New Orleans – GSOI Convention Julie Golden

Two weeks ago I was on a road trip to New Orleans with some wonderful fellow GS Optimist club members to be a part of the annual Optimist International convention. I’ve been to several professional conventions and was very curious to see how this one would be conducted. Out of the five of us, only two had ever attended an OI convention. As we crossed the southern states between South Carolina and Louisiana the radio was never turned on, instead we discussed programs and projects we had been working on with our club.  Upon entering New Orleans, I wondered how a convention of volunteers would differ from the others and I am so glad to be able to say that it was an incredible experience. As first timers, the three of us were welcomed with open arms, we had our own session where convention procedures were explained to us the morning of the first official day, and we were given all the tools needed to make our weekend an opportunity to learn and grow as Optimists. The remainder of the sessions centered around spreading optimism, adding and keeping members, rejuvenating our clubs with current social media, reviewing and voting for changes in our bylaws, etc… The topics are too many to mention in this newsletter and the presenters were specifically trained in their area of expertise. On our ride back to South Carolina, Tom, our president, asked each of us what our impressions were of the convention and the sessions we attended. Suffice it say, I never found out if the radio actually worked in that rental van, we brainstormed new ideas, new programs, and the general theme centered around ways to keep our club growing and ultimately reaching more children in need. I hope more of us can attend district and/or international conventions, it certainly puts our purpose in perspective. I’m very appreciative of having had this opportunity and am excited in being a part of making our club as great as it can be.

Children’s Recovery Center Items Needed

Relatively healthy (dry storage) snacks for kids that spend half a day at the center. Items should be packaged in a serving size.

Microwave Mac & Cheese

Nutella with Pretzel Sticks

Fruit Snacks


Crackers (any type)

Granola Bars

Small Bottles of Water

Baked Chips (any kind)

Regular Chios (any kind)

Juice Boxes





Fostering Hope Needed Items

School Supplies – NEEDED SOON

Yellow Highlighters

Kid Scissors

Rulers (with metric & inches)

Black Pens

Folders (tabs & pockets)

College Ruled Paper

Other Needed Items

Girls Clothes (sizes 7-16, especially 7 & 8)

Boys Clothes (sizes 5-8)

Girls Sneakers (size 1)

Coats (all sizes)

Large Book Bags (if used, please wash)










New Member Spotlight – Shannon Furtick


Are you from this area? If not, where did you move from?

I was born in Durham, NC and moved to Myrtle Beach when I was 16 years old.  Even though I was born and raised in Durham I am huge Tar Heel fan!

Tell us about your family: how long you’ve been married, what his name is and the name and age of your sweet child.

I have been married to my best friend Barrett Furtick for 3 years.  We have an adorable son Gabriel Furtick who is 8 months old.  We also have two dogs Maxx a yorkie and a lab, Dakota.

Where you work and what your title or responsibilities are at work?

I am the Membership Retention & Services Manager for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.  I am responsible for managing the chamber’s services and customer service program for members, with the ultimate goal being membership retention and growth. I have been with the chamber for seven and half years.

Favorite hobbies?

I love spending time with my son and husband, going to the beach, and grilling out with family and friends.

Your fondest memory is?

Having my son, Gabriel..  He has changed my life in so many positive ways.

Who sponsored you in joining the GS Optimist Club? How do you know her?

Bobbei Seay Ruswinckel got me involved with the Grand Strand Optimist Club.  Bobbei and I have been friends for many years.

What do you hope to gain from joining our club?

I look forward to workings with local children charities and helping the community.

Do you belong to any other clubs?

I don’t belong to any other clubs but do a lot with my church, Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church in Pawleys Island.  I am the chair for Tastes at Pawleys annual food festival raising money for Father Pat’s Lunch Kitchen providing meals to the hungry in our community.


Non-Financial Musings from a Financial Advisor


A long-November’s nap

No matter how hard we try to deny it, there are only 24 hours in a day. And once you’ve dedicated most of those to making that important deadline, spending time with family and friends, and maybe squeezing in a hobby, there aren’t many hours left over for that little thing called “sleep.” If the sleep debt you’ve accrued could make an insomniac shake in his slippers, then it’s time to take advantage of National Sleep Comfort Month this November.

Sure, with the holiday season right around the corner, making time for more sleep can seem downright impossible. But if you can get seven or eight hours of sleep each night, you’ll start to see benefits you’ve only dreamed of. Here are a few things your more rested self can expect to see:

  • Better mood – If your family knows not to speak to you before the third cup of coffee, this one’s for you. Adequate sleep can make rising with the sun a little bit easier to handle.
  • Better memory – Ever lost your keys and then found them in the fridge? Forgot to wish your best friend happy birthday? Being forgetful isn’t just caused by getting older; sleep plays a huge part as well.
  • Better immunity – If you hate the way tissues make your nose raw or being unable to taste your food, then sleep may be the answer. Getting enough sleep every day can do a lot to keep the doctor away (that apple they recommend can’t hurt either).
  • Healthy appearance – Dark under-eye circles and a poor complexion are two of the ways minimal sleep takes a toll on your appearance. Sure, the “vampire” look has been all the rage the past few years, but characters in fiction novels tend to pull it off better than we can.
  • Lower stress – OK, so it’s not a weeklong vacation in a tropical locale, but sleep can be (almost) as restorative. If you can’t commit to a full eight hours each night, then start small, with a nap. That delicious two-hour break can make you feel like a whole new person. Kids may fight it but most grownups will cherish the time.

As the end of the year approaches, I wish you and your loved ones restful nights and the happiest of days.

 Article Courtesy of Optimist Member

Michael Duff