Salem Optimist Club

Bringing Out the Best in Kids Since 1948

What's New?

McKay High School Youth Appreciation!

The Optimist Club of Salem met with students, faculty, and guests from McKay High School on March 16th to present Youth Appreciation Awards to several McKay High School Seniors.  We enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Salem Keizer Career Technical Education Center (CTEC) and got to meet four outstanding students.

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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.

Our Projects

-COUNTRY Kids Relays (Co-Sponsored by COUNTRY Financial, City of Salem, and May Trucking)

Over 3000 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.

-Youth Appreciation

Where we recognize and reward outstanding achievements of local high school students in areas such as math and science, fine and performing arts, vocational technology, and community service. We've awarded dozens of kids and photos along with short write ups can be found on our Facebook Page.

-Oratorical and Essay Contests

Offering high school students opportunities to compete for scholarships. It gives young people the opportunity to write about their own opinions regarding the world in which they live. In additional to developing skills for written expression, participants also have the opportunity to win a college scholarship! 

-Easter Egg Hunt

Serving around 100 kids aged 1 - 10. Our Easter egg hunts are usually divided into four age divisions and take place at the Morningside United Methodist Church for free. Exact dates for future events can be found online at our Facebook Page.


We also make annual contributions to the YMCA, high school drug and alcohol-free graduation parties, D.A.R.E. and scholarships for kids to attend a variety of camps and competitions. We also provide volunteer help for the Awesome 3000 races.

Richmond Elementary School

The club partners 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 Info

Pacific Northwest - Salem Oregon

Charted on February 20, 1948

Our Current Club President is Bruce Gilbertson