BOOK NOW – Michigan District Q4 Convention August 16-17


Friend of Youth

“Choose Optimism”

Our Children.

Our Community.

Our Future.

What is an Optimist? Well, simply put, optimists rescue pessimists. Optimism enhances our health, the health of our communities, and the well-being of all. Through community service projects, optimists work to bring out the best in youth, in themselves and in their communities. They are organized into “clubs” that have gatherings. They make plans in order to meet the the needs of their community. Each club is autonomous and is run by their own members. They have the flexibility to serve the youth of their area in any way they see fit. Optimists see a need and react to it!

Optimist International Michigan District 20-21 Slogan

Be an Optimist Volunteer

Bring out the best in …


We offer a variety of programs including Junior Optimists Clubs, Junior Golf, Scholarship Contests – to name a few!


Engage in leadership, fellowship, training, events and discover a sense of belonging.


Organize service projects to meet the needs in your area for local schools, parks, hospitals…making the future brighter for our kids!

Governor Michigan District

Linda Thompson
Linda Thompson, Governor
Michigan District Optimist

Welcome to the Year of Infinite Optimism

I am honored to be the Governor of the mighty Michigan District; the second largest district in Optimist International. By providing hope and a positive vision, our 2,325 members and 83 clubs bring out the best in youth, our communities, and ourselves. Since August of 2022, I have been working with Optimist International President Tracy Huxley. Regional Vice President Tom Kendo, International and Michigan District leaders to prepare for the 2023-2024 Optimist year.

It is the responsibility and opportunity of district level leaders to support each and every club’s success. Our District success will be measured in growth in clubs and membership, increased member retention and engagement, increased marketing and communication, and increased engagement at District conferences. Working together our 2,324 members will impact over 8,000 youth through scholarships and programs and 1,000 community partnerships.

Each quarter there will be a theme that challenges us to take optimistic action: Q1 Activate, Q2 Engage, Q3 Explore and Q4 Celebrate. How will you and your club activate your club projects this fall? Will you and your club engage in the C.A.R.E. program which celebrates successes and addresses concerns? Will you and your club explore new community partnerships and new projects this year? How will you and your club celebrate the accomplishments of your club and members?

Each quarter there will be a fun, informative, and engaging gathering of Optimists from across the district. Be prepared to be inspired, encouraged, recognized, and connected. My goal is that every club is represented at every quarter conference. Who will be representing your club Q1 in Bay City?

I wish each of you all the best as we begin a new Optimist year. May you find your passion in service to youth and community and may your spirit be filled with hope and the belief in a positive future.

Yours in Optimism,
Linda Thompson

Vice President Northeast & Great Lakes Region

Tom Kendo
Tom Kendo
Vice President
Northeast & Great Lakes Region
Dear Optimists of the Mighty Michigan District:

First Lady Jennifer and I are excited for the 2023-2024 Optimist Year and we are honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the Northeast and Great Lakes Region. I know that Governor Linda Thompson is very excited about her plans and goals she has established for growing your District this year.

Optimist International President Tracy Huxley is challenging every Optimist Club to engage all of their membership and every Optimist to bring out the best in themselves and help fellow members do the same. She is asking all of us to renew our commitment to Optimism, our Clubs, and our Districts and to step forward personally and make the effort by working on the growth of our Clubs and our District to serve the needs of more children.

We want to thank all of the Optimists in the Mighty Michigan District for everything you do for the youth and for your communities. Each of us makes a difference in our communities and in the lives of the children. Share your Optimist pride and your enthusiasm in your Club and with other members. Let’s reach out to everyone we know to help us meet the needs of all the children in our communities. Step forward and help Governor Linda Thompson as she and her team work hard to serve more children this year.

I am very excited to serve as your Optimist International Vice-President during this Optimist year and Jennifer and I are honored to be a part of your Optimist Team. We are looking forward to meeting with you and working with you throughout the year.

Choose Optimism!

Tom and Jennifer Kendo
Vice-President & First Lady,
Northeast & Great Lakes Region

President Optimist International

Linda Thompson
Tracey Huxley, President
Optimist International
What an honour it is to serve this 2023/2024 Optimist year as the 106th International President. I’ve spent 28 years as an Optimist with a capital “O”, making it my mission to give back to the club and organization that gave to me as a child.

I have been working alongside Governor Linda Thompson for some time now. Linda will continue to be the most up to date on new developments and focuses for the future of Optimist International. From a fresh direction on engaging our membership, developing new membership growth approaches, for our members and truly focusing on the 3rd pillar of our mission statement; your Governor and each member of your district plays an integral role in the future of our impact around the world.

“By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in youth, their communities and themselves.”

What are you doing to bring out the best in yourself and help fellow members to do the same?

Let’s make that the mission for 2023/2024, to take C.A.R.E. of our members. Imagine what could happen if we spent a little time making each other feel valued and heard! Make the plan to be educated on the C.A.R.E. retention program and conduct your club’s first ever C.A.R.E. program this year and plan to make it an annual focus. Our members, clubs, districts and Optimist International will be stronger and better for your efforts.

Optimist International is not this illusive group of people in St Louis, Missouri. Optimist International, “OI,” is each of us! Every decision, the direction of our future and the values of this organization, lays in the hands of each of us. Us, the members of our clubs, are OI. Together, only we, OI, can ensure the future is full of hope and positive vision for future generations. Let’s rally together and embrace the opportunity to approach things from a new direction and see where we can take this next century of service as Optimists, with capital O’s.

I look forward to serving alongside all the Optimists of all the countries within Optimist International. We have so many great talents and such incredible passion for Optimism. It’s our mission to bring out the best. Let’s do that, together.

Yours in Optimism,

Tracy Huxley
2023/2024 President
Optimist International

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Get in Touch. Get Involved.

The Michigan District is interested in hearing from you. Whether you’re a parent of a student, a teacher, a youth volunteer or even an Optimist looking for more information, please use the form below and someone from the Michigan District Optimists will contact you. Be as concise as possible in the Message area.

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