Arizona District
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Welcome to the 2017-2018 Optimist Year 
For the Kids!
Lieutenant Governor-Elect to serve from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019:
Must have served as a Club President, or be currently serving as a Club President.
Provide a letter of support from your home club.
Governor-Elect to serve as Governor-Elect from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019 and then as District Governor from October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020:
Must have served, or be serving as a Lt. Governor.
Provide a letter of support from your home club.
At this point we have one candidate who has announced and provided a support letter for the Office of Governor-Elect. That is Anne McBride from the HEAT Optimist Club.

All Governor-Elect candidate submissions or questions should be directed to Ken Johnson, Chair of the Candidate Qualifications Committee. He can be reached at 520-906-711 or by email at:

Lt. Governor-Elect questions should be directed to Governor-Elect Mike Toepper. He can be reached at 520-260-4529 or by email at
Oratorical Scholarship Information

2017-2018 Arizona District, Zone and Club Information and Deadlines for Oratorical Competition

“Where are My Roots of Optimism?”


Only 2 Contestants from each Zone will be allowed to move on to the District Competition in April-one boy and one girl. If the Zone doesn’t have a contestant of each gender competing, you will only be able to send one contestant, not two of the same gender. Thus, if the Zone Contestants are all boys or all girls, the Zone will only be able to send the top contestant to the district.  The Zone may need to have a run off contest to decide on a winner.


It is important to adhere to these deadlines.  There will be no exceptions because a Club or Zone cannot adhere to the deadlines!  Please do not be the Club or Zone that lets down a contestant.

Each Club will pay an entry fee of $50.00 to the Arizona District for each participant sponsored beyond the Club level and must accompany the contestants packet.  Refer to section 44 of the district Policies for the expenses of the participants and their guests.


Saturday, March 17, 2018-Last day to hold a Club Oratorical Contest

 Saturday, April 7, 2018-Last day to hold the Zone Competition

 Saturday April 14, 2018-All Entry paperwork, including the signed Entry Form, copy of the speech , and entry fee must be received by  the District Chair.

 Saturday, April 28, 2018 DISTRICT COMPETITION FINALS-Third Quarter Conference in Tucson at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton-Tucson Airport.


Oratorical Materials available at


Third Quarter Hosptiality Suite

My name is Stephanie McKerchie, I am the hospitality chair for Arizona District Optimist Club. I am in charge of the Hospitality room at district conferences. At the last conference I got a lot of feedback from club members that there was quite a lot of enjoyment with having clubs participate in managing the Hospitality Suite. The next conference is in Tucson on April 27th through 29th. I have unexpectedly got the opportunity to take my daughter to Disneyland but unfortunately lands on the same weekend as the conference. I will be returning the 28th, so I will be available to help run the room on Saturday. However I need someone to prepare and run the Suite on Friday. Since there was so much feedback on club support, I thought this would be a great opportunity to do just that. I need commitment from a club in the Tucson area to run the Suite on Friday. If your club might be interested please message me back, if you have any questions please reach out to me directly via email or call/text.


Thank you”


Stephanie McKerchie




Fellow Optimists, Former Optimists, and Family Members of Optimists:

It was a hot and humid day in June of 1919 when delegates from 11 Optimist Clubs gathered in Louisville, Kentucky to officially organize the International Optimist Club—known today as Optimist International. As we look forward to the celebration of our 100th Anniversary as an organization, Optimists around the world are making plans for a Centennial Celebration to be kicked off at our 100th International Convention to be held in Ottawa, Ontario from July 8-10, 2018, and to culminate at our 100th Anniversary Celebration to be held in Louisville from July 1 to 3, 2019.

I have agreed to volunteer my time to write a special Centennial Book in honor of our 100 years of Optimism and I would sincerely appreciate your help in gathering information—Right Here, Right Now!!! Although I am using original documents, newspaper articles, the Of Dreams and Deeds book written in 1966, the 75 Years of Optimism in Canada booklet, and similar sources, I would sincerely appreciate receiving additional information from our members, former members, and families of members that would be of general interest to those who read the book. Information and supporting material (such as photos or news articles) can be sent to:

Suggestions regarding the type of information that may be of interest to readers include:

-Info regarding the original Optimist Club(s) in your District;

-Notable Optimists from your Club or District.

-Famous participants in Optimist programs.

-Significant milestones in your Club or District.

-Biographical info on Past International Presidents, International Vice Presidents, International Board Members, Top Governors, etc.

-Interesting stories regarding youth programs and community service.

-Info re JOI and our Signature Programs.

-Info regarding the Opti-Mrs.

Thank you all for your assistance and Happy New Year!!!

Dave Bruns

It Pays to Pre-register
(and it’s darn helpful too)

Have you ever tried to plan a family gathering, or a party that included a meal? I think we all have. And when I do this, it is always helpful for me to know how many folks I am going to be cooking for. Sure makes my shopping easier, and I know that while I’ll have enough to feed everyone, I am not going to have a whole pile of leftovers either.
Planning a District meeting is just about the same as my family dinner or dinner party. For each meal planned at a District conference – we are required to give the hotel a “guaranteed” number – days in advance! This will be the minimum number of meals that we will pay for, whether the meals are served or not. This part is pretty easy as it is based upon the meals members have already paid for by pre-registering. These meals are pre-paid.
Okay, so what if we have more than expected? A hotel is prepared to provide 5% more meals than we guarantee, but with our current registrations, that is only one or two meals.
So ….what happens when members wait to register on site the day of the meeting?
One of two things.
We try to guess at how many will do this and give a higher number for our guarantee – then pray we don’t have to pay for unsold meals. We have quit doing this.
Folks who wait until after early registration or the day of the meeting just won’t get fed. We will be happy to point ya’ll to the nearest fast food restaurant.
This is not a fun part of working on the Conference and Convention Committee. Late or on sight registrations also make it much harder to work with the hotel staff to set up the meeting and meal rooms to serve the numbers we have ---- and make it comfortable for all.
The sad thing is that it is usually the same members who register on sight, or who call at the last minute to ask for special assistance. FOLKs, we cannot and will not do this any more.
So … think ahead and pre-register for each conference.
Thanks! Your Conferences Committee.
To Find A Club in Your Area, go to
 Arizona Optimist Clubs
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