In the Great Falls Community, we support many programs! Some of the programs we have contributed to over the  years include:

Make-A-Wish Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Club, Shriner’s Shodaire Hospital Golf Tournament, the FAST Swim Team, Mini-Bolts Soccer team, My Student in Need, the NMS 8th-grade Orchestra travel to Spokane for a All NW performance, Rural Dynamics Youth Financial education program, Big Sky Taekwondo Booster Club, and more recently,  the Westside Orchard Garden and the GFPS Music Program, the latter of which is ongoing, and most recently support for Alliance for Youth and for Montana Youth Transitions, the former doing phenomenal work with at-risk youth, and the latter targeting youth with disabilities and their transition to adulthood.

We also have some National programs through Optimist International tin which we participate.

Youth Clubs (JOOI)

Home to the world’s most dynamic coalition of youth volunteers, the members of JOOI live by the motto of “kids helping kids.” JOOI is recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and offers three different age groups: Alpha Clubs (elementary), Junior Clubs (middle school) and Octagon Clubs (high school). To learn more, click here.

The Optimist Club of Great Falls sponsored the DOWNRIGHT JOOI CLUB of Great Falls from 2010-2017, a Junior Club designed for Middle School students, actively in fundraising for the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life program among others. The club was deactivated in the fall of 2017 due to lack of interest among newer members in participating in community activities, which was its main purpose.

JOOI members represent the times well by making their communities better – one service project at a time. With more than 15,000 members in more than 500 communities, JOOI members are constantly working to promote positive change in their communities. If you are currently a JOOI member, enjoy the site. If you are not … join the revolution.

We are currently beginning work to sponsor another JOI (the name has been changed, it’s not a misspelling) club with a, or a few, specific purpose or purposes.

Scholarship Contests

Optimist International sponsors three scholarship contests for students to earn money to pursue opportunities in higher education: the Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH), the Essay Contest and the Oratorical Contest. The contests are conducted at the Club level, then Zone and Regional (if necessary) and at the District level. District-level scholarships are funded by the Optimist International Foundations and awarded by Optimist International.

Essay Contest
This contest requires students under 18 as of October 1, 2015 and who are educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean to compose a 700- to 800-word essay around a central idea. The contest is designed to develop writing and critical thinking skills. One scholarship of $2,500 per District is awarded by Optimist International each year. For more information, click here.

Oratorical Contest
The Oratorical Contest is open to students under 18 as of October 1, 2015 and who are educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. Students are required to prepare a 4- to 5-minute speech on a pre-assigned topic. This contest is designed to assist youth in gaining public speaking experience and provide them with an opportunity to compete for a scholarship. For more information, click here.  Please watch for upcoming details after the first of the year for the 2016 Scholarship opportunities.

Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Students who are certified to have a hearing loss of 40 decibels or more may compete in this contest designed to help them develop the skills and confidence to present in sign or orally to an audience. For more information, click here.