The first Optimist Club on record was the Optimist Club of Buffalo, New York organized in 1911.
The International Optimist Club, as the forerunner to Optimist International as it was known, became a recognizable entity at the first annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky on June 19, 1919 and is considered the ‘birth date’ of the organization.
In 1922, Optimist’s adopted the creed that is used today and two years later
“Friend of the Boy” became the motto of Optimist International. Through the years the motto has changed and today it is known as “Bringing Out the Best In Kids”. In 1988 the first women were inducted into the local clubs of the organization. Today, with more than 120,000 active members and 3800 clubs throughout the world, the organization is building toward a bright and better future.
THE PURPOSE OF OPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL IS:
To develop Optimism as a philosophy of life utilizing the tenets of the Optimist Creed. To promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs. To inspire respect for law. To promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people. To aid and encourage the development of youth in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world.