We are almost 3,000 strong and we will not be stopped! As Optimists, we are “so strong that nothing can disturb our peace of mind” and we practice “pressing on to the greater achievements.” In this challenge that no one could have anticipated, our mettle has been tested, but we are 101 years strong and we will survive! We can even say we have learned some new ways of being. My family had an Easter gathering by Zoom with over 40 participants. Technology has become our friend, even if we were determined not to embrace it. Our clubs are meeting by Zoom as well as other platforms. I can see evidence that we have embraced EACH ONE REACH ONE. We can still plan to serve our communities because we have figured out ways to stay connected.

While we may be worrying about catching COVID-19, falling paychecks, needing a job or losing a home and we have missed our loved ones, graduations, and having the certainty of good health, we also know that we live with a lot more knowledge than many others in history and we will get through this. Unfortunately, some have experienced more loss than others, so we grieve with them and commit to continuing to support them through their grief, especially in the southeast part of the District.

International President Adrian Elcock asked us to embrace his STAR model which includes Service, Training, Administration, and Recognition. Many of our clubs are serving their communities in highly creative ways. Training will soon roll out to every member, but especially officers, with our new Learning Management System. Administrative activities have been strong, partly facilitated by electronic meetings to look at possible zone realignment, a policy review, and an updated Long-Range Plan that will be introduced at the Convention. But the Convention is where we will really celebrate with a Speakeasy and a big emphasis on Recognition.

Yes, the pandemic is a big deal. But we are also a BIG DEAL! Let us celebrate who we are and remember we have many more big deals to celebrate in our future. We have many choices about how we respond to the COVID-19 crisis. This graphic demonstrates 3 choices we can make in this crisis challenge.

 

Pamela Barckholtz

Michigan Distrist Governor

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