By Ryan W. Brooke
A few years ago, I knew I wanted to get more involved in my local community. After speaking with trusted friends and leaders in the community, I was introduced to the Raymore-Peculiar Sunrise Optimist Club. While I will admit I hadn’t heard of the organization before, I quickly learned that it would be a great fit and allow me to make an immediate impact on my community.
The Club is part of Optimist International, whose purposes are:
To develop optimism as a philosophy of life utilizing the tenets of the Optimist Creed; to promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs; to inspire respect for the law; to promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people; to aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world.
Mission: By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in youth, our communities and ourselves.
My Favorite Project
In 2018, I had the opportunity to chair the essay contest where students in the community are invited to submit an essay for a chance to win a scholarship. Each year, there is a prompt, which usually asks the students to write on a topic related to optimism. For example, the 2019 prompt is “When all the world’s problems are solved, is optimism still necessary?”
I was very impressed with how good the students were at writing and how well our local schools have educated the students in our community.
In 2019, I am chairing the Oratorical Contest. I look forward to seeing how the essays come to life when presented orally.
The English and Drama departments at the local schools help us spread word about our programs and help get students involved. The winner at our local level is sent to districts, and if they advance through to the top level, they could win nearly $20,000 in scholarship money.
Why You Should Consider Joining
Whether you are new to an area or have been around for awhile, joining an Optimist club provides a great way to learn about the community, meet people, and to give back. There are several projects that run throughout the year, so you can always find something to take part in, no matter your interests or schedule.
Joining the Optimist club has helped me polish my leadership and communication skills. I have had the opportunity to work with a wide range of people of every age, from elementary age students to older members of our community. To make sure my messages are clear and concise for every age group, I must carefully hone my skills to reach everyone. Whether there are skills you are looking to develop or skills you already have and want to continue to develop, I believe there is an area in Optimist where you can do just that.
If you would like to learn more about the Raymore-Peculiar Sunrise Optimist Club, visit https://www.raypecoptimistclub.org/.
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Published for the blog on February 12, 2019 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager.