Contributed by Jim Parrotte
Ryan Clairmont is President of the Canyon Crest Academy Junior Optimist International (JOI) Club for the 2020-2021 Optimist Year and has been an active Junior Optimist since the 7th Grade at Carmel Valley Middle School. Ryan has led JOI Clubs sponsored by the Del Mar – Solana Beach Optimist Club, both at Canyon Crest Academy, and previously at Carmel Valley Middle School, in many successful community service projects and activities over the years. Congratulations to Ryan on his winning the National Young Astronomer Award for his creation of involved, 3D astrophysical models to explain the Cat’s Eye Nebula structure and evolution. Ryan previously won first place in Physics and Astronomy at the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair. This young Optimist is definitely “Shooting For The Stars”!
Sunrise Optimist Club of San Diego, Thank you to Brice, The Haynes, Dennis A., John, Dave, and Governor Elect Agatha for getting up early to welcome The Hong Kong Optimist Club.
The Hong Kong Club has already completed a Oratorical competition with 20 students… amazing.
Attached is a photo of this mornings swearing in mtg …Thanks again to Sunrise Optimist for their sponsorship and support of this new club.
ST. LOUIS- Optimist International welcomes Ms. Cheryl Brenn as the next Executive Director for the nonprofit, global volunteer organization.
Ms. Brenn currently resides in Clifton Park, New York. She has a master’s degree in Leadership and Management and earned the Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of
Association Executives. She has spent the last 14 years of her career with Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership
(HOBY,) where she has held various positions, and is currently the Chief International Programs Officer.
Through her involvement with HOBY, Cheryl has worked with Optimist International in Canada. She also has
a long history of involvement with Junior Chamber International (JCI,) where she achieved the distinction of
becoming a JCI Senator. At HOBY, Ms. Brenn has had extensive experience in working with various boards,
budgeting, volunteer management, team building, fundraising and planning.
Prior to joining HOBY, she was with the New York State School Boards Association for 10 years where she
led the organization’s membership services and marketing initiatives in addition to large-scale event
management. She exudes the kind of optimism and excitement which makes her a great fit with the culture at
“We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Brenn to St. Louis and the Optimist family,” current Executive Director
Benny Ellerbe said, “With her extensive background in nonprofit work and optimistic enthusiasm, I am
confident that I am leaving this position and Optimist International in good hands.”
Ellerbe announced his retirement and will be leaving Optimist International September 30, 2021. After a
national search with hundreds of candidates submitting for the position, three candidates were chosen for the
final interview process. Ms. Brenn will start August 9, 2021. Ms. Brenn stated, “I am delighted to be joining
Optimist International and to build on the legacy of community service and the positive impact members have
made on our global community.” Optimist International Headquarters is located on Lindell Blvd. in St. Louis,
Optimist International has nearly 58,000 adult and youth members in upwards of 2,500 clubs in the United
States, Canada, the Caribbean, and throughout the world. Carrying the motto “Bringing Out the Best in Youth,
in our communities, and in Ourselves,” Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than six
million young people each year. To learn more about Optimist International, please call (314) 371-6000 or visit
the organization’s website at www.optimist.org.
Hello fellow Optimists….Attached are two art submissions for this year’s OI Art Competition… These two students are from Coronado Silver Strand Elementary school.
Voting ends this May 30th…We would love to have CALSO students win this marvelous competition.
The competition theme this year was “Choose Happiness” Students were free to use any art medium they liked. The top three winners will recieve financial scholarship money from $250 to $100.
The art work will then be displayed in Atlanta at the OI convention.
Please share with fellow Optimists to vote for these two artists!
The link is: http://www.optimist.org/member/visual_arts_contest.cfm
Pacific Trails Middle School JOI Club
Fellow Optimists and Friends,
Forwarded herewith is the latest on the activities and plans for upcoming events of the Del Mar – Solana Beach sponsored Pacific Trails Middle School Junior Optimist International (JOI) Club! They are having fun with all their community service activities and projects. This JOI Club is the newest in the California South District having been chartered in December 2020. Please read JOI Club President, Sydney Mafong’s message below and enjoy the photos and slides as well! Optimistically, Jim
From: Mafong, Sydney
Sent: Monday, April 26, 2021 9:48 PM
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Pacific Trails Middle School JOI Club
Here are some updates on the PTMS JOI Club:
On April 16, we completed our 3rd sack lunch making of the year. This time, we made 120 sack lunches, a new high! That brings our total number of sack lunches made to 343. That’s a lot of meals! Great job everyone!
We had a club meeting on April 23, and we discussed a lot which I will be summarizing in this email. I also attached the slides we went over during the meeting.
Last Saturday, April 24, Katie, Ariana, and I participated in a lagoon restoration project. We helped out at the Batiquitos Lagoon with other Junior Optimists. We lifted logs and rocks, making a garden area. We also pulled out invasive weeds and planted succulents.
This Friday, April 30 from 2:00-3:00 at Sage Canyon,we are doing our kit making project! Ariana, Katie, and I have emailed multiple dentists and pharmacies asking for donations for our toiletry kits, but only one has responded and they said they are unable to donate. We are holding off on making toiletry kits but we will be making first aid kits this Friday since I can donate the supplies for about 100 first aid kits. Katie will take these kits to the Stand Up for Kids organization to be distributed to kids in need.
At our meeting, we also discussed a “92130 cares fresh food connection” where we pick food from local grocery stores and deliver it to people in need. We are doing this project on May 9. Ariana, the project manager, will email out more information soon.
We decided that we will be meeting at the “Ponce Recycling Center” in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center on May 1st (this Saturday) at 2pm. Even if you are not participating in the recycling project, it would be great if you could come since we will be going to get food and hang out in the shopping center afterwards. It’s important to have some time to bond and get to know each other a little better, so I thought this was a great opportunity to do so.
We also talked a little bit about the in-person Annual Optimist Convention. This is occuring in Atlanta, Georgia from June 30 – July 2, 2021. There will be Optimists and Junior Optimists from all over the country attending. If you are interested, please register by May 1st. The registration and more information is linked in the slides.
This was not discussed at our meeting, but I just received an email saying there is an opportunity for us to do a project on the last day of school, June 11. We will be volunteering at the San Diego Food Bank. This is super exciting because we are trying to coordinate this project with the CCA, TPHS, and CVMS JOI Clubs! We might be able to wrap up the school year in a four-club community service project if this all works out. I will send out more information once I receive it.
I apologize about the long email but we had a lot of different projects and activities discussed at our past meeting. Make sure to take a look at the slides as well since there is some additional information.
Thank you all so much for being a part of this club and I hope to see you soon at one of our projects!
President, Pacific Trails Middle School Junior Optimist International (JOI) Club
Fellow Optimists and Friends,
Our Del Mar – Solana Beach Optimist Club sponsored Hooves For Humanity Junior Optimist Club, an equestrian based Junior Optimist Club focused on rescue animals, horses, and adoptable puppies has provided “essential services” throughout the pandemic caring for, grooming, feeding, and exercising horses daily throughout the pandemic. They recently ‘fostered’ an adorable litter of puppies caring for them until they each found their ‘furever’ home. Now, they are gathering up and donating books, primarily children’s books, to the Goodwill organization for reuse by shoppers in the Goodwill stores. Junior Optimists are finding ways to perform useful community service and at the same time reuse existing resources, giving them new life. Way to go Junior Optimists.
JOI Clubs Committee Chair, Del Mar – Solana Beach Optimist Club
Hooves For Humanity JOI Club Donates Books for Reuse
Congratulations to Sydney Mafong of her Essay being selected as the CALSO Optimist District’s Essay Contest Winner and informed her that her submittal was forwarded to OI as the District’s entry into the International Essay Contest competition. She was delighted! I also invited her to read her Essay at the Quarterly District Meeting on May 1, 2021 probably sometime between 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM, but that I had not seen the Agenda for that day so at present couldn’t narrow the time down further. Sydney is delighted to be able to read her winning Essay at the May 1st meeting.
According to Lynn Reiter-Woodhead, Past District Governor, “We have a winner for the CALSO District Essay Winner! It is Sydney Mafong, sponsored by the Del Mar/Solana Beach Optimist Club!”
Sydney Mafong is the Charter President of the Pacific Trails Middle School Junior Optimist International (JOI) Club which was Chartered on December 9, 2020, and is sponsored by the Del Mar – Solana Beach Optimist Club. Sydney was the prime mover in organizing and starting up the JOI Club. Even before the Club was officially chartered, Sydney organized and led outdoor community service projects including park trail cleanups and park grounds cleanups in the Elizabeth Rabbitt Neighborhood Park and the Del Mar Mesa Preserve Trail. The newly-organized and chartered Pacific Trails Middle School JOI Club has performed several additional projects after the first of the year including; making nutritious sack lunches for the homeless. Each of the 110 lunches included a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, granola bar, fruit roll, mandarin orange, a bottle of water, and a handmade card with an inspirational message to provide cheer. The lunches were delivered to Father Joe’s Villages in downtown San Diego where they were distributed to people in need. Current projects in work include additional lunch making, neighborhood recycling of cans and bottles, and making toiletry/health kits with planned items including masks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hand sanitizer, shampoo, and deodorant. The Pacific Trails Middle School JOI Club meets via ‘ZOOM’ on alternating Fridays and performs all Club projects in a safe, masked, and socially distanced manner under the supervision of their two JOI Club Advisors.
The current issue of “The Southernor” contains articles on some of the above projects.
Secretary, Del Mar – Solana Beach Optimist Club
From: Lynn Reiter Woodhead <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2021 6:47 PM
To: Rick Lakin <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Bill Parry <email@example.com>; Agatha Graney <firstname.lastname@example.org>; MIKE Poirier <email@example.com>; Jim Parrotte <JimParrotte@hotmail.com>; Dave Bean <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Bonnie Styles <email@example.com>
Subject: CALSO District Essay Winner 2021
We have a winner for the CALSO District Essay Winner! It is Sydney Mafong, sponsored by the Del Mar/Solana Beach Optimist Club! Jim Parrotte can tell you more about her- I don’t want to steal his thunder!
I’m hoping she will be able to read her winning essay either at our 3rd Quarterly meeting or our District Convention in August. More to come.