Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We were chosen to serve – President Jack

OPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL President Jack Creswell is, in the true Jamaican sense, a cool brother.  He greets everyone as if he knew them before and has no problem belting out belly-bottom laughter.  He is also willing to call it as he sees it.
No surprise then that at the first general session of the Q2 Caribbean District Conference he decided to leave the podium and deliver his presentation on the floor.
In doing so he engaged the delegates in his speech as well as physical activity designed to drive home his point.
Here are a few of the notables he left, certainly with me, on that beautiful morning of Saturday, February 25, 2012 at the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort in Montego Bay.

We who are here at this conference chose to be here instead of someplace else; but never forget that we were chosen to serve.  

We have an opportunity as Optimists to help others make their dreams come true.

A question we are often faced with is this: Is there going to be an Optimist to care; to allow for that young person who needs the help to realize their true potential? What we need to do is ensure that the lake of Optimism remains full…

This year the accepted is not “If” but YES!

It would seem that there are two choices: to be part of creating problems or to be part of solving problems.  But it is one choice really and that’s to be part of solving problems.

I know that attitude is contagious…make it so, make it happen. There is nothing we cannot achieve if we BELIEVE.

To President Jack and First Lady Sue, we say thanks for sharing with us 100% ...and then some! Nuff respect from the OI7804 family.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The best year of my life - IPG Joe Benfield

Below is the copy of an email sent by IPG Joseph Benfield to the members of the Caribbean District.  We also share with you the list of winners from the Q2 Awards ceremony.

My friends,
Saturday night was awesome! We had a terrific Awards Function and from your many comments to me afterwards I know those of you who were there enjoyed it just as much as I did.  It was a wonderful evening.
My heartfelt gratitude and compliments to our Immediate Past DST (Sandi) and her team... CP Latoya, DST Heather, CP Kenneth, PP Paula, PG Cecille, CP Norman, for the wonderful ambiance they created setting the stage for an exciting night. 
While it was great, it was tough, because I know personally and first hand the great work done by so many of you; so it was particularly difficult to determine the winners.  While we had to have some winners, the true winners are the children of the region we call home because you truly reached across the Caribbean and joined hands (in) helping our children to shine.
Thank you for a wonderful year. Congratulations and all the very best in all your future endeavors and thank you for all the awards, plaques, gifts and well wishes.  They mean the world to me.
Have you reached out today?Joseph O. Benfield
Governor 2010 / 2011
Optimist International Caribbean District
'Hands across the Caribbean – Helping our children to shine'

Optimist International Caribbean District Awards and Achievements 2010-2011

The Optimist International Caribbean District Achievements and Awards Program for 2010 – 2011 aims to support the District Objectives of an energized membership, service, growth, improvement in the District Financial Position and the expansion of service into new areas through new club building in unserved and underserved areas and new Optimist Programs while raising the profile of Optimism throughout the Caribbean.
To be eligible for any District Award a club or member must be fully compliant with their Optimist International and District financial obligations by September 1, 2011.
Special Governor’s Awards
CP Wylet “Biggy” Reid  
Past Governor Cecille Hale
CP Marcia Hendricks
PLTG Samuel Adolphine
Ste. Lisi Optimist Club of St. Lucia
The Registration, Training, and House of Optimism Operation
CP Rose Samuels
Optimist Diana Morrison
Member retention and service award
North St. Catherine

Zone retention award
LTG Michael James and Zone 12. 
Community Service Project of the Year
Barbican Pines for the Toilets for Pretoria Road Basic School Project
Club Membership Growth Award
Ste. Lisi Optimist Club of St. Lucia

Most Impactful Internet Safety Programme Award
St. John’s Antigua
Governor’s Award for the best compliance record for both District and OI Obligations
St. Michael Sunshine
Membership Growth Award (Dudley Hall Plaque)

LTG Garvin Grandison (UWI Mona) (Sponsored 12 new members)

Caribbean Newsmaker of the Year (Grettle Lawrence Trophy)
Optimist Club of Barbados-Bridgetown
Governor’s Assistant of the Year
GA Rose Medley

Chairperson of the year    
CP Latoya Wade
Lieutenant Governor of the Year
LTG Fay Mallitt (Zone 2)
Zone of the Year
Zone 2

Club of the Year
Optimist Club of Barbican Pines

Optimist of the Year (Judith Reid Trophy)
CP Patrick Prendergast

Community Project Awards (Fundraising)
1st   Bridgetown Barbados                Golf Tournament
2nd  Barbican Pines                       Taking Optimism to the World through Tea, Arts, & Cultures
3rd   Barbados South          Silhouettes - A Variety Show & Concert

Community Project Awards (Community Service)
1st   St. John's Antigua        Library and Classroom for the Prison
2nd  Sunset Kingston          Environmental Awareness
3rd   North St. Andrew        The Alpha Primary School Refurbishment Project

Q2 District Conference - Congrats and a shocker

The Q2 District Conference held in Montego Bay on the weekend of February 24 - 26, 2012 had a lot of happy moments and one big surprise for me.  I am always so excited when our members rise to the occasion and deliver winners.
Thanks to the teams from Optimist Clubs of Scenic Castleton, Kingston Central, Kingston Breakfast, West St Andrew and Sunset Liguanea, Zone 4 managed to take home the trophy for the zone with the most members this quarter with 16 of the 106 Optimists at Q2 conference coming from Zone 4 clubs. And, as has become the norm over the last four years, our Zone members also shine bright at the First Timers activities - Big up to OC Kingston Central! More big up to ST Andrea (Kingston Breakfast) who did a fantastic first time job as Sergeant-at-Arms.
At the Reach Out Grammy style Awards Ceremony for Governor Joe's 2010-2011 Hands Across the Caribbean year West St Andrew's Margaret Wright collected her Distinguished LtG Award to much cheers from the full contingent of Zone 4 delegates and the many other Optimists she has charmed over the years with her quiet but resolute personality.

Sunset Liguanea's Latoya Wade walked away with the Chairperson of the Year award as she and her Conference team continue to demonstrate what it means to pull off successive extraordinary events. From the Q1 Parallel District Conference in November 2010 to Q4 District Convention in August 2011 there was always something to write home about conference and certainly there was always high praise for CP Latoya and her team. So it is congratulations once again to Past Distinguished LtG Margaret and CP of the Year CP Latoya!

I must say that I was so shocked at hearing my name called by Governor Joe.  What did he just say? Caribbean District Optimist of the Year, Patrick Prendergast. Thanks to all those who encouraged and supported me in charting new frontiers in Optimism and especially for embracing the District News Desk feature and, of course, the I AM AN OPTIMIST DAY initiative while I was your Communication Chair. My humblest appreciation to you all and I look forward to your continued guidance and support as we find new ways to grow in optimism, recruit new members, build new clubs, and best serve the children of our beloved Caribbean District.
Congrats to all the winners from all over the Caribbean and maximum respect to all Zone 4 Optimists.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Caribbean District Q2 Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Optimist International Caribbean District  second quarter conference February 24 - 26 at the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Lots of training and fellowship opportunities;
Past Governor Joe's Reach Out Awards Ceremony is on Saturday night; and
OI President Jack Creswell hits the Rock!