Optimist Club of Salem

Bringing Out the Best in Kids Since 1948

What's New?

Celebrating Sprague and West Salem High School Students!

On April 18th , members of the Optimist Club of Salem met with students, faculty and student family members for the final Youth Appreciation luncheon of the 2023-2024 school year.  After another delicious meal prepared by Career Technical Education Center Culinary Arts students, we got to hear about and from six outstanding students from Sprague and West Salem High Schools and present them with the Optimist Club’s Youth Appreciation awards.  Our club wants to thank all the schools that participated in this year’s Youth Appreciation Program and especially thank all the students that were honored this year for being such outstanding representatives for their schools.  

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Salem Optimist Club Logo

What are We About?

The Optimist Club of Salem is one of over 2500 Optimist International (OI) service clubs worldwide. OI conducts more than 65,000 service projects, and spends over $78 million annually to benefit youth in their communities. Since its inception in 1948, the Salem club has been actively involved in scores of community projects which benefit thousands of kids every year.

-Salem Kids Relays (Co-Sponsored by COUNTRY Financial, City of Salem, Doty Pruett Wilson PC Certified Public Accountants, Green Acres Landscape, Dutch Bros Coffee)

Over 1,500 elementary school participants have fun at this track and field event and it's a joy for all involved. More Information can be found at their Facebook Page and pictures can be found on our photo gallery page

-Youth Appreciation

For over 30 years our club has been recognizing local high school students for their accomplisments in areas such as math and science, fine and performing arts, vocational technology,  community service and academics.  Over these years we have had the privilege to present awards to over 1,000 very deserving students and in return have received a renewed sense of "Optimism".  See our Youth Appreciation page for pictures and information about some of our recent award recepients.

-Easter Egg Hunt

Serving around 100 kids aged 1 - 10 (check out pictures on our photo gallery page)

Our Projects


We also make annual contributions to the YMCA, high school drug and alcohol-free graduation parties,  and scholarships for kids to attend a variety of camps and competitions. 

Richmond Elementary School

Our club has partnered with this community school to provide rewards for student achievement. Quarterly award receptions for students and families provide opportunity to celebrate student accomplishments. 

Richmond Elementary (2020-2021)

The club was pleased to present the Optimist Award to fourteen students at Richmond Elementary School during the 2020-2021 school year. Students nominated for following rules, doing the best they are able, helping others, and spreading cheer are recognized at school assemblies with an award certificate and a gift card for a small treat. We are so happy to partner with counselor Willow Snow-Ferris and the rest of the school staff to celebrate these Richmond good citizens.

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself...

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. 

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet. 

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. 

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. 

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. 

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. 

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. 

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. 

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. 

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Club Information

Pacific Northwest - Salem Oregon

Charted on February 20, 1948

Our Current Club President is Paul Negstad