The year 2017 marks a significant milestone for the dedicated members of the Optimist Club of St. John’s. As volunteers, we are committed to the movement we know as Optimism. As Optimists, we achieved our many goals through collaborative efforts by bringing out the best in children, our communities and ourselves. As a club, we continue to work with young boys and girls throughout Antigua and Barbuda to keep optimism alive. We achieve this goal by conducting service projects and other activities.
For the past seven (7) years, we have been recognizing approximately fifty-five (55) young men between ages of 13 and 19 years at our Annual Distinguished Gentlemen Awards Ceremony. These young men are recognised for their achievements in Academic Excellence, Sports, Perseverance, Fine Arts and Service.
During the month of December, we spread love at Christmas. We hosted parties for the students at the Visual and Hearing Impaired Schools and also the Boy’s Training School. The Club has been hosting these parties since its inception. Our Optimist Petit Show was produced for the 25th time this year, under the theme “The World Is My Home” with special emphasis placed on migration. We worked with girls and boys between the ages of 9 to 11 years old, building their self confidence and talent over a three-month period. This is the Club’s major fund raising activity and for the 4th consecutive year, we secured title sponsorship from the ABI Insurance Company Ltd. We are indeed grateful for their support and the contributions of the other businesses whose contributions have made our show a resounding success over the years.
The Optimist Clubs of St. John’s through a joint venture with the Spirited Optimist Club of Wadadli hosted an Oratorical Competition on Saturday 25th March, 2017. The male winner, Mr. Reon King from the Antigua Grammar School and the female winner Ms. Adia Wynter from St. Anthony’s Secondary School represented the Clubs from Antigua at the Caribbean District contest in Jamaica. Good news! They represented us so well that they both walked away with the male and female winner plaques along with a scholarship for USD$2,500 each. Ms. Adia Wynter who was adjudged overall winner, went on to represent the Caribbean District in St. Louis, Missouri, and ranked second (2nd) in the world Optimist Oratorical Contest! She received scholarship awards totaling USD$17,500. I wish to encourage students to participate in these programmes when they present themselves.
As President, of the Optimist Club of St. John’s I can honestly say it was an exciting year. We are saddened by the onslaught of Hurricane Irma that devastated our Sister Island, but from the Club’s prospective we were able to assist in the relief efforts by donating and distributing care packages. Many thanks to the members of the Club who came out and offered their support, it meant a lot.
Other service projects & fund-raising activities conducted by the Optimist Club of St. John’s include:
Adorable Baby Contest
ABC – Always Buckle Children in back seat
Childhood Cancer Walk
Respect of Law
Youth Appreciation Projects
Kids Speak Out
Safety on Wheels
Coordinated hurricane relief drive for Grenada after Hurricane Ivan (2004) – The Club received the Optimist International overall winner for this project.
Painted classrooms in Barbuda after Hurricane Luis
Painted the library and donated books at The Adele School
Virtual tea parties
Through the various activities that we undertook in this Optimist Year and the past years; it is clear that optimism and volunteerism are still alive. Optimism is here to stay in Antigua and Barbuda and we believe that we are all better as a result.
Meetings are held each month, every 2ndand 4th Wednesday at 6:30 pm at Redcliffe Quay Holdings Conference Room on Redcliffe Street. Interested persons can contact the Optimist Club of St. John’s at firstname.lastname@example.org or President Alison V. Charles @ (268) 720-3304. •
ABI Insurance Optimist Petit winner
25th Anniversary Church Service
2nd Annual Virtual Tea Party
Cheque presentation by ABI Company Ltd.
Round-a-bout maintenance, All Saints Road
Optimist International Caribbean District Oratorical Winners