South Texas District of Optimist International

Governor JoSe Montoya
Governor-Elect Irvin Williams is looking for a few good Optimists to fill out his leadership team for the 2014-2015 year. Look at the list of leadership opportunities available, then print the form and send your desired leadership position to Governor-Elect Irvin. CLICK HERE FOR THE LEADERSHIP FORM
Christmas Party
The Optimist Club of Fort Sam Houston put on its 12th annual Christmas Party for the kids in the Pediatric Oncology Unit at BAMC/SAMMC on Fort Sam Houston. The kids, their parents and siblings had a great time. To see the pictures, CLICK HERE...

Read the South Texas Guide to the Optimist Oratorical Contest - Click here...


As District Oratorical Contest Chair, I believe that my initial responsibility is to promote the Oratorical Contest at the Club level. In my opinion, the Oratorical Contest is NOT a scholarship program (although it is, in part): IT IS A YOUTH SERVICE PROJECT! It gives our young people a great opportunity for personal growth and experience. The process of conducting the Contest also gives your Club great public exposure – to the youth, their parents, local schools and local media. Don’t hesitate because your Club has never done the Contest before. BE OPTIMISTIC: YOU CAN DO IT! Optimist International has published a good step-by-step booklet, available at and for further advice you can review my “South Texas Guide to the Optimist Oratorical Contest,” available on the STX District website. Early January is the best time to start the process, with a March Contest as your goal.
If you need to contact me, I’m available at or (409) 763-2454.
Robert E. Bastien
Valley High Academic Awards
Guest Speaker Charles Gonzalez, a winner of the same award in the 1980's, and Pres. Tom Hutcheson are honoring the winners from 8 middle schools. The winners are 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who earned the highest grade point average during the first six weeks.
John's Kids
Lt. Governor John Blackwell's school supply project pictures:

Valley-Hi Academic Awards
The Valley Hi Optimist Club Middle School Academic Awards Cermony was held May 21st.

Metrocom's PSBA Kids
Metrocom Optimist Club's PSBA kids were invited to perform at the HEB nutrition and fitness day at the Witte Museum in San Antonio. They performed and showed children how to balance and use the equipment. It was a real hit.
Dickinson, Texas: One of our newest clubs, the Dickinson Optimist Club, put on one of the best events of the year. It was their first annual Easter Egg Hunt that attracted over two hundred people. The entire city supported the event with the Fire Department and Police on hand to assist with the families. Wal-Mart donated the eggs, candy and baskets. There were donations of money to purchase thirty-six bikes for the children. In addition, there were three eggs that had a picture of a $50.00 dollar bill that entitled them to the cash prize for three lucky kids. A heartwarming story was when a little five year old girl gave the bike she won to another little boy who are sitting on the curb crying because he didn’t get a bike. It was an event that brought families together and joy to many children. Optimism does bring out the best in kids and ourselves. Think about hosting an Easter Egg Hunt in your community next year.
Students of the Month
The Mainland-Texas City Club recognized Two outstanding students. One is headed to Texas State and the other to the University of Texas.

Metrocom presented their new road sign to the City of Live Oak, with Leroy Kowalik, Finance Director, The City of Live Oak; Jordan Mantley, Ecconomic and Community Developement Manager, The City of Live Oak; Eric Sanchez, President, Live Oak Economic Development Corporation; Julie Palmer, Executive Assistant, The City of Live Oak; Mary M. Dennis, Mayor, The City of Live Oak; Delbert Berryman, Member, Live Oak Economic Development Corporation; Richard Lamothe, Member, Live Oak Economic Development Corporation.

Later, the sign was placed on the highway with Front Row
Ron Woisin, Member, Metrocom Optimist Club of Live Oak; Mary M. Dennis, Mayor, The City of Live Oak; Chalotte Woisin, President, Metrocom Optimist Club of Live Oak; 
Back Row
Leroy Kowalik, Finance Director, The City of Live Oak; Charles Foster, Fire Chief, The City of Live Oak  

Click Here for Meeting Registration Form..
Click here for the VOICE

South Texas District of Optimist International
3rd Quarter District Meeting
May 2-4, 2014
Rate is $89.00 + Tax
Standard King or Double Bed Room

Check In 4:00pm/Check-Out 12 Noon – Free Parking
Cancellations must be made by 6:00pm on May 1, 2014 to avoid cancellation fee

FOR RESERVATIONS: Call 361-883-5731
Ask for Optimist Rate Refer To Group Code “OPT”

You can shake sand from your shoes but it will never leave your soul, memories made at Emerald Beach last a lifetime!


As we all reflex on a wonderful holiday season filled with family and friends, thankful of what we have accomplished and looking forward to a new year we need to remember that not everyone is as glorious as we are. There are many children throughout the world and even in our own back yards that are hurting and suffering with cancer. We would like for all Optimist Clubs to participate in the childhood cancer campaign. This program was designed to make everyone aware of this disease, provide assistance and to help support families and research. Optimist International has a large campaign to work with Johns Hopkins and donate a million dollars to help find a cure. This is a big and very optimistic venture to take on. It is important that all of us remember that even a small contribution will go a long way to help find a cure.
Marieroze Hollyday
The East Fort Bend County Optimist Club was organized on Sunday, November 24th with 25 members. Builders of Excelence were Fay Hopkins and Irvin Williams from the Optimist Club of Fort Sam Houston and Joe Smith and Jesse Cantu from the Sam Houston State University Optimist Club. Jack Hopkins was the O.I. Field Representative.
South Texas Optimists, what an honor to serve as your Governor for the most outstanding district in all of Optimist International. My commitment to all of you is that I will give a 110 percent to make our District an organization that is dedicated to serving the youth of the southern part of this great State of Texas. You as well know, that it is not my quest, but our quest to serve more children. This cannot be done without the participation of all members to Follow the Three R's; Re-evaluate, Re-Commit, and Re-Energize.

Why are we Optimists? To provide hope and a positive vision by bringing out the best in kids. When you were first approached by someone you respected to consider becoming an optimist, you came in with enthusiasm and committed to helping as many children as you could. Whether that happened last month, last year, or 30 years ago, that initial spark needs to be re-ignited. Nothing will happen if all of us do not get engaged with the activities of our clubs. If you think that we are doing enough, consider this fact, the population of young children in Texas under 18 is approximately 7.1 million. Divide this number by the members of the South Texas District and that equates to 4184 youth per member to be served. Can you see the need and urgency to get engaged.

Why I am an Optimist! Giving back to the community has been my mantra since I retired after 20 years of military service from the United States Air Force in April of 1983. I also spent another 20 years of State of Texas employment with the Texas Rehabilitation Commission and the Texas Youth Commission, retiring in January 2004. As a child in elementary school, I stuttered really bad that it made me an introvert. Luck would have it that my homeroom teacher in the seventh grade was also a speech teacher. She encouraged me to take a speech class and took time out from her busy schedule to teach me breathing techniques and pausing to release my anxiety when speaking. I over came my fears and placed myself in situations where I had to face the public in the part-time jobs that I held while in high school. We have all done acts of kindness without realizing the impact that those deeds have had on people interactions. This is why Optimism is personal to me!

Community Service: In the mid nineties I joined a group of Vietnam veterans committed to promoting patriotism in the community by providing outreach to the youth. What I did not know at that time was that half of the members of this organization where Optimist members of the Austin Greater Southwest Optimist Club. It was not until the summer of 2008 that I joined this club. I served as Club President during 2010-2011, Lt. Governor Zone 4 during 2011-2012 and again as Club President during 2012-2013. I was duly elected by the citizens of Buda, Texas in November 2012 to serve as City Councilman. A month out from the South Texas District convention in Houston, Texas held in August 2012, Gil Ortiz nominated me for the incoming Governor position and this nomination was a total surprise. During this convention I was elected incoming Governor 2013-2014.

Family Affair: My wife, Irma Montoya; my daughter, Anna Lisa Montoya and my son, Andres Montoya are all members of the Austin Greater Southwest Optimist Club. My wife and I have always instilled in our children to give back to the community by becoming involved in community projects. My oldest son, Juan Jose Montoya lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico and has 5 children. Andres has two children giving us a total of seven grandchildren.

South Texas District Theme: FOLLOW THE THREE R'S


Special thanks to Immediate Past Governor James Rankin, for all the knowledge and wisdom imparted. Also special thanks to his administration for all the support rendered, many of those members will also serve during my administration. "The glue that holds this organization together, including the relationship between the District Governor, Lt. Governors, Club Presidents and the members is trust, and trust is based on integrity".

Governor Jose Montoya
We have reached the halfway point for this year with a 50 member lost and one club built.  The district will most probably loss another 50 members before the year ends for a total of 100 members.  The time to stop the bleeding is now and the need for corrective action is immediate.  We cannot make an impact in the lives of children unless we take steps to reverse the course of the downhill slide and initiate actions to start climbing the mountain to greater altitudes.  The heights reached by this District are solely up to you. 

Let us revisit the District motto of “Follow the 3 Rs” for this year; Re-Evaluate, Re-Commit and Re-Energize.  You must invoke change and be willing to accept change if you are to re-evaluate yourself and your club activities.  Nothing will happen unless each and every one of you actively seeks to expose a friend or a family member to the way of optimism by re-committing.  Re-energize, as the children in your communities await your willingness to adopt change so that we can make a difference in their lives.

We are all leaders, everyone leads.  If you are a parent or some kind of manager at your business, you definitely know that is true.  If you don’t think you are capable of being a leader then you are either a hermit or you don’t have any children?  The truth is, if you are living in this world, you are responsible for being a leader for somebody.  Take charge of your leadership role and take responsibility for becoming the best optimist member that you are capable of being.  Leave the past and step into the future.  The future will not be like the past.  Unless you leave yesterday behind you today, you will never step into tomorrow. 

Chris Rosati from Dunham, North Carolina who suffers from ALS is better known as the “Krispy Kreme Donut Robin Hood”, gave out donuts in his home town.  When asked by CBS News why he was doing this, his response was doing what you can to make people smile is everything.  As an Optimist member, putting a smile on a kid’s face should be the important thing you do every chance you get.  If you cannot make an impact on kids’ lives, then maybe you need to re-evaluate yourself.  BUILD, BUILD, BUILD!
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