South Texas District of Optimist International
Governor Irvin G. Williams

From the Governor
South Texas District, Thank you for leading the way and Staying the Course for Optimist International! The last 9 months found our District living up to the hype and expectations of a top-notched organization. We started the year off strong and as we head into the last quarter, we remain on top. All of the hard work, enthusiasm, and motivation are paying off. These are the characteristics of our dedication. Our drive is strong and steady. The slogan of ‘Stay the Course’ has never been more prominent.

Each quarter has seen a steady improvement from the previous one. The first quarter laid out the foundation which set the tone for the year. It was characterized by membership drives, NOW Programs, and community service projects. This set the pace for the year. The second quarter saw continued membership growth. Two new clubs were established and they are already having a positive impact on their communities. The South Texas District really started blossoming. The drive and motivation took off and the District grew stronger. During the Third Quarter the District had membership programs that resulted in incentives being given out to individuals and clubs. Scholarships were awarded to our Oratorical and Essay winners. South Texas had the top awardees overall in the Texan/Texanne Scholarships, and half the awardees in the monthly category.

I am excited to continue our journey during the 4th quarter. The South Texas District is part of the Southwest Region’s MVPs (Most Valuable Players) Team, led by Jan Oord Graves. Jan recently had an accident that is going to take some time for her to recover. Her only request was that we Stay the Course and continue on the path that we have started, to finish strong for her. During our 4th quarter, we will be rallying for Jan with a new membership incentive that will be directed at the club level.

As we bring closure to our year we must continue our movement into Governor-Elect Blackwell’s first quarter. I want to thank everyone, in advance, for the support and positive affirmations of wanting to ‘Stay the Course.’ Our District and Club goals were obtainable and achievable. I am happy to say that the District’s goal achievement was well enough to make The South Texas District recognized throughout Optimist International.

I am proud of The South Texas District and I am proud that we ‘Stayed the Course’ and look forward to ‘Aiming High’ in 2015-2016!

Governor Irvin
International Convention
Plan to attend the 97th Optimist International Convention in New Orleans July 9th to 11th.
For hotel reservations at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Click Here
To view the current schedule of events, click here.
To register with O.I. online click here.


Optimist International is pleased to announce Tulane University School of Medicine will host three workshops at the International Convention. The three workshops are General Sports Safety and Concussion Management, Hydration and Heat Related Illness, and Lightning and Emergency Action Plans. The workshops are tailored towards sport Clubs, but all attendees of the Convention are welcome.

Tulane University School of Medicine, located on the campus of Tulane University in New Orleans, is the second-oldest medical school in the Deep South and the 15th oldest medical school in the United States.

The workshop presenters are athletic trainers employed through the Tulane University School of Medicine.  They provide athletic training outreach services to several area high school sport teams.  For more information about Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine, click here.

General Sports Safety and Concussion Management

The workshop is aimed to help prevent the growing number of injuries, including concussions, among athletes. The training includes concussion safety tips and guidelines for managing these injuries. The presenter will also review best practices to support injury recovery including gradual return to learn and play procedures. With the increasing number of sport concussions among athletes and the complexity of head injuries, this workshop is extremely educational and recommended for Optimist sports Clubs.

Presented by Gregory W. Stewart, MD: Associate Professor of Clinical Orthopedics, Chief of the Section of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Director of Sports Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine. He has served as a team physician for professional, collegiate and high school teams for over 20 years and currently chairs the Louisiana High School Athletics Association Sports Medicine Advisory Board. He serves on the advisory board of the National Council of Youth Sports Safety. Dr. Stewart was the principle investigator for a research study on mild traumatic brain injury in high school football funded by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr. Stewart is the recipient of the Louisiana Sports Medicine Society Jim Finks Award for Outstanding Contributions to Sports Medicine and has been inducted in to the Louisiana Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame.

Hydration and Heat Related Illness

Hydration and Heat Related Illness will help Optimist sport Clubs understand two preventable sports injuries - heat-related illness and dehydration. The workshop will review the guidelines and suggestions for preventing, recognizing, and managing the potentially dangerous, and sometimes deadly, effects of playing in hot or humid conditions. The presenter will also review what it means to be "hydrated" and the guidelines to proper hydration.

Presented by Michelle Hubbard, MS, ATC, LAT: Graduate of the University of Florida (undergraduate) and University of Memphis (graduate), Athletic Trainer at the Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine, outreaches to Landry Walker and Kipp Renaissance high schools.

Lightning and Emergency Action Plans

For Optimist sports Clubs, keeping athletes, volunteers and spectators safe during activities is very important. This presentation will focus on the important things to know about lightning, interesting facts, and common myths. There are many misconceptions about lightning and when conditions are safe for activities.
The presenter will review lightning policies that are currently in place and the various ways to monitor lightning strikes. The workshop will cover the importance of being prepared for the unexpected and having a lightning action plan in place. Finally, the presentation will review what to do in the event of a lightning strike. Determining a Lightning and Emergency Action Plan ahead of time is beneficial. This workshop acts as a guide to outline safety options tailored to local circumstances, available equipment, and evacuation options.

Presented by Matt Doell, MA, ATC: Graduate of South Eastern University (undergraduate) and University of Alabama (graduate), Athletic Trainer at the Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine, outreaches to Archbishop Shaw high school. 

Plan Your Trip to New Orleans

Have you registered for the 97th Annual Convention?  Join fellow Optimists from around the world for training, fellowship and fun! If you register by June 1, you will be entered for a chance to receive complimentary registration for the 2016 International Convention in Quebec City.

Convention will be held Thursday, July 9 through Saturday, July 11 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. 

For all Convention related information, such as hotel reservations, tentative agenda, travel discounts, and entertainment highlights, click here. Continue to check the Convention site for updates, including the workshop listing with descriptions!

District Convention

The Fourth Quarter District Meeting - our annual District Convention takes place August 7-9 in Kerrville at the Y.O. Ranch Hotel and Conference Center. Training for 2015-2016 Club and District Officers will be available, and there will be an election of the 2015-2016 Governor-Elect. Saturday night's banquet will include the installation of the 2015-2016 Executive Board.

Download the VOICE
Download the Registration Form
Download the Schedule

Special Request From the Governor
I would like photos from each Club’s Community Service Projects that were conducted this year. There were many projects done and I would like to have a current history of what South Texas District’s Optimist Clubs have done this year. We have ‘Stayed the Course’ and now it is time to show others the myriad and diverse projects we have completed in the communities. Email the pictures to me at:
Governor Irvin
The Towne & Country Optimist Club of San Antonio is once again selling Fredericksburg Peaches. Details
Vice President Jan Oord Graves
Jan had the surgery to repair both bones in her lower leg with plates and screws on June 2. She now begins therapy and recovery. Keep both her and Ron in your prayers.
UPDATE - Jan is home now (6/4/2015)
2014-2015 Essay Contest Winner
Winner of the Essay Contest is Kristina Correa, sponsored by the Corpus Christ - Downtown Optimist Club.
Updated District Meeting Pictures
Pictures from the Third Quarter Conference in Houston by Richard Bolling. CLICK HERE...
Laredo Noon 75th Anniversary

Laredo Noon President Rosa Trujano with Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz and the City Proclamation

Many members of the Laredo Noon Club listen to the 75th Anniversary Proclamation from OI President Ken Garner being read by Past Governor Jack Hopkins
Walking in the Rain

Easter Seals 5K Walk help April 24th in Houston with 23 Easr Fort Bend County and Pearland Optimists braving the storm. They raised $3215.00. This project helps raise awareness and resources for programs of Easter Seals, which help children and adults living with all types of disabilities.
Optimist International Elections
Optimist International has published the slate of nominees for officer elections which will be conducted online by Clubs in the month of June. Our own Gil Ortiz is one of three nominees for a three year term on the Board of Directors. Two of the three nominees will be elected. Click here for the full slate of nominees.
Optimist International's Leadership Development Committee is happy to announce the debut of a new and updated Club President online training course and a brand new, first time ever, Lieutenant Governor online training course. These user-friendly courses feature interactive quizzes and pop-up resource materials. Each user will be guided, step-by-step, through the basic skills and actions needed to be a successful Club President or District Lieutenant Governor.

This online training is not a replacement for the officer training at our District Convention or at the Optimist International Convention. To access these courses go to, create a profile and click on the appropriate course and follow the easy to follow instructions.

Our District includes 99 Texas Counties, 100,000 Square Miles, Population over 16,000,000, at least 4,000,000 Children, BUT NOT ENOUGH OPTIMISTS....