July 21, 2020 – Our Special Guest – Optimist International President Adrian Elcock!


Tom Novak thanked Tom McBride of State Farm Insurance in Kettering for choosing the Centerville Noon Optimist Club’s Avenue of Flags program to receive a $500 grant from State Farm.

Happy Birthday Sue Brubaker

Sue Brubaker’s 70th birthday was on 7/16/2020. We all celebrated her seven-decade milestone by singing “Happy Birthday” to her. If I told you that we sang beautifully would you believe me? It would be a lie, but I just wondered! Even with the low quality of singing Sue still seemed to enjoy it. Thank you, Sue Brubaker, for everything you have done for the youth in our community and our club.

Adrian Elcock, 2019-2020 President of Optimist International

Greg Griffin introduced Adrian Elcock, the 2019-2020 President of Optimist International. He spoke to us today from his home in Barbados.

Adrian has met many CNO members before. He attended the Great Ohio District convention in August, 2019, which was right after the Oregon District shootings. He was impressed how well Daytonian’s were doing and helping each after the tragedy. He really enjoyed the trip where he was treated and fed very well. He said his trip to Dayton was one of the best trips he has taken on Optimist business.

None of us expected what 2020 has brought to the world. He is impressed how well CNO has adapted. He is impressed with the legacy of the Centerville Noon Optimist. He mentioned he is impressed with the CNO 2.0 club within a club that CNO created.

He said we have done well, but there is always room for improvement. He asked that we set benchmarks of achievement as a club.

Questions clubs should ask themselves

  • How many people can we serve?
  • How can we improve the community?
  • How many members can we add and retain?

Adrian’s theme for the Optimist 2019-2020 year is “iMagine”. He and his team have been re-imagining all aspects of Optimist International and its local clubs. They are working on improvements and innovations, including digital, financial (including money raised and money given), and marketing. They are working to create a stronger, more resilient organization that is responsive to its members and the work we do. Up until recently, 98% of the revenue for OI is dues received from local clubs and this is not sustainable. OI recently was able to raise a million dollars that they will invest to help the long-term financial health of OI.

He is continuing to work with initiatives from previous presidents (RUSO) that is looking at the organizational structure of OI. They have started a pilot program to create a federation structure, allowing major geographical areas to be more autonomous. This will facilitate an expansion into Europe. Currently worldwide, out of 49 districts, only 19 districts have a strong or moderate chance of continuing successfully. Not every district has done as well as the Great Ohio District. At some level, the current district structure is failing. The OI board is trying to solve how to improve failing districts

Optimist International Initiatives and Programs

  • OI has hired a full-time social media strategist. Social media engagements have doubled, and they have a written social media strategy.
  • Member retention is a focus. Retention has been improved from the typical 84% to 90% in the last year. How can you attract new members if you do not make current members happy?
  • On the website a learning management system is accessible worldwide.
  • Ongoing digital transformation projects are happening. Projects include a new website, mobile apps, video conferencing and learning management webinar modules. They are trying to use technology to be more accessible and to improve efficiency.
  • A new method of joining an Optimist club has been created called “Members at Large.” Social media is reaching those that do not have a local club nearby. Anyone can now become an Optimist by signing up directly with Optimist International.

Optimist clubs do great work. We raise 78 million per year through 2500 clubs and 65,000 members.

He said that without imagination, we are incapable of dreaming. We are people that can overcome obstacles. If humans create a problem, then humans can overcome it. We must continue to make a difference to the children in our community. Millions of children live better because of the work of Optimist Clubs.

Adrian concluded his speech with a quote from Edward Everett Hale, “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

Comments from CNO Members after the presentation

Beth Duncan told Adrian that she thought the recent international virtual meeting went really well. If it had not been virtual, she would not have been able to attend.

Judy DeMarco said that some of her and Gary’s best friends have come through their CNO membership. Adrian said he too has built lifetime friendships through being an Optimist. He said his local Barbados club has not been gathering as much as we have. He will try and use our social distancing committee model to improve connections between members.

Cherie Gentry said that recordings of training classes are great. The bonus is they can be used over and over. Adrian said technology is important to the future of Optimist International and its local clubs.

Myron Rheaume said thanks to Adrian for his “iMagine” theme. He appreciates that “iMagine” is embodied into Myron’s them of “iMagine the Power of You.” Adrian said he knows of CNO’s work with adding clubs with members with disabilities. Optimist international has been given a grant to be used in its efforts to help those with autism.


Steve RauJuly 23
Mike YoderJuly 24
Phil RobinsonJuly 26
Kathy KleinJuly 26
Jerry StahleyJuly 27
David DuncombeJuly 27
Katie CallowayJuly 27

Membership Anniversaries

MemberMonthDayJoined# Years
John ShermanJuly247/24/200911
David BrookmanJuly277/27/20119
Jim LongJuly277/27/20155
Donna RobinsonJuly287/28/199723
Kathy McAlpineJuly317/31/20182
Myron RheaumeAugust18/1/198733
Sue JesseeJuly187/18/20182
Steve MockJuly197/19/199624
Tom LakesJuly197/19/20173
Marge BackJuly207/20/20164

Happy Bucks

Bob Bargmeyer$6 for his 6th anniversary of being a member of the Centerville Noon Optimist club.
Greg GriffinThanks to current Optimist International President, Adrian Elcock, for speaking to us today.

Thank You Notes sent to CNO

No Thank You Notes received this week.

CNO Donations 2013 through June 2020

Click this link to see a summary of the donations our club has made.

Over 50 years, we have donated close to $2,000,000 to our youth community. In the past 6 years, we have donated nearly $753,000.

Sergeants at Arms

No Sergeants this week.

Welcome Guests!

No Guests this week.

New Member Readings and Inductions

No Readings or Inductions this week.

Zoom Meeting This Week

We had another meeting using Zoom. We will continue our weekly meetings via computer, cell phone or tablet for at least the next several weeks. Please join us and keep inviting guests.

Who can Attend Zoom Meetings?

Any member of any type of Centerville Noon Optimist can attend Zoom meetings. CNO 2.0, St Leonard’s and CNO full members or CNO monthly members can ALL attend.

Guests are also welcome. Please invite guests and introduce them if you like. Just share the Zoom link with them for that week.


In keeping with social distancing requirements – our CNO Meetings have transitioned temporarily to a online format using ZOOM.

Club Member Joe Madden was inspired to rewrite The Optimist Creed – so we give you now – The Corona Creed -with apologies to Christian D. Larson, Author of The Optimist Creed.

CNO’s Avenue of Flags Fundraiser Receives International Optimist Organization Recognition

Our own Centerville Noon Optimist Club Avenue of Flags program – one of our three major fundraisers for our local youth – has received international recognition as a “Benchmark Club Project” by Optimist International.  OI featured our program – which has grown from 30 flags (in 2005) to over 1,500 flags this year – as the kind of fundraiser that other clubs might consider as a program to help support their youth scholarships and free youth events – as our club does.

And a huge THANK YOU to all of our 1,500+ Avenue of Flags Subscribers – your subscriptions provide a major portion of the financial support we receive to help kids in our local community.  We could not do it without you.

Read the article on the Optimist International Website.

To get more information about our Avenue of Flags program or to subscribe.