 2019 3rd QTR
Deadline: August 16, 2019 CONVENTION
Contact: Charlie Neumann 303 766-9649 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsor 3 New Members Award
Receive a $50.00 gift certificate to your favorite restaurant (or other) by sponsoring three new members into your club during the 2018-2019 Optimist Year. Awards will be presented quarterly.
CO-WY DISTRICT ESSAY CHAIR: Joe Marci email@example.com
4173 S Rosemary Way Denver, CO 80237 303-771-3748
SOME TIPS TO A SUCCESSFUL CONTEST:
- Select a club essay chair and notify Joe by email. He can be a support to your chair, share flyer and certificate ideas, remind people of deadlines, and can send students’ names who contact him and need a club sponsor.
- Have the chair visit the Optimist International web site…www.optimist.org… Members… Programs…Scholarship Contests…Essay… the entry forms and all information are there. The essay should be 700-800 words. This year’s topic is “Can society function without respect.” Deliver a packet (letter, flyer, and 5 or more entry forms ) to the high school or middle school your club supports.
- Deadline should be February 1st or shortly thereafter.
- Arrange for 3 judges to review the essays independently. Judges may be club members.
- Our club invites the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners and their parents as well as the teacher we work with and the school principal to a meeting. We have the 1st place winner read the essay and present certificates to the students. You may also prepare certificates for each student who participated in the contest.
- Clubs are allowed to give monetary awards of up to $500 per winner for the Essay contest in addition to official medallions or certificates. The Club level awards may be given in the form of a scholarship, savings bond or cash prize but are completely discretionary.
- Another positive gesture is to send each participant a card thanking them for their entry and have the Optimist Creed in it.
- Be sure to send your winning essay, birth certificate, and forms to Joe Marci at the above address. It must be postmarked by February 28, 2018! Include a $20 check to CO/WY Optimist District.
HOBY (Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership) Colorado puts on a leadership seminar over a 4 day “weekend” every June for high school students who have just finished their sophomore year. The mission is to motivate and empower them to make a positive difference within our society through understanding and action based on effective and compassionate leadership. Core values of the program include Leadership as Service, Volunteerism, Integrity, Excellence, Diversity, and Community Partnerships. The first HOBY leadership seminar took place in Colorado in 1978. Over the years 95% of the counties have been represented at our seminars. Learn more at hoby.org and hobycolorado.org.
Paul Bernard, HOBY Colorado Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, 720-339-8025
The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships (commonly referred to as THE OPTIMIST) is one of Optimist International’s major youth programs. Each year, THE OPTIMIST is held at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (home of the PGA’s Honda Classic) and fields almost 700 of the world’s best junior golfers from more than 25 countries around the globe. Past age group winners at THE OPTIMIST (and its predecessor, the Optimist Junior World Golf Championships) include Denver’s own Mark Hubbard, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Davis Love III, Lorena Ochoa, Beth Bauer, Nancy Lopez, Brittany Lincicome, Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson, and Jason Day, among dozens of prominent PGA and LPGA golfers.
The Colorado-Wyoming District Optimist Junior Golf Program serves over 300 junior golfers each year. The best of these golfers will qualify for THE 2018 OPTIMIST.
The 2017 District qualifying tournaments were held Thursday, June 15, at Flatirons Golf Course in Boulder (boys ages 14 – 18) and Friday, June 16, at Fitzsimons Golf Course in Aurora (boys ages 10 – 13 and girls ages 10 – 18). A total of 228 golfers teed off in those two events, competing for 41 spots at THE 2017 OPTIMIST.
An additional 25 – 30 junior golfers participated in pre-qualifying tournaments in Loveland and Fort Morgan, sponsored by Optimist Clubs in those areas.
In October 2017, we held the 2nd Annual 36-hole Optimist Junior Golf Tour event at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Northeast Denver. This was a new event for us starting in 2016 and, because of its success, will become an annual event. A total of 80 golfers teed off, competing for 23 spots at THE 2018 OPTIMIST.
In 2018, we will hold a 2018 Optimist Day at the Colorado Rockies on June 3 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers, an adult scramble fundraising tournament on June 4, district qualifying tournaments on Friday, June 8, at Aurora Hills Golf Course in Aurora (boys ages 10 – 15); Thursday, June 14, at Meadow Hills Golf Course in Aurora (girls ages 10 – 18); and Friday, June 15, at Flatirons Golf Course in Boulder (boys ages 16 – 18). We expect close to 250 golfers at these 2018 District qualifying tournaments, competing for 47 spots at THE 2018 OPTIMIST.
The Colorado-Wyoming District Optimist Junior Golf Program is totally self-funded. We sent 58 junior golfers to THE 2017 OPTIMIST and raised over $ 35,000 for that purpose. We were able to give $ 1,000 to each of the seven age group winners and 34 other qualifiers from the 2017 District qualifying events. With six additional slots for THE 2018 OPTIMIST, we will need to raise about $ 40,000 to provide the same amount of financial support for the 2018 age group winners and other qualifiers.
Various fundraisers are used to defray expenses for the local qualifying tournaments and for sending junior golfers to THE OPTIMIST. An adult golf tournament and live auction were held Monday, June 5, 2017 at Broken Tee Golf Course in Englewood.
In 2017, we also had three Optimist Days at the Rockies.
We also solicited title, hole, banner, and player sponsors for the qualifying tournaments at Fitzsimons and Flatirons from many Optimist Clubs, individual Optimists and Friends of Optimists, and their businesses.
In addition, we solicited cash and in-kind donations at the annual Denver Golf Expo, from local golf courses, Optimist clubs and members, and the general public.
Please continue to help support the Colorado-Wyoming District Optimist Junior Golf Program to “Bring Out the Best in Kids”.
For further information, please contact:
Joe Marci, Junior Golf Co-Chair, email@example.com, 303-771-3748
Ron Cisco, Junior Golf Co-Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-749-0749
JOI – JUNIOR OPTIMIST
The Colorado/Wyoming District JOI (Junior Optimist International) Committee is concerned with helping our Optimist Clubs bring “JOI” to their community by aiding our young people to step out and help others. There is nothing more exciting than finding that you have the power to make a difference in the lives of others in your school, neighborhoods, community, and the world! As our youth join together to “make that difference” for others, they become empowered and their self-esteem soars! The committee helps Optimist Clubs in our District develop JOI Clubs in schools, churches, Boys and Girls Clubs, and anywhere that youth gathers to develop community.
As of now, the Colorado/Wyoming District has 17 chartered, up and running JOI Clubs. High Schools: Vista Ridge, Sand Creek; Summit Lake Dillon; Phoenix Rising. Dakota Ridge; Middle Schools: Horizon, Place Bridge Academy, Edna and John Mosley P-8, and Summit Ridge; Elementary Schools: Keller, Chinook, Bradley, Powderhorn, and Scott. We have two non-school based clubs: Kidz Partnering and the JOI Kittens. These young Optimists are making quite a difference in their communities. Therefore, we have created a Colorado/Wyoming Optimist JOI District.
The District JOI team that includes Optimists interested in expanding the leadership opportunities for kids and to coordinate some interactions among the JOI Clubs of this District meets to help plan the annual JOI Convention. At our last Convention the District Officers were elected: Governor Mark King, Governor Elect Elise Clark, and Secretary/Treasurer Justin Watkins. They now attend all District Conferences, Plan the 2018-19 JOI Convention, attend the OI International Conventions, and work to build and coordinate new and existing JOI Clubs.
If you need help in starting or maintaining a JOI Club, contact Donna Priester at email@example.com; Jean Shelton at Jshelto2002@yahoo.com, or Abigail Nicholas at firstname.lastname@example.org or committee members Jon Watcher – 303-204-5645 or Larry Brown – 719-502-0752. Governor Mark King and all the the above will be glad to present to your club and talk with those interested in this program. Markkingjoi@gmail.com
Literacy and BUG (Bringing Up Grades)
Literacy is a high priority by Optimists. A number of activities supporting literacy are sponsored by Optimists at various levels such as: International (Essay contest, Oratorical contests, and Internet Safety courses), District 25 (Brain Bowl), and club (mentoring, reading, and book donations). Bringing up Grades (BUG) awards are popular programs to recognize students who are making an effort to do better in school. Literacy Co-Chairs provide information these and other literacy projects by publishing a list of current projects. Each year there is a literacy banner patch for clubs that sponsor at least one literacy project during the year. An annual report is expected from each club by the end of October.
Clara Sitter, Literacy and BUG Co-Chair, 303-795-5517
Jeanette Thompson, Literacy Co-Chair email@example.com, 303-750-0792
District Strategic Growth
The NOW team provides support, printed materials and expertise to all Colorado/Wyoming Optimist clubs in all of the following programs: NOW recruitment for new members, Friend of Optimists (FOO) recruitment, “30 under 30” member recruitment, new club building, membership retention and membership mentor programs. The NOW committee encourages all Optimist club presidents or membership chairs to to schedule a team member to provide membership support. It meets the 2nd Thursday of each month at 11 A.M.@ the American Legion hall, I-25 & E-Yale Ave.
Phil Perington, Chair
Members: Larry Brown, Ron Benson, Phil Perington, Frank Middleton, Tony Carpenter, Craig Baldwin, Trish Merrill, Curt Merrill, Sam Bartley, Steve Armfeld, Andrew Sanger, Abigail Nicholas & Jeff Gartz.
“Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?” is the topic of the 2018-2019 Oratorical Contest. This is a great opportunity for a student to earn up to $22,500 in scholarship money! The contest is a combined gender contest. The contest is open to students who have not reached their 19th birthday before October 1, 2018 and have not graduated from High School. There is no minimum age or grade level requirement. All Clubs must have completed their Club contest on or before March 17, 2019. The 1st and 2nd place Club winners will advance to the Zone contest.
A RULE CHANGE this year: A contestant who won only the 1500 or 1000 scholarship last year can come back and compete in this year’s contest.
You can go to the OI website to download the 2018-2019 Oratorical Contest Application and the 2018-2019 Oratorical Club Planning Guide.
If you have any other questions contact your Lt Governor or Steve Gorrell, District Chairperson: firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-920-2366
PGI (Professional Growth & Improvement)
The PGI Program offers 7 basic tenets allowing club members to have an opportunity to become involved in Personal Growth and Involvement, both personally and for their club and district. From the day a member accepts their own PGI Passport the road to Leadership and increased involvement in the mission of Optimists is greatly enhanced. As the member works their way through the 10 levels of accomplishment wonderful things manifest. Validation of involvement in Club activities, Membership Growth and increased camaraderie are but a few benefits of the PGI Program. PGI is based on supporting the standards of being a good Optimist, benefits received when joining an Optimist Club, new leadership challenges, recognition for accomplishments, better understanding of the O.I. Organization, worldwide promotion of our Optimist philosophy and the personal support rendered to Club Presidents on a yearly basis.
Phil Perington, PGI District Chair, email@example.com, 303-832-4578.
Respect for Law
Susan and John Swanborg, Respect for Law Chairs, firstname.lastname@example.org
Social & Technology
Clubs looking to get a Facebook page or a website can get a running start with the help of his program. Nicole Powell can come to your club and show you how to create a Facebook page in under 5 minutes and show you how it works in under 15. She will help as well with other technology and social media questions.
Nicole Powell, Social & Technology Chair, email@example.com, 719-313-9497.
Tri-Star Basketball is a district-wide skills competition for boys and girls age 8 – 13 that tests abilities in passing, shooting and dribbling. Optimist volunteers register about 1500 kids in local competitions, set up the competition in a gymnasium, administer and score each kid’s effort and then provide awards to the winners. Local competitions are held in January and February and the 3 top scoring kids in each gender/age bracket (36 kids) are invited to compete in one of 4 Regional Competitions. The Final Competition is held in conjunction with a Denver Nuggets game – usually in late March or early April. If scheduling allows, the competition is held on the floor of the Pepsi Center in the afternoon before that night’s game. Full information is at www.tristarbasketball.org.