Presidents Message

~~Hard to believe that a year has gone by already but this will be my last message as official President of our club.

It has been an interesting year to say the least.  We have had our ups and downs, but I think mostly ups (you can be the judge of that!).

Some of the highlights include:

• winning the 'Best Overall Float' in the Santa Claus parade
• an excellent first time 'Brunch With Santa'
• over 20,000 visitors to Christmas in the Park
• another awesome Optimist Christmas Dinner at the Barley Vine Rail Co. with featured guests the Campfire Poets
• successfully negotiating with the UGDSB and CVC for another year of the Maple Syrup Festival
• completion of an 'all member survey' to help set the future direction for the club
• an awesome wine pairing dinner with Pelee Island Winery
• our largest attended Optimist Bike Roadeo in many years
• we also had some great guest speakers including Neil Orford who gave us an incredible presentation of the 'Battlefields Tour'
• and I would be remiss in not mentioning the great meals served up by Maryjane Alconcel and her staff of la Courtoisie

We have also had and continue to work on a number of changes in the club this year:

• handing over the Jack Rabbits program to the Mono Nordic Ski Club for them to continue the tradition
• changing 'Breakfast With Santa' to 'Brunch With Santa' (with further changes pending!)
• the CVC taking over the Maple Syrup Festival in years to come due to a changing revenue model
• a funding grant from the town enabling us to build a new 1,200 sq. foot storage facility
• a bit of a different board structure for the 2015-16 year with emphasis on committee restructure and member engagement

All in all with the event changes we had and a change to the general structure of our meetings, I think the club is positioned to move ahead and try some new things to hopefully improve even more.
As a continued member of the board I will strive to continue to improve communication both internally and externally and will provide support wherever necessary.
I'd like to thank my other board members for their great support throughout the year, as well as all the members for chipping in when necessary to ensure our events were a success.
For those unable to attend our first 'dessert' meeting last week, Optimist Adrian announced that he will be assuming the meeting Presidential duties for the months of October and November with other
Past Presidents volunteering to do the same in the months to come to fulfill those duties.  I will continue to be the main point person from a communications perspective for the club both internally and
externally so anyone with questions or concerns can still contact myself on these matters.

I think that's about all.  I hope to see some 'unfamiliar' faces at meetings this year so if you haven't been to a meeting in a while please make an attempt to do so!

YIO,  Past President Harry.