A Message from the Governor
Here we are again beginning a new Optimist year. It seems like only yesterday when I became Governor Elect. This reminds us how time continues and does not stop. With this being the case, we must make great use of our time by volunteering to help ‘Bring Out the Best in Kids.’ Another great way is to endorse and take part in even more projects for the kids. Not only do the kids benefit from these endeavors, we also benefit because we develop a sense of accomplishment when we help others. I am a strong proponent of not reinventing the wheel. The wheel is already invented and it is perfect. So are the teaching, leadership, and management resources provided by Optimist International. They are easily accessible and ready for use. Let’s make a commitment to use them more effectively and efficiently. In doing so, we are preparing ourselves for success. I believe in preparation. Most successful people will say that they are successful because they prepared for it. Have you ever heard of an athlete who won awards and broke records without being prepared? How about an attorney passing the state bar exam without being prepared? Of course not! Success depends on preparation.
Preparation is vital if we want to achieve success. It is hard to think of many areas in life where preparation is not the prerequisite to accomplishment. If you want to be an automobile mechanic, you must learn the various components of a car and how they work together. If you want to be a championship swimmer, you put in long hours in the pool working to increase your speed and stamina. If you want to be a great Optimist, you must visualize, focus, and dedicate the necessary amount of time to make a difference in the community. We must understand how important it is to prepare ahead for whatever it is we want to accomplish and come up with a plan to achieve it.
"The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today."
- Elbert Hubbard
My plan is simple; I have three goals that will help us achieve success. Supporting last year’s theme of re-evaluate, re-commit, and re-energize; I have selected the theme ‘Stay the Course’ for this Optimist year. We are headed in the right direction and must keep the momentum going and build strength so that we can meet our District goals for this year. The District goals are 3-3-3: three new members added to each club, three new dime-a-day members added to each club, and three new clubs to be added to the South Texas District. These goals are easy to remember and pass the S.M.A.R.T. test. They are specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. We must remain focused, remain active, and remain diligent in pursuing these goals
We are a team. We are an organization. The kids in our community need us. The needs of the community will provide the challenges and opportunities that promote Optimism. We must be open to opportunities that provide hope, that provide a sense of meaning in our lives, and that establish a path for us and our youth to follow. We must ‘Stay the Course!’
A Message from our V.P.
Dear South Texas Optimists,
Being an Optimist has added great value to my life! Following are a few examples:
- While participating in my club’s youth service projects, I walk away feeling that I received more than I gave.
- While attending my club meetings, I leave with an increased sense of optimism about my life and community.
- While participating in Optimist Trainings, I grow knowledge and skills that benefit all aspects of my life.
- While I joined because I wanted to provide needed services for youth in my community, I have made great, positive friends from all over the world.
Do you see a theme here? Yes, our mission is “By providing hope and positive vision,
Optimists bring out the best in kids”, but being an Optimist improves our own lives in so many ways! Let’s join together to share this gift of Optimism with our family, friends, colleagues and community members! The primary challenge our organization faces is the continued loss of members. I know sometimes we tire of hearing about club growth and building new clubs; but if we do not take immediate action our gift of Optimism will gradually fade away. We must work together to ensure that the much needed services we provide for our youth continue well into the future.
The South Texas District is in extremely capable hands under the leadership of Governor Irvin Williams. He has set goals and has developed a plan to accomplish his vision. Our International President Ken Garner has a vision and long-range plan to grow Optimism in our communities. The goal is to increase our Optimist International roster to 100,000 members by the year 2019. I am honored and proud to serve as your Vice President with these two outstanding leaders. I believe we have the leadership and tools to bring Optimist Clubs to the forefront in our communities.
Optimist International will present eight Leadership Summits during the 2014 - 2015 Optimist year. These summits were met with enthusiastic reviews this past Optimist year. Please join us at one of these day long Leadership Summits! The cost will be minimal and you are welcome to invite friends and community members, who are not currently Optimist members, to attend. Our Region’s Summit will be in San Antonio, Texas on February 28. Although this Summit is in our region, you are welcome to attend any summit that appeals to you.
I will help the South Texas District achieve success in any way possible. Here’s to an extraordinary year of Optimism!
Yours in Optimism,
Jan Oord Graves, 2014 - 2015 Vice President
Optimist International, Southwest Region
First Quarter Meeting
We are excited to announce that our first District meeting for the 2014-2015 Optimist year will take place in Laredo, Texas on October 24th to 26th, 2014.
The District conference is going to be a fun filled weekend with member developmental workshops, world class entertainment, and fellowship with Optimists all over South Texas. Don’t delay get your registration in today!
The Hotel recently changed hands, and is currently replacing their old phone system. However, clitches happen and you may not get through.
Call the hotel directly at