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!