This book began with a man and a book.

Don Salverda, the founder and first president of our club—the Roseville Area Optimist Club, located in Roseville, Minnesota—gave Hal Urban’s book titled “Life’s Greatest Lessons” to one of our members. After she read it, she loaned it to a promising college student. He wrote a thank-you note to our member that she shared with Don. Both were impressed with the thoughtfulness and maturity represented by the note.

Our member began thinking about lessons she could share with the college student so he could avoid some she learned “the hard way.” Fortunately it occurred to her that she belongs to an organization of accomplished civic officials and business leaders who, through the tenets of Optimist International, are dedicated to the “development of youth, our community, and ourselves.” She proposed to Don and the board of directors that the club produce a book that would be a collection of stories contributed by members and guest speakers. The stories would relate an account from the author’s life experiences that a young person would find to be valuable.

With important input from the board, the project was launched. Sixty-six percent of the members and ten guest speakers, including a former U.S. senator, associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and respected leaders, contributed their stories. The member who proposed the project edited the stories, designed the book, and managed the project at no charge.

The result of our efforts is a book that contains 68 stories in 300 pages. We anticipated the stories would be interesting and worth reading but we vastly underestimated the blazing originality, and unabashed candor and sincerity, with which the authors expressed themselves. Some stories relate to the influence of family and memories from the author’s youth. Others mention their current family, historical events, or work-related lessons. You will identify with some and learn from others. Our hope is that your own outlook becomes more positive by reflecting on our “Voices of Optimism.”

We invite you to savor our stories, enjoy them, and share them—along with your own story—with someone who is important to you.

5.25” x 8”

300 pages

July 2018

Publisher: Roseville Area Optimist Club, Roseville, MN

Our Book - Voices of Optimism
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