Central Ontario District #47

Optimist Clubs

facebook-badge.jpgemail-icon-sm.pngwww.cenon.org > Home

Your Team

Governor 2015-2016
Steve Gardonyi

Secretary Treasurer
Denise Nacev




Club Links


District Secretary:
Denise Nacev

3005 Headon Forest

Burlington, ON L7M 3Y2

H: 905-332-7798 



Central Ontario District #47 is an administrative division of Optimist International within geographical boundaries established by Optimist International.

District Awards Luncheon, Conference & Workshops, Feb 5-6

Holiday Inn Toronto Airport East, 600 Dixon Road, Toronto ON, M9W 1J1

Hotel: 416-240-7511 | Fax: 416-240-0951 – Book online today!
Rooms are $109.00 includes parking, internet, use of business centre, pool & Fitness centre

24 hour Perkins attached.  Rooms are all newly renovated and meeting space is excellent and handicap accessible.

Registration is as always:  $20.00 in advance $30.00 at the door

Registration Form pdf-icon.gif Now Open!

Agenda Package  pdf-icon.gif  Download now. (Minutes and financials on the Administration page.



President's Breakout

Meet with Governor Steve as he builds on your club’s success for inviting new and club invigorating members, outreach program for neighbouring communities and the rewards for being in the right place at the right time.


NOW is the Time to Inspire New Optimists and Community Action

Tony Edge will walk you through the steps to an successful New Optimist Welcome (NOW) event to show you how easy it is to inspire more members to do more for your community.

Build Your Marketing Toolkit

Special presentation by marketing giant Constant Contact who will help you develop a marketing strategy for your club using tool you may already have in action. Learn the most effective way to use them to your advantage. (no charge)


Personal Growth & Involvement

Learn the rewards of becoming a better Optimist in service to your community as you are recognized for your constant improvement. Set up a personal strategy or program for your club, and create a new reason to meet with your favourite fellow Optimists.


Catch a Rising Star – Join the District Team to Better Optimism Everywhere

The 7 Most Common Mistakes of Email Communication

Learn firsthand what will be expected of you if you join the District Team, positions available, timing for training, Zone meetings, etc. Learn what tools you’ll need to prepare you for your District position and the rewards that come from expanding your Optimism. 

Learn how to get people to open your emails, read and take action with this strategic workshop on what works and what to avoid. Learn how to measure the results. Presented by Constant Contact. (free admission)

Club Marketing Workshops – Highlight of District Meeting

Join us on Saturday February 6th for these two workshops at Holiday Inn, 600 Dixon Rd Toronto:
Join Javed S. Khan for this fast, info-packed session with tips, techniques and tools to help you navigate the do’s and the don’ts for your own Optimist Club email marketing.


Build Your Marketing Toolkit: Create a Digital Strategy for Your Optimist Club

This workshop will walk through the process of creating your full digital marketing strategy.

Bring your club challenges and receive specific feedback and tips on how to solve them, as well as leave with immediately executable plans. You will learn, share, and get actionable solutions.
Javed S. Khan will focus on marketing strategy & planning, promotion, social media, and email marketing, among other marketing areas.
You will learn:

  • How to create and manage a campaign for 2016 (it’s easier than you might think!)
  • How to leverage social media to engage new and existing members & your community.
  • Best ways to drive response from your emails and social posts.
  • Easy strategies to keep your offers looking good on a cell phone or tablet.
  • Create a simple playbook to plan your marketing activities all season long.
  • Most importantly, how to measure your results to get more out of your effort along the way.


Look Great in the Inbox: The 7 Don’ts of Email Design

First impressions matter – how are YOU doing with your emails?
This session will help your Optimist Club avoid common mistakes and maximize your emails for powerful impact!
You will learn:

  • How placement, pictures, even colors can reinforce recognition & engagement
  • Readability – including fonts, white space and single-column design
  • Images – including sizing, placement, links and more
  • Share-ability – are you going social with your email? Easy tips to encourage more cross-platform engagement.


Hamilton Optimist Club 6th Spring Dinner & Dance

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, St. Naum’s Church Hall, 1150 Stone Church Rd. East, Hamilton, On. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.

5pm - 6 pm: Antipasto - Prosciutto, Melon, Bocconcini, Olives, Bruschetta, Eggplant & Marinated Mushrooms etc.

Music by D.J. / Prizes

Tickets: $ 40.00 per person

Dinner at 6:30 pm Roast Beef and Breaded Chicken with Roast, Potatoes and Vegetables, Penne with Red meat Sauce, Coffee and Tea, Late Night Buffet: Coffee, Tea, Assorted Pastries & Cake

For More Info. and Tickets Please Contact : Opt. Joseph Vizzari 905-388-8371 or Opt. Laszlo Gauder, 905-575-0761 or e-mail laszlogauder@sympatico.ca


Oratorical Scholarship Contest Kicks Off Now   

Subject:  "How My Best Brings Out the Best in Others."  This year’s District contest will be held at the 3rd Quarter Board in Kingston on Saturday, May 7th, 2016.  The winner from the CENON District will have the opportunity to go to Optimist Oratorical World Championships in St. Louis in June, 2016.

For those of you that are not familiar with this contest, the Oratorical Contest is open to students under 18 as of October 1, 2015.  Students are required to prepare a 4- to 5-minute speech on the topic mentioned above.  This contest is designed to assist youth in gaining public speaking experience and provide them with an opportunity to compete for a scholarship.

Lt. Governors, if you have not already...please reach out to your Clubs in your Zone to see if any of them will be holding Oratorical Contests.  You should be hosting your Zone Contest (with your Club winners) on or before Thursday, April 14th.

Club Presidents, if you are planning on hosting an Oratorical Contest this year, please let your Lt. Governor know and you should be hosting your Club Contest prior to your 3rd Quarter Zone meeting.

For more information please visit http://www.optimist.org/e/member/scholarships4.cfm and to obtain the club planning guide, please visit http://www.optimist.org/Documents/Oratorical_Club_Chair_15-16.pdf

Please let me know if you have any questions, or need any assistance. 

Yours In Optimism, Marijke Coffa, Oratorical Chair, 2015-16, 905-634-7928


Essay Scholarship Contest Club Entry Deadline Feb 28   

Essay Competition for the 2015 - 2016 Optimist Year your winning entry (1 only per club please!) is due on or before February 28, 2016.  Details on the contest can always be found online at http://www.optimist.org/e/member/scholarships3.cfm 

To submit your entry please:

Re-attach the cover page of the winning essay and send it to District Chair Michelle with the following items:

  • Completed District Essay Contest Entry Form (pg12) 
  • Copy of Birth Certificate or Passport (will be required for District Winner to be awarded scholarship)
  • Copy of Essay

Please do not send the Club’s winning essay to Optimist International! Sending the essay and paperwork to the wrong person could accidentally cause the essay to miss being judged at the District level.

Please send your packages (scanned copies are accepted!) to optimist.michelle@outlook.com

or by mail to: Optimist Michelle Stokes, 22 Lyton Cres, Stoney Creek, ON L8J 2C9


Happy New Year my fellow Optimists!   

2016 has arrived and is already a few days old It’s time to GO! This is the time to make new plans, get current ones moving again, and perhaps revive a few that lost some traction over the past few months.

Winter has just started to materialize, and we are approaching the time where many prefer to just cocoon and wait for spring to arrive. Some want to avoid the inclement weather, whilst others are affected by lack of sunlight. There is also a very large portion of us that feel slightly saddened by the end of the holidays, family and friends travelling back to their daily routines, and coming to accept once again the dreaded five day work week.  This is the time when I feel the strongest need to reach out to my Optimist family!  January is the perfect time to ask new people to join our Family, and introduce them to the exceptional work that we do for children and our communities! January is equally the right time to contact current members that we have not seen in a while, and let them know how valued and needed they are to us.

I would like to ask each club to organize and host a NOW Meeting in the next two months.  Let’s get the help we need to start afresh and continue the needed programs that serve children.  Our district is blessed with having the largest growth team ever assembled, and they are always available to help you: all you have to do is ask!   Together, we as Optimists are unstoppable, so let us make the most of new beginnings, and reach unprecedented growth!

I sincerely hope that each of you were able to spend ample time with those who matter the most to you during the holidays.  The world was very kind to the Gardonyi family, bringing us all under one roof for almost two weeks. Happy New Year to all of you!

Yours In Optimism, Governor Steve


Follow us on Facebook

Our Facebook page has been growing in popularity due to the large number of posts every day by dedicated Optimist members. Visit and “like us” in order to see updated pictures, events and exciting moments of clubs in our district.


steve_gardonyi_226x405.jpgMoving Forward Together Into the New Optimist Year

Happy Optimist New Year!    It has been my absolute pleasure traveling around meeting and speaking with so many of you this year. The work that Optimist clubs are doing for children throughout our Central Ontario District is nothing short of amazing. The friendship and fellowship I observed and was lucky enough to be the recipient of keeps a smile on my face. Thank you for all that you do!

The lesson I learned this past year is that when Optimists all work together, nothing is impossible. It was the inspiration for this year’s theme of Moving Forward Together….Right Here, Right Now!  During serious discussions about challenges facing clubs, the words, “if we just had more people, we could do so much more,” seemed to echo from Optimist meeting rooms everywhere.  

This year we are going to start putting an end to that recurring conversation.  In the next twelve months Central Ontario District is going to embark on the most aggressive growth surge strategy attempted in our modern era of optimism.  Our world has changed so much in the past two decades. Success is going to require the participation of all of our members to pull this off.   The wisdom and experience of our most seasoned veterans, the technological and social media skills of our very young and everyone in between.  

Thanks to all of you, we are starting this surge with 1500+ members and 58 clubs.  An attainable goal for next year at this time would be 1750 members with 65 clubs.  WE really can do this if we work together! 

Putting numbers out there without making some people feel like they are being reduced to being just a “number” is difficult.  Please read a little more while I list some more. Each Optimist serves an average of 35 children. 1500 X 35=52,500 children currently being helped by us.   1750 X 35=61,250 children being helped by us.   That is an increase of 8,750 children.  These are numbers worth being part of!!

Nothing is impossible when Optimist work together.  Everyone is going to be part of the plan, everyone is going to be part of the solution.  We are going to start MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER and the time and place to start is RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!

Yours In Optimism,

Governor Steve Gardonyi, 2015-2016

Distinguished District Status, We Did It Together!

Good afternoon Optimists of CENON District,

Another year has come and gone. I can’t believe it’s over. It just seems like yesterday that I was writing my first address to everyone and saying what I, as your Governor, hoped our year would bring. What I had hoped for and more has happened! I have everyone of you to thank for that. We as a District worked hard for the betterment of the youth in our communities.

My 2014 –2015 team did a great job at helping make that reality come true. We built a New Club in Haldimand with 25 charter members thanks to my New Club Building Chair. We added over 200 NEW Sandra Stokes.jpgOPTIMIST MEMBERS to the CENON district. We also lost a fair amount, but I see this as a positive thing. Our new members bring with them new ideas and the enthusiasm that we all can remember we had when we joined. Let’s remember to engage and retain these members by making them feel a useful part of the club .

This year we had learning sessions at our quarter boards and conference, which was a little different then we were used to doing. These sessions brought out a higher number of members and engaged them again to make things interesting in their clubs meetings. I want to congratulate clubs on bringing in members - some clubs brought in record numbers and have built a ‘new club’ within their own club.

I am excited to announce that Central Ontario District is once again a DISTINGUISHED DISTRICT!! I have been told this has only happened 4 times in CENON’s history. My hope is that moving forward we make this the ‘norm’ and continue being a distinguished district year after year.

I have had a busy and exciting year being your Governor and wouldn’t have changed a thing that I went through! (Don’t ask the Husband and Daughter who had to live with me and wishes they didn’t.)  I appreciated all of your support , suggestions, and your optimist love. You are the best.

Governor Steve, I leave this District in your hands to follow though this year with your Team. I wish you all the best in this year-long journey. Most of all, enjoy every minute because it’s over before you know it.

Immediate Past Governor

Sandra Stokes 2014-2015


FOEC_symbole.jpgCanadian Children’s Optimist Foundation update

This year's Foundation President, Lyle Merriam had challenged all 12 of the District Foundation Reps to raise $13.50 per member. This translated to a $20,000 objective for Central Ontario District. We are pleased to say that CENON donated $14.56 per member which was 4th place with a grand total of $21,838. (3rd. place). Thanks to all the members and clubs that made this possible. In particular Milton, Oakville and Strabane matched their previous donation in September to put us over the top!  Central Ontario District "Lit up the Way for Youth"!
Tom & Carilyn McNaught, District Foundation Rep.'s  2014-15  Link to report

Central Ontario District Oratorical Contest Winner 2014-15
The topic of "How My Optimism Will Help Me Press on to Greater Achievement of the Future"
was well presented by the following students:
First Place winner was Anujan Raveenthiran sponsored by the Optimist Club of Brampton.
Second Place winner was Ilker Hadzhalaran sponsored by the Optimist Club of Oakville.
Third Place winner was Sophia Lacey sponsored by the Optimist Club of Lancaster
Congratulation to all the contestants form the District contest.
Oratorical Chairperson, Susan Montgomery  

Central Ontario District Essay Contest Winner 2014-15
The topic of “Optimism Should be a Priority” was well presented by the following students:

First Place winner was Anujan Raveenthiran sponsored by the Optimist Club of Brampton.

Second Place winner was Dasha Metropolitansky sponsored by the Optimist Club of Oakville.

Third Place winner was Rose Bredin sponsored by the Optimist Club of Collingwood.

Congratulations to all the contestants from the District contest.

Essay Chairperson and Past Governor, Terry Twocock

District Golf: Ty Wadsworth, 18, of Oshawa, Shot 77 to win, goes to the Optimist International Championships in Florida

On a sunny day, thirty-nine (39) young golfers competed in the Annual Optimist Central Ontario District Junior Qualifying Golf Tournament held Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Caledon Country Club, hosted by the Optimist Club of Brampton.

Ty Wadsworth, 18, of Oshawa was the 16-18 year old winner and qualified for an all-expense paid trip to the International Optimist Junior Golf Championships in Florida this July.  Nolan VanKalckreuth, 17, of Fort Erie, and Ryan Page, 15, of Whitby both shot 80 to finish in a close tie for second.  

The winner in the 14-15 age group for the second consecutive year was Mathew Wake, 15, of Ennismore with a score of 79. Mathew also qualified to compete in Florida. Second place was won by 14 year old Brendan Dunphy of Whitby with a score of 81.

In the 12-13 age group, the trophy was claimed for the second consecutive year by 13 year old Bavake Sihota of Caledon with a score of 77.  Bavake will advance to Florida. Second place was taken by 12 year old Connor Munro of Etobicoke with a score of 84.

In the 10-11 age group the winner was 11 year old Peter Blazevic with an amazing score of 79.

Sonia Nagindas,17, of Aurora shot 82 to win the 15-18 girls category. Sonia also qualified for Florida.

The following seven golfers qualified to advance to the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships held at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida July 16 – 31, 2015:


Ty Wadsworth - 18  - District  Winner  (16-18)

Mathew Wake   -15  -  District  Winner (14-15)

Brendan Dunphy- 14-  Runner-up (14-15)

Bavake Sihota   -13 -   District Winner (12-13)

Connor Munro   -12   -  Runner-up  (12-13)

Peter Blazevic   -11 -   District Winner (10-11)

Sonia Nagindas  -17 -  District  Winner  (15-18 Girls)


All the above golfers also qualified to play in the Optimist Canadian National Junior Golf Championships to be held in London, Ontario at Fanshawe Golf Club on August 10 - 12, 2015.

Thanks to our Optimist volunteers who marshaled the tournament –Wilson Bedford, Jim Lynge, Ted Simmonds, and Don Staddon. Scorekeeper was Optimist Janet Lewis of Brampton.

Next year’s District Qualifier will be tentatively held on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at Caledon Country Club, Inglewood, Ontario.

Dennis Kwasnicki, District Golf Chair, Tel: (519) 855-6660

Childhood Cancer Campaign Update, Aug 2015

Thanks to everyone for the great response to our collection of nickels and change this year.

At our recent convention in Burlington the following clubs responded with coin donations:

Ancaster – 22.65

Brooklin – 7.85

Newmarket – 107.00

Spencerville – 82.75

Richmond Hill – 104.70

We also received a cheque for $500.00 from Garden City. Many thanks to any other clubs who have contributed directly or in memory of someone. All of these funds have been forwarded to the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation.  These funds are used to assist in the Matching Grant Program for the Childhood Cancer Campaign. If your club has not had the opportunity to participate in this worthwhile cause, please send your donation either to myself or CCOF in Montreal.  I would appreciate knowing if your club makes a donation so I can track the amount of district will have contributed this Optimist year.

Being a person with cancer and experiencing the treatments and all of the side effects associated, I must say that I cannot fathom the strength of children going through this disease.  I have so much admiration for them and their families. Just remember, every little bit helps.

Yours in Optimism, Annette Cowan, CCC District Chair





Optimist Insurance Now Under Canadian Administration

Good news, we now have insurance coverage customized to the needs of the Canadian Clubs. We have concluded a final agreement to provide Club Liability Coverage in Canada with Univesta as of May 1st, 2012. This is a Canadian program specifically for non-profit organizations. In Canada, Clubs have additional coverage of Abuse & Molestation, and Directors and Officers liability "INCLUDED" in the general policy with UNIVESTA

The Summary of insurance is effective May 1st. If you need a Certificate of Insurance,

Click here to download the form to fill and to send to Univesta at the address indicated at the bottom of the form.

Read the Optimist International Insurance pamphlet handed out at the convention.

Read through or print the Insurance Workshop slides shown at the convention.


2015-16 District Meetings & Workshop Dates


District Training Workshops and Meetings, Niagara Falls Optimist Club, Nov 13-14, 2015


District Training Workshops and Annual Awards Luncheon, Holiday Inn Toronto Airport East, 600 Dixon Rd, Toronto Feb 5-6, 2016

Regional Leadership Summit,
Niagara Falls, April 30, 2016


District Training Workshops, Oratorical Contest, and Fellowship, Ambassador Inn & Conference Centre, 1550 Princess St, Kingston, May 6-7, 2016

International Convention, Hilton Quebec City, June 30 - July 2, 2016


District Convention, Club Officer Training & Governor’s Dinner, Milton, August 12-14, 2016.