Sewell installed as Optimist district governor

At the annual convention of the Georgia District of Optimist International, Hal Sewell of the Senoia Optimist Club was inducted as the district governor for the 2013-2014 administrative year that begins Oct. 1.

Sewell was initially nominated by the District’s Candidate Qualifications Committee, headed by Mark Shriver. Shriver, a member of the Woodstock Midday and the Woodstock-Towne Lake Optimist Clubs, is a past president of the entire Optimist International organization which has its headquarters in St. Louis, Illinois.

The induction was performed at the district convention by current Optimist International Vice-President Richard Highland from Charlotte, North Carolina.

In his acceptance speech, Sewell explained how he and good friend, the late Jim Nations, became Optimists when they helped to charter the local Senoia club in 1985. He also discussed some of the Optimist leadership roles he has held over the years including serving as president of the Senoia club on more than one occasion, and in serving as lieutenant governor on two different years.

In the 2012-2013 administrative year, he served as the Georgia District membership chair. During that year, the district enjoyed a growth in overall membership. “I was fortunate to be part of several teams that were successful — not because of things that I did by myself, but because of what everyone accomplished working together. We had a number of folks on our team who were willing and able to serve – and they did,” said Sewell.

“Just as many people were involved in the past during those years when I was club president or lieutenant governor, many people will be involved during my term as governor of the District,” Sewell continued. Each officer within the state, including the presidents of each Optimist Club, cannot accomplish the needed results of service to the youth by themselves, he said. “There are currently about 1,700 Optimists in our District plus Optimists throughout Optimist International who are willing to help you — this includes me. There are also talented resources at our organization's home office in St. Louis.”

Sewell also told the crowd at the installation banquet that he looked to them in the coming year to “increase their personal growth, to bring in new club members, and to help sponsor new Optimist Clubs.” All of these actions will result in serving more youngsters and better serving Optimist members’ communities all over the state of Georgia, he said.

Sewell said he has asked for help from all of the Georgia District Optimists to continue to work together to bring out the best in kids.

Sewell and his wife, Vicki Chambless Sewell, have two grown children: Mandy Sewell Betts of Atlanta and James Sewell, Jr. of Athens. In addition to Optimist activities, Mr. and Mrs. Sewell are both active members of the Senoia United Methodist Church and the Senoia Area Historical Society. Hal also serves as treasurer of Clearwater Lake, Inc.

The motto of Optimist International is "Friend of Youth." Meeting the needs of young people in communities worldwide, Optimist Clubs have been “Bringing Out the Best in Kids” since 1919. Optimist Clubs conduct positive service projects aimed at providing a helping hand to youth.

To learn more about Optimist International, visit the organization’s website at www.optimist.org .



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