CNOTES: May 4, 2021 – Tracy Huxley OI VP Presents “Choose Optimism, Choose Happiness”

Bob Burkman Prayer

Today’s prayer was originally written by Laura Kelley Fanucci. It was then modified by Bob Burkman to fit our meeting and he read it for today’s meeting.

Heavenly Father,

Here we are, Noon Optimists, live and digital for the first time in over a year. We have hope that this long nightmare is nearing an end.

When this is over, may we never again take for granted:

  • A handshake with a stranger
  • Full shelves at the store
  • Conversations with neighbors
  • A crowded theatre
  • Friday night out
  • A Tuesday Noon Optimist meeting
  • A routine checkup
  • The school rush each morning
  • Coffee with a friend
  • The roar of a crowd in a stadium
  • Each deep breath we take
  • A boring weekend
  • Life itself

When this pandemic ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be, that you called us to be, that we hoped to be and may we stay that way for the benefit of each other. In your name we pray.


Special Announcement

Today was the first time the Centerville Noon Optimist Club has met in person in over a year!


Mike Bevis, golf outing chair, said the committee is hard at work. They need “day of event” volunteers for lots of tasks on Monday, July 12, 2021. There are jobs for all times of the day including early morning, mid-day and at the end of the day.

Vida McDowell, golf outing, announced that many vendors have had a bad year so if you would like to donate a gift card it would be appreciated.

Debe Dockins announced that there will be an in-person CNO 2.0 evening meeting in June 2021.

Debe Dockins said to let her know if you would like to help decorate the 2021 CNO Americana float and/or if you would like to ride on the float with her and wave to the community.

Debe Dockins announced that the winners of the Visual Arts contests are being forwarded to Optimist International for the final level of the contest. You can view all the entries and the winners here.

Debe Dockins announced that the 3rd quarter Great Ohio District meeting will be in person on May 21-22, 2021. If you are going, register now to get early bird pricing.

Tom Novak, co-chair of Avenue of Flag, announced they have 200 new subscriptions and are up to 72 routes and 160 delivery helpers. So far, there will be 2708 flags delivered on Memorial Day. Contact Mike Brubaker, Bob Burkman or Tom Novak if you can volunteer to help deliver and/or pickup flags for any of the 5 flag holidays.

2021-2022 Officers and Board of Directors Nominations for CNO

Jean Pummill, CNO Secretary, took a vote today and Officers and Board Members have been elected. For Optimist Year 2021-2022 your Officers and Board Members are:

  • President Elect: Beth Duncan
  • Vice Presidents: Sarah Umbreit and Greg Wasmund
  • Board of Directors for 2-year terms: Diane Arehart, Brandon Barrett, Katie Calloway, Bob Glavin, Evelyn Griffin.
  • Board Members with 1 year left to serve: Patrick Arehart, Christine Balsan, Pat Behn, Jim Long, Brian Nolan
  • Gary Hansen is the president for 2021-2022 and has chosen Chris McAlpine as his past president representative. Debe Dockins will serve as the Immediate Past President.
  • The incoming president chooses the Treasurer and Secretary. Gary Hansen has selected Roland Rapp for Treasurer and Jean Pummill for Secretary. They are both currently serving in those positions.

Committee Meetings

  • 5/12/2021, 6 PM, Tom Frazier Tee Off for Youth Golf 2021, Zoom hosted by Mike Bevis. Meetings in 2021 will be on Wednesdays on 1/13, 2/17, 3/24, 4/14, 5/12, 6/16, 7/7. Additional volunteers are always welcome. The golf outing will be held on 7/12/2021.
  • 5/18/2021, 6 PM, Monthly Board of Directors Meeting, Zoom hosted by President Debe Dockins.

Community Events

Centerville/Washington Township’s Virtual Got Talent contest will soon finish the video of the finalists and CNO members will be able to vote. You will receive an email.

Social Events

Last Friday the social event, “Jammin’ in our Jammies” was held on Zoom. It was a great success. As reported by Debe Dockins, it was a LOT of fun.

Tracy Huxley, Optimist International Regional VP

Debe Dockins introduced Tracy Huxley, the Optimist International Vice President of the Northeast & Great Lakes Region. Tracy is also an OI Certified International Trainer.

Tracy has been a proud Optimist since 1996, with membership in both the Southwestern Ontario and the Caribbean Districts and is serving multiple roles at the club, district, and international levels. One thing that fills her bucket is the chance to work with Optimists from around the globe as a Certified International Trainer.

Tracy’s training style has been described as interactive, enthusiastic, and motivational.  She’s developed workshops on a wide range of topics not typically found at Optimist Conferences.

Tracy’s extended bio can be read here.


Her presentation was titled, “Choose Optimism, Choose Happiness, They’re Choices.”

Current OI president Mark Weinsoff has asked OI members to figure out what makes Optimist clubs different than other services clubs. Optimist clubs are the only club that operate under the banner of Optimism. Optimism is a choice and having optimism creates happiness.

To be optimistic takes practice and intention. You need a lesson in self-awareness. When Tracy was 13 years old and having a bad day, her father told her that having a bad day was her choice. He said she had chosen to have a negative state of mind. No 13-year girl is going to believe this is a choice, but she remembered what he said.

Imagine a day starting with stubbing your toe as you get out of bed, you get toothpaste on your shirt, you spill coffee all over the counter and floor. Does this mean you have to have a bad day? No, it does not. Turn the situation around. Spilling the coffee means you can stop at the coffee shop and get that fancy coffee you love.

There is a part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS) that brings whatever you are focusing on to the forefront of your awareness. Your brain collects data about your experiences all day. What the RAS of your brain filters to keep is based on your focus. If you focus on positive ideas, then your brain will filter out the bad and keep the good. If you focus on negative ideas, then you are going to have a bad day.

Here is an example. Imagine you are on your way to work and you are late. On your drive if you focus on all the red lights you are hitting, then that is what your brain will filter and remember. You won’t remember all the green lights that you passed through and you probably hit the same number of red lights you always do.

Focus on the Positive

Tracy thinks the point of this quote is so important, she said it twice. From Michelle Gielen, “Practicing happiness starts with being conscious of how we devote our mental resources and continually train our brains to focus on the positive” Side note, Gielen is the keynote speaker in Atlanta at the OI International Conference in June 2021.


Happiness is a choice. It is your choice to choose to be happy and optimistic. It is easy to experience an “I am eating ice-cream right now” happiness. Long term happiness takes practice and training. Be self-aware and choose happiness.

We need goals in our lives. When you are confident the path you are on includes the purpose of finding joy on the way, you will then find happiness.

Focusing on the positive is the key. Focus on long term happiness in your life and keep moving forward. Remember the 7th line of the Optimist creed, “Promise yourself to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.” Sure, you will have some failures on the way, but they are just minor blips.

Examples of ways to Focus your Brain every Day

  • Write down 3 things you are grateful for.
  • Send an email to someone about doing a great job with something.
  • Get your brain to re-focus. The more you practice the better you get at it, which increases your chances of being truly happy.

Happiness Resources

  • Tracy said we should all try the 30-Day Kindness Challenge created by Shanti Feldhahn.
  • Shawn Achor’s TED talk is a great way to learn about the human potential for happiness. He describes how happiness is based on a positive outlook for the future. He is the author of “The Happiness Advantage.”

Thank You

Thank you, Tracy Huxley, for inspiring us today about choosing happiness and how great it is to be an Optimist.

New Member Readings and Inductions

None this week.

Welcome Guests!

Guest NameGuest of
Tracy HuxleyToday’s Speaker, Optimist International Vice President of the Northeast & Great Lakes Region

Happy Bucks

Gary Anderson$10 happy bucks, to Debe Dockins and her board and leadership team for the great job running the club during the pandemic.
Vida McDowell$10 happy bucks, to Debe Dockins and her board and leadership team for the great job running the club during the pandemic.
Donna HussGreat grandson born with the middle name of Wrigley in honor of Chicago Cubs.
Brian NolanCasey Dixon being a brand new member and already has hosted a CNO 2.0 event and her husband’s truck will pull the CNO float during the Americana Parade.
Barbara SantoHer family is happy that her daughter just got engaged to be married.
Charla RheaumeMyron Rheaume was able to attend today’s meeting in person.
Louise HahnShe just became a Great, Great Grandmother and her treatments are going better than any of the doctors had hoped and she will be done soon.
Tom NovakSpecial thanks to these Avenue of Flags volunteers for spending about 11 hours at flag headquarters handing out tools for the annual flag checkup: Bob Burkman, Bob Foster, Carol Smerz, Dav Bremer, Jim Mogan, Judy McFadden, Marge Back, and Tom Novak.

Sergeants at Arms

Gary HansenAttending Zoom meetings with a beard and long hair.
Myron RheaumeAttending Zoom meetings while wearing a hospitcal gown.
Bob DuffyGot his name tag from the basement of Yankee Trace even thought we aren’t doing name tags because of the pandemic.
Karl FrydrykGot his name tag from the basement of Yankee Trace even thought we aren’t doing name tags because of the pandemic.
Greg GriffinBecause of the pandemic he never wore long pants all winter long.
Everyone who is a snowbirdIf you spent 2 weeks out of Ohio for 2 weeks in 2021 you are fined.
Everyone who is a snowbird in two statesIf you spent time in two warm states in 2021 without first going home you are fined again.
Gary AndersonAttending a Zoom meeting wihtout a shirt

Membership Anniversaries

MemberMonthDayJoined# Years
Craig DringMay75/7/199724
Dave KayMay85/8/199229
Paul BowellMay85/8/200021


Chris AbratowskiMay 4
Chris WysongMay 4
Melissa DeShurkoMay 4
Lou BrinkmanMay 6
Pam MillerMay 6
Mary MaddenMay 6
Tom HendersonMay 6
Beth DuncanMay 9
Jon FoxMay 10

CNO Donations – 2013 through March 2021

Click here to see a summary of donations the club has made since 2013

Thank You Notes Received

No Thank You Notes were received this week.

Links to Recorded Meeting and PowerPoint

A Video Recording of this Week’s Meeting is here

A Podcast of this Week’s Meeting is here

A Copy of this Week’s Meeting PowerPoint Slide Deck is here

The photos taken at Today’s Meeting are here.