Friday, April 8, 2016

Going for #1

It has been a while since I have posted anything on this blog... thought I would just share the new edition of the Plus One Sunny Side Newsletter (April 3). Here is the lead story. Click for more.

Going for #1… Plus 1 strategy to be ramped up NOW
Montego Bay, Jamaica:


OVERNOR PATRICK is today sounding the clarinet for all Caribbean Optimists as we enter the third quarter of the 2015-2016 Plus One year.
“This is the time to consolidate. This is crunch time, people. We must pick up the pace, do what we have to do and get those projects done, make our clubs healthy, bring in those new pairs of hands ready to serve” appeals Governor Patrick.
“If we are going to make our District #1 again”, he says. “Now is the time for the surge in growth, in projects, in Optimism. Q3 is the most critical quarter and we have to get it right NOW! Then we can cruise into Q4 working on the reports to support our success”.
The third quarter is exciting from so many angles. Among the scheduled district activities are the finals of the scholarship contests – Oratorical and Kids Speak Out are scheduled for Saturday April 30 at the Norman Manley Law School in Kingston while the Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH) is scheduled for the end of May. April is Autism Month, May is Child month and in June the focus shifts to Cancer.
But Governor Patrick is also reminding club presidents and Lieutenant Governors that now is the time to get their officers-elect in place. “The future leadership of the District must be decided before we go into the Q3 conference and leadership summit set for Barbados, May 27- 29 so our clubs and zones ought to be holding elections as we speak”.
Going for #1 again means getting all the ducks not just lined up, but in during this Q3. “I am assured that as a District, we will do what we must so we can all be in the Hall of Fame this 2015-2016 Optimist year”, declares a confident Governor Patrick.
Applying the Plus One Strategy
Under the Plus One formula the following is expected: Each Caribbean Optimist brings in a new member, that’s doubling the pairs of hands available to serve our youth; each member taking one step upward in the personal growth and involvement (PGI) programme, that’s strengthening our understanding and commitment to the Optimist movement; each Optimist club joining with another club to build a new club, that’s broadening our support base for sustainability; each member mentoring a child or young person, that is one less youth getting loss in the wilderness of despair.
Going for #1 also means ensuring that all membership fees are fully paid up (in the club, to the district and OI) before the end of each quarter, and that all reports are submitted in a timely manner.
Caribbean Optimists… Going for #1 in Q3… Bringing out the Best… Plus One!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Governor's New Year Message January 2016

Fellow Optimists of the Great Caribbean District:

Happy New Year! 

As members of the best voluntary service organisation in the world, we have the pleasure of ringing in the New Year twice in our year.

On October 1 when we started on this Plus One journey together, we pledged as a District to keep on doing what we do as Optimists, Bring out the Best in our Youth, our Communities and Ourselves. We also committed to returning the Caribbean District to #1 in all of Optimist International for the 2015-2016 year… and, what an awesome start we have had! Thank you all.

Congratulations to all Lieutenant Governors, club Presidents, Secretary-treasurers, Officers and Directors for making Q1 the period in which we did everything to put our clubs on a healthy path. You have done the trimming; you have decided on the strategies; and you have completed the planning. Now it is time to move on upward and stronger for the future.

As we kick off the 2016 New Year, I want to use this opportunity to remind you that for Q3 and Q4 the focus is on programmes, activities, and growth. So for these quarters, we look forward to the unleashing of Optimism and the burning desire for service in the NOW meetings, the promise of change and fresh bold ways of serving from the new member and charter club ceremonies, the heart-warming brilliance of the scholarship competitions, and the uplifting spirit and life changing impact of OC-CHaRM. 

This is going to be a successful year for all of us individually and collectively as Optimists. I know it; because I believe in you.

As we embrace the New Year, let us as Caribbean Optimists continue to light candles of hope, compassion, understanding and change in all the spaces we work and play. Let us also remain steadfast in our commitment to fulfilling the promise of our Creed… thinking only of the best, working only for the best and expecting only the best!

I wish for you a 2016 blessed with the best of health, everlasting happiness and abundant prosperity…plus one!

Happy New Year

Patrick Prendergast

Optimist International Caribbean District

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Welcome to another awesome year in Caribbean Optimism

Fellow Caribbean Optimist,
Welcome to the new Optimist year!
It is indeed a new time with new opportunities for Optimists to bring out the best; to make a positive difference, to make Optimism a way of life.
This Optimist year 2015-2016 will be an awesome one because you and I and all members of this great Caribbean District will make it so. Each morning when we wake up we will say the Optimist creed and promise ourselves…to be the best at what we do.
DST Al Johnson
I promise to be strong, to be noble; to wear a cheerful countenance at all times, to be happy, and to serve with dignity and pride. I promise to uphold the core values of Hope, Inspiration, Commitment, Excellence and Inclusiveness.
This year the abundant rewards of awesomeness awaits us in the hug of a child whose path you would have made brighter; in the smile of a mother who found hope in your tender care; in the triumph of a community to which you would have brought hope and inspiration; and in the reassurance of a fellow Junior Optimist with whom you mentored and guided other young people to achieving their goals.
This year is the year when your name, my name, our club’s name, the name of our zone and the name of our great Optimist International Caribbean District will make it to the Hall of Fame!
We are 35 years strong in this great Caribbean district and we have to celebrate and give thanks for the many milestones we have achieved. Celebrate the vision of our pioneers, the tenacity of our builders of excellence, and the resilience of our leaders and members who always go that extra mile to keep us great. 
Step by Step Governor
Barbara Arrindell
At this juncture, let us take time out to thank Governor Barbara Arrindell and her Step by Step team led by DST Jason Gillead for the purposeful, enthusiastic and imaginative ways in which they led this great Caribbean movement over the 2014-2015 Optimist year. The Optimist road can be rocky, the hills seem impossible to overcome at times; but Governor Barbara showed us what it is to be an Optimist – always prodding on in hope and positive thinking, confident of the light at the end of the tunnel. We cannot give up now in our faithfulness at tending the garden of Caribbean Optimists.
And so, even as we show gratitude and celebrate, we must also keep finding new and exciting projects and activities to make Optimism novel again. We must renew our commitment to building and growing in unity and love. Let us reignite the progressive flames of hope and unleash the spirit of Optimism across the Caribbean. From St John’s to Bridgetown, from Castries to Kingston, from Nassau to Willemstad, be bold in showing the world what it really means to be Caribbean!
That autistic boy in Trench Town, whose awesomely distinguished and special gifts will change our world, awaits your support. That young girl living with cancer in The Valley, whose love and compassion fills the heart of so many other children around her with hope and motivation, awaits your care. That teenager in George Town, who is hearing impaired but whose talents in science and math and creative expression will blaze new pathways of overcoming, awaits your guidance. That A+ student in Morant Bay, who goes to school hungry but always with a smile, confident of doing well, awaits your assistance.
DST Jason with
LtGs Pat and Margaret
We are always stronger as a collective force and we must do everything in our power – despite the waters between us – to build on that Caribbean strength even as we build bridges of assurance for our Caribbean children, our communities and ourselves.
Caribbean Optimists, we are the change we want to see. There is pride in our resilience, our passion for service is unmatchable, and we are united in our endeavors, and committed to our mission to make optimism a way of life.  Right here right now, every day is another opportunity to bring out the best in our youth, communities and ourselves… Plus One!
Welcome to another awesome year of Optimism.

Patrick Prendergast
Governor (2015-2016)
Optimist International Caribbean District
District #78 

Bringing out the Best... Plus One!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Q2 conference promises to be a humdinger

THE SECOND QUARTER conference for the Optimist International Caribbean District 2014-2015 year is shaping up to be a game-changer in celebration, fun, learning and fellowship.
The regional confab for Optimists is scheduled for the Hibiscus Lodge Hotel in Ocho Rios running from February 27 to March 1 will see a new suite of workshops and other activities unveiling over the weekend.
Kicking off the conference weekend on Friday evening is "Sentimental Memories" at the Ocho Rios Pier. Hosted by the clubs of Zones 8 and 9, this old school style Governor's Reception will see delegates donning their favorite outfits from "back in the days of bell foot pants and afro".
On Saturday, it will be time for business, learning and celebration with headline presentations from Certified District Trainer, Past International Vice President Optimist Adrian Elcock and Builder of Excellence Optimist Kevin Grant.
Other stalwarts such as PIVP Optimist Sonia Anderson will share training duties with newbies including club president Optimist Stephen Fearon who will on Sunday tackle the topic "Leading and Implementing Change and Innovation".
But before that, on Saturday the award winning Jamaican poet and author A-dZiko Simba Gegele will bring her special brand of writing and performance to the conference. A discussion on what Caribbean teens are reading in 2015 will follow A-dziko's reading.
Yet another event that is a must-be-at is the 'Read My Lips Optimist Edition'. That is a mime and lip sync session which, according to organizer DST Jason, is one of the reasons you will kick yourself for missing conference this year. Don't be kicking yourself now.
Q2 conferences are never complete without the awards show and that will be held on Saturday evening. Hosted by Immediate Past Governor, Optimist Nutilia Simon, this year's Dinner and Awards Banquet and Ball will be an affair of extra-special celebrations. The winners circle from the Optimist International Awards and Incentives programme will be definitely be filled with joy, excitement, pride and fulfillment.
Feel the energy of Q2 and come celebrate, come teach, come learn, come have fun February 27 - March 1 in Ocho Rios.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Top Seven Reasons You Will Kick Yourself...

THE SECOND call for Optimist International Caribbean District Q2 Conference set for the weekend of February 27 - March 1, 2015 is out; and the team is so confident that they have also released a top seven listing along with highlights of the agenda. 
The conference will kick off with a rocking Welcome Reception on the Friday evening at the Ocho Rios Pier before moving to Hibiscus Lodge Hotel for the main conference activities on Saturday and Sunday.
Along with the traditional Opening Ceremony and general sessions, delegates will be fully engaged in a series of training, celebratory and fun activities that will deepen their resolve as Optimists bringing out the best in children. 
Among the celebratory events will be a glitzy dinner and awards banquet to be hosted by Past Governor Nutilia Simon on the Saturday evening. Then the outstanding achievers of the 2013-1204 Optimist year will be officially recognized.

Top Seven Reasons You will Kick Yourself If You Miss Conference
     1. Past Governor Adrian will be the Guest Speaker at the Awards Banquet and will conduct the first workshop of the day.
2. “Read My Lips”—Optimist edition will make you laugh until you cry.
          3. There will be a guest appearance by the reigning “king” of a much talked about contest held in Grenada years ago. It was called: “Momma Said they’d be KNIGHTS like This”
4. Clubs in the St. Ann’s area are planning a wicked welcome reception on Friday night, that may cause you to sleep through the rest of the weekend.
                 5. Reading by Award winning Jamaican author—A-dZiko Simba Gegele
             6. Second Quarter Optilympics

7. Workshops!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Q2 Conference set for Ocho Rios

OPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL Caribbean District will hold its second quarter conference in the popular Jamaican tourist area of Ocho Rios, St Ann from February 28 – March 1, 2015.
Governor Barbara Arrindell and the Step-by-Step team are gearing up to play hosts to the many Caribbean Optimists expected to converge on the beautiful hideaway boutique property, The Hibiscus Lodge Hotel.
Among the highlights of the weekend confab will be the always exciting and classic Awards Banquet & Ball to be hosted by Immediate Past Governor Nutilia Simon. The formal ceremony to be held on Saturday evening will recognize and honour the achievers of the 2013-2014 year as announced by the District and International achievements and awards committees.
Other highlights include a special reading by the award winning Jamaican author, A-dZiko Simba Gegele; as well as a suite of exciting leadership and personal development training workshops and fellowship activities. These activities include the entertaining and energetic Optimists Got Talent and Optimist Olympics.
According District Secretary-Treasurer Jason Gilead, this is a conference not to be missed.
“Plan to be there and encourage another Optimist to come", says the DST in a release announcing the first call to the conference.
"This is definitely going to be one of those conferences where if you miss it, you will be saying "I can’t believe I missed that..." for years to come.  Enough said!” warned DST Jason.

See details from the first call to the Q2 District Conference below:

Registration (Including Lunch)                                                                   

Regular onsite Registration: US $75.00

“A coming”: 10% off regular registration (by February 21)
“Twinkle Toes”: US$58.00 (by February 7)
“Lightning Bolt”: US$48.00 (Early Bird by January 31)

College & JOOI Members:
Regular Registration US$38.00
Twinkle Toes US$32.00 (by Feb 7)

Banquet & Ball US$40.00
10% Off if ticket is purchased prior to February 7, 2015
10% Off for all JOOI and College Members.


Room Rates including all taxes and breakfast

Standard double occupancy: USD 137.35
Deluxe double occupancy:  usd$148.25

Find a roommate … Share a room and spend less than US$69.00 per night. 

Hibiscus Lodge Hotel & The Almond Tree Restaurant
PO Box 52, Ocho Rios, Saint Ann, Jamaica
Telephone: 876-974-2676 or 876-974-2813