Saturday, December 18, 2010

Scouts and Guides Enoy Breakfast with Santa

The Coquitlam Optimist Club treated about 160 younger members of the Scouting and Guiding organizations to a Pancake Breakfast with Santa. Beavers, Cubs, Sparks, Brownies and their families enjoyed food, fellowship, balloon animals and, of course, the obligatory visit from the Man in Red. The admission price was a donation the the Share Food Bank. The event garnered 245 lbs. of food that will help to fill Christmas hampers.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Youth Appreciation Week Events Encourage Positive Contributions

The Coquitlam Optimist Club’s annual Youth Appreciation Week event on November 11 raised over $7000 for youth groups and netted 425 lb. of food for Share’s Food Bank. The Youth Appreciation Week celebration consists of two events, the Walk for Youth and the Free Skate. Ten organizations, ranging from sports to arts to community service groups, participated in the Walk for Youth. Each group raised from a few hundred dollars to over $1700 to support their activities. For the Free Skate the Optimist Club rented the skating rink at Coqutlam’s new Poirier Sports Complex and invited children from the Tri-Cities to two hours of skating at no charge. Skaters were asked to bring a donation for the Food Bank. In this way the Optimist Club encourages young people to help themselves and aid the less fortunate. At the same time Optimists recognize the positive contributions of our youth. (See more photographs of this event on the Coquitlam Optimist Club's Facebook page.)

Cheques were presented at an Optimist Club dinner meeting, where adult sponsors described the purpose and activities of their youth organizations. The Cloverdale Junior Curlers won the draw and received a grant from the Optimist Club to match the funds they had raised.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Optimist Free Skate - November 11

Come to the annual Optimist Free Skate on November 11. The event will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 PM at the Poirier Sports & Leisure Complex (Coquitlam Rec Center), 633 Poirier Street, Coquitlam, BC. Admission and skate rentals are free, but participants are encouraged to donate a non-perishable item for the Food Bank. The event is one way the Coquitlam Optimsit Club recognizes the good things that the young people of our community do.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Earn Money for Youth Groups

SPORTS TEAMS, SCHOOL GROUPS/PAC COMMITTEES, YOUTH ACTIVITY GROUPS: Do you want an easy way for your group to earn money?

Join the Optimist Walk for Youth

ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS WALK 5K … and collect pledges.

We look after all the event management, signage, promotion, advance/walk day registration and refreshments. Your group takes home 75% of the money you raise. Plus we’ll hold a bonus draw and match 100% of the winning group’s pledges up to $1000.

The 25% we keep covers our costs. Any balance that remains we put back into the community through our many Optimist programs such as scholarships, essay and oratorical contests, “Opti-bears” (teddy bears for children in crisis) and support for groups like yours. Everyone benefits!

WHEN: November 11, 2010
Registration at 12 Noon
Walk begins at 1:00 PM
WHERE: Coquitlam Recreation Center

To Register phone: 604 936 3649 (Rick Todd at Grapes 4U) or Email:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Optimist Club Awards 2010 Scholarships

The Coquitlam Optimist Club has presented Robert Simms Memorial Scholarships to ten 2010 graduates of Tri-Cities secondary schools. The scholarship recipients and their schools are Dora Du and Magdalena Gradowski of Dr. Charles Best, John Oh and Shima Bakhtiary of Centennial, Claudia Lee of Gleneagle, Tamana Aurom of Riverside, Katherine Liu of Heritage Woods, Germain Bralic and Michael Wilson of Port Moody and Stephanie Toth of Archbishop Carney.

The $1,000 Robert Simms Memorial Scholarship is named in honour of a long-time School District 43 educator and counsellor, who was a charter member of the Coquitlam Optimist Club. The selection of scholarship recipients is based primarily on the students’ service to their schools and the wider community. In addition, the students’ academic records must demonstrate their ability to succeed at post-secondary studies.

The 2010 scholarship recipients have chosen a wide range of post-secondary institutions. Students attending schools in the British Columbia include Tamana Aurom (University of British Columbia); Shima Bakhtiary, Germain Bralic, Magdalena Gradowski and John Oh (Simon Fraser University); Stephanie Toth (Douglas College) and Michael Wilson (University of Victoria). Students attending universities elsewhere in Canada include Katherine Liu (McMaster University), Dora Du (McGill University) and Claudia Lee (University of Ottawa).

Students attending schools in the Lower Mainland received their scholarships at a dinner hosted by the Coquitlam Optimist Club on September 8, 2010. Parents received the scholarships on behalf of out-of-town students.

The Coquitlam Optimist Club has been “Bringing Out the Best in Kids” since 1977. For more information about the club’s activities contact

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Coquitlam Student Places Second in Optimist Pacific Northwest District Oratorical Contest

Selin Jessa, a student at Charles Best Senior Secondary, has won a $1500 scholarship in Optimist International’s Pacific Northwest District Oratorical Contest held in Newport, Oregon, on May 22.

Students from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia, advanced through three levels of competition to reach the district finals, where Selin placed second. Noel Lai of Vancouver, BC, placed first, winning a $2500 scholarship.

Selin was sponsored by the Coquitlam Optimist Club. She won the club’s Oratorical Contest, placed second in the Fraser Valley zone contest and first in the British Columbia regional competition on her way to the district finals.

The Optimist Oratorical Contest was open to students under the age of 16 as of December 31, 2009. Each contestant presented a 4-5 minute speech on the topic “Cyber Communication: Progress or Problem?”

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Oratorical Contest Winners Announced

Selin Jessa is the winner of the Coquitlam Optimist Club’s annual Oratorical Contest held on April 21. For her first place finish Selin received a $500 cash award. Joylyn Secunda placed second and received $250. Third-place winner Sherwyn D’Souza received $100.

On April 24, Selin and Joylyn competed in the Fraser Valley Zone Oratorical Contest, placing second and third, respectively. Selin and the zone winner from Abbotsford have advanced to compete in the Regional Oratorical Contest on May 2 against students from the Vancouver-Burnaby-North Shore-Victoria Zone. The first and second place winners from that contest will advance to the Pacific Northwest District finals with a chance to win a $2500 scholarship.

Pictured (left to right): Selin Jessa, Joylyn Secunda, Sherwyn D’Souza; (standing behind): Oratorical Chair Peter Smith

City Awards Grant for Floor Curling

The City of Coquitlam has awarded the Optimist Club a grant to purchase two sets of floor curling equipment for the benefit of children in the Tri-Cities. The club is still deciding how to develop a floor curling program but likely will make the equipment available to local schools.
According to Optimist Pacific Northwest District curling chair Al Kersey, as soon as you set out the floor curling equipment, it begins to attract kids. He demonstrated this attraction at the Fraser Valley Zone Oratorical Contest on April 24.

Optimist Club Sponsors Choral Festival

The Coquitlam Optimist Club is sponsoring the Coastal Sound International Choral Festival’s
“Synergy” festival of youth choirs. Club President Earl Pollock recently presented a cheque to the CSI Choral Festival board. Subsequently, board members David Spence and Donna Otto (pictured with Earl Pollock) visited an Optimist Club meeting for a formal thank-you.
The Synergy concert, which features four world class youth choirs, will be presented at 7:00 PM on May 1, 2010 at St. Andrews Wesley Church in Vancouver. For more information visit

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Optimists Present Junior Curling Awards

In March, Coquitlam Optimist Club members attended the wind-up banquet and awards presentations for the Optimist Junior Interclub Curling League, where Coquitlam and Abbotsford Optimist Club members help to present the year-end awards.
The Coquitlam Optimist Club and other Optimist Clubs of the Lower Mainland, British Columbia sponsor the Junior Interclub League, which provides competition for young curlers whose home clubs range from the Chilliwack Curling Club to the Squamish and Gibsons Curling Clubs in BC and the Seattle Granite Club in Washington State. For more information see the Optimist Junior Interclub Curling League website at

Friday, April 2, 2010

Optimists Announce Essay Contest Winners

Michael Nadolny, a grade 12 student at Pitt Meadows Secondary School, is the winner of the Coquitlam Optimist Club’s annual essay contest.

For his first place essay on the topic “The Internet: Today's Evolution or Tomorrow's Menace?” Michael received a cash award of $500. Jenny Tan, a grade 12 student at Killarney Secondary School, placed second and received $250. Her brother Andy Tan, a first year student at UBC, placed third and received $100.

Michael’s essay has been forwarded to Pacific Northwest District Essay Contest, where competitors sponsored by Optimist Clubs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia vie for a $2,500 college scholarship.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Optimist Club Offers Scholarships to Student Orators

The Coquitlam Optimist Club is offering $850 in prizes and an opportunity to win scholarships with values up to $2500 in Optimist International’s 2010 Oratorical Contest.

The Oratorical Contest is open to students under 16 years of age as of December 31, 2009. Contestants must give a 4-5 minute speech on the topic “Cyber Communication: Progress or Problem?”

The Coquitlam Optimist Club will award cash prizes of $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place. The first and second place winners will have the chance to advance through zone and regional oratorical contests. Regional winners will compete at the Pacific Northwest District contest with the opportunity to win a $2,500 college scholarship.

The Coquitlam Optimist Club’s Oratorical Contest will be held on April 21, 2010 at 7:00 PM (location to be announced). To enter, students must fill out an application form and submit it to the club by April 4, 2010. To receive the application form along with detailed contest rules and information on the contest location, e-mail us at

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Optimist Day at the Races Nets Over $400

On January 31, more than 60 Optimists and friends enjoyed a day at the harness races and raised $400+ to help fund Optimist programs. The organization even received a bit of publicity as the first race was named the Optimist Race - and shown as such in the program. Not a bad day when you can enjoy good fellowship, good food and at the same time be doing something to help kids!