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Optimist International Annual Convention arrives in Cincinnati


Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio will be bustling with activity thanks to the arrival of the Optimist International Annual Convention, which is dedicated to providing children with hope and positivity to bring out their best.

More than 1,000 kids and adults – representing more than 2,900 Optimist Clubs around the world – will descend on the Duke Energy Convention Center from July 3-7, bringing an estimated $1.1 million in economic impact to the region and occupying over 1,000 downtown hotel rooms.

“This volunteer organization has an extraordinary mission – encouraging young people to ‘look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true’ and ‘talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.’ That kind of positive energy matches perfectly with the rebirth we’re experiencing here in Cincinnati,” said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO, Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Cincinnati USA’s primary responsibility is to positively impact Hamilton County’s and the City of Cincinnati’s economy through convention, tradeshow and visitor expenditures.

With a central mission of “Bringing Out the Best in Kids,” conference attendees will participate in volunteer training sessions, a Charity Chili Fest and association events throughout the course of the meeting at other venues, such as Cincinnati Museum Center, Newport Aquarium and King’s Island. All proceeds generated from convention programming, especially Saturday’s Charity Chili Fest, will benefit the Cincinnati Public Schools system. 

A traditional ribbon cutting ceremony at the “House of Optimism” exhibits kicked off the convention, led by the Optimist International President Jean-Claude St-Onge of St-Jerome, Quebec, and President-Elect Ron Huxley of London, Ontario.

“Ohio’s central location and Cincinnati’s reputation make it the perfect spot for Optimists to meet for the annual gathering of Optimist clubs and members who are working in their communities to bring out the best in kids,” said Sharon O’Neil, host area committee chair, Convention Host Area Committee.

Host hotels include the Millenium Cincinnati and the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel. This event will mark the second time the Optimists have visited the Netherland Plaza Hotel, which last hosted the organization’s convention in 1937.

In the coming weeks, Cincinnati USA will welcome 15 groups, representing 16,000 attendees and 28,000 total room nights. Together, these groups represent an estimated $8.5 million in economic impact to the region. The largest of these organizations includes the Fraternal Order of Police from Aug. 10-16 and Toastmasters International from Aug. 21-24.

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