March 2015 | Volume 42, No. 6

From the President…

March is here and even for an Optimist, it might be the most depressing month of the year. Outside of March Madness, St Pat’s and Ed Schlumpf’s Spring Baseball reports, I think much that I like about March. Let’s face it, we’re tired of the cold, snow, ice and wind chill readings. Enough already!

That leads to this month’s goal…to make March the month we get ready for Spring and Summer activities! I know many of you have workout routines. You might not be aware that I do a lot of stretching, jumping and running. You know, stretching the truth, jumping to conclusions and I was running but I kept spilling my refreshments.

But seriously, any extra exercise we do this month will pay off in those wonderful months ahead of us. Golfing, walking, biking, hiking, fishing, working in the yard, doing activities with your kids and grandkids will be all that more rewarding the better shape we’re in. Get a friend or a Club member exercise with you. You can even walk in MFHS from after school to 9:00 p.m. if the weather is bad.   The goal of the month, It’s time to March into March!


Executive Board at Work…

The entire Board met on February 17th and it was Old Country Buffet, we had a full plate and then some. We donated $2,000 for 38 kids going on the Saint Mary’s Youth Trip. We also gave $250 for this year’s Safety Town and $1,000 to the North Middle School Lock-in. We gave $400 to the Japanese Student Exchange Program and $250 to Boy Scout Troop 175. We also voted last week to donate $100 to the Mequon Optimist Club Fundraiser Dinner.   The total for February was $4,000 thanks to YOU and all the time, effort and membership dues that go into raising these funds.

Under New Business, we voted unanimously to rename the trivia contest the Jim Jeskewitz Memorial Trivia Contest. We approved new member Mac Schneider and he is now our 200th member. The CIC Stadium Turf pledge letter got final approval. A “Fishy” budget was submitted by Tom Walker and now we’re on the hook for the Derby. All in all, it was a very productive Tuesday.

Please remember that the Board meets on the third Tuesday of the month is open to all members, especially those who might be interested in joining the Board.


Scholarship Golf Outing…

The 25th annual scholarship golf outing is set for May 20, 2015 at Ironwood Golf Course in Sussex, WI. This is a big year for us as we are celebrating a quarter century with this event. We are holding the cost of the outing at $130 again this year. Where else can you find a price that has not gone up in a number of years? Your entry fee not only gets you 18 holes of golf in a 4 man scramble format, but you also get the use a cart, use of the practice facility, entry into all the on course events, 4 mulligans per golfer, lunch, and dinner. The only additional items you will have to purchase is raffle tickets for our great raffle, a golf ball(s) for the famous golf ball toss, and any items we sell on our voice and silent auction.

We need all members to help make this event a success. We have earmarked $15000.00 in high school scholarships again this year. We use this event to cover those costs. How can you help you ask? We need golf balls, door prizes, auction items, and golfers. For the golf balls, we need new 12 or 15 packs of golf balls. We use these as gifts we give to the hole prize winners, as well as using them to fill in on door prizes that may need a little something extra. Look for golf ball Wednesday coming sometime in April. If you frequent a local establishment and feel comfortable asking them for a donation, please do so. Often times this falls on the committee to do this. The more help we get, the better off we are. If you are going to do this, please let Todd know what business you are going to contact so someone on the committee does not contact them a second time. We really need auction items for both the voice and silent auctions. We have a good start on door prizes but not on auction items. Sporting event tickets always do well here, as well as any unique items you may be able to get for us (use of a condo, restaurant get togethers for larger parties, or even unique get-togethers hosted by club members). If you have an idea but are not sure of it, run it by one of the committee members and we will discuss it at a golf outing meeting. As for the golfers, this event hinges on a big turnout. Start asking friends now to join us. This event is open to anyone. If your foursome has multiple club members, think about splitting up and each member create their own foursome. It is never too early to start asking and get the date on the calendar. We all know how busy schedules can be.

If you are interested in joining our committee, please contact Todd. We are in the process of losing two valuable committee members next year in Ken Rutsch and Dean Christianson. They have offered to stay on and help out this year. It is a great time to see how we run things so new members can step in. New members also mean new ideas. With that said, if anyone has participated in a golf outing and participated in a unique event at the outing, we are always looking for new ideas to change and tweak the event a bit. Please let me know. We look forward to seeing many of you on May 20, 2015 at Ironwood.

Todd Paulus



OI Junior Golf Outing

The Optimist International Junior Golf Outing qualifier for the SWIS district is set for June 22, 2015 at Brown Deer Golf course in Milwaukee. This event is open to boys and girls ages 10-18. The kids compete in age groups by gender. If a golfer wins their division and shoots a qualifying score, they are eligible to participate in the International tournament held in late July in Florida. This event is held at the same course where the PGA Honda Open is held. The cost of the event is $70 per golfer. We will have an 8:00 am shotgun start with lunch and awards immediately after golf. If you know of any golfers that may be interested, they can obtain an entry flyer on the OI website or see Todd Paulus. If you would like to help us promote the event at local courses or know someone on the high school golf teams, please get them the information to share with their coaches. Our goal is to increase our number of golfers to 60 this year. Our event is being held a day before the Junior PGA 2 day tournament is held, with Brown Deer being one of the courses they play. Please mark this on your calendar as I will need a few members to volunteer that day as marshals and scorers on the course. This is a great way to see some good golf being played by our youth.


About Those Kids…

We had two groups of Menomonee Falls kids with us at February meetings.


Menomonee Falls Optimist Club Student of the Month, February 2015, include (L-R) Sophomore Collin Derick at Menomonee Falls High School, seventh grader Sean Oliver at North Middle School, Senior Emily Habegger at MFHS, and eight grader Isabella Dory at Saint Anthony Parish School, with Jerry Mislang, Optimist Club President. (Photo by Don Gorzek.)

MFHS Boys Soccer Team Feb2015

MFHS Boys Soccer team at the Optimist February 18, 2015 meeting. (Photo by Don Gorzek.)


Still Time for Broadway at the PAC…

Attached are two flyers with information about the four remaining plays for the Marcus Center PAC season.  John Barnes has provided us with a very special opportunity.  If you have never seen a Broadway play, then you owe it to yourself to enjoy something very special.  All the info you need is on the flyers. We have a reserved section of fantastic seats for each show. Sign up today.   MOTOWN is very popular with our group.   Friends and family are welcome.


Getting to Know You…

This is a wonderful new program which affords us the opportunity to get to know the members of the club.  Each week President Jerry will call on Optimist members to stand up and tell us a little bit about themselves.  52 Optimists have signed up, but you can send an email to JJ and tell him you’d like to participate. His NEW email address is   President Jerry will make the decision each week as to whether one or two will speak, depending on the agenda. Very flexible, but very fun and very informative.


March Speakers…


March 4th Student of the Month

March 11thDo the Right Thing

March 18th Do the Right Thing

March 25th 6:00 pm  Night Meeting with John Mercure—WTMJ 620 Radio Talk Show Host. We’ll meet at the Radisson Hotel on Main Street.  Free pizza and breadsticks – cash bar.



Distinguished Young Woman 2016

Ritika Punathil

Distinguished Young Woman of Menomonee Falls for 2016



2016 Distinguished Young Women …

The 51st Annual Distinguished Young Woman Program was held on Saturday, March 7th. Congratulations to Ritika Punathil!! She was named the 2016 representative of Menomonee Falls and will move on to the state competition on August 1, 2015 in Franklin, WI. Ritika is the daughter of Rema and Ratnasing Punathil. If her name sounds familiar it is because she was also the winner of the club Oratorical contest last year. Ritika will receive a $2000 scholarship from the Optimist Club. She was the named the overall Scholastic winner.

Heloise Cheruvalath was named the 1st Alternate. She will receive a $750 scholarship from the club and a $300 scholarship from Community League of Menomonee Falls. Heloise was named the overall Interview winner.

Julia Graybill was named the 2nd Alternate. She receives a $250 scholarship from the club. Julia was named the Be Your Best Self Essay Award winner and the voted the Spirit of DYW winner by her fellow contestants.

Jessie Strosahl was named the Talent winner. Aprajita Singh was the winner of Self-Expression and Laurie Lapp was the Fitness winner. Each of the overall winners will receive a $100 cash award.

Other participants were Natalie Suetholz, Elise Hervey, Claire Rhode, Emma Buhr, Angelika Ytuarte, Miranda Cole (Sussex Hamilton), Rebecca Wagner, Tina Seiler, Hailey Edwards and Ali Block.

This program began back in August when we visited MFHS during schedule distribution. The transformation of these girls from the first meetings and rehearsals to the poised, talented, sparkling young ladies we saw on stage was nothing less than amazing. To prepare them for the final competition they had several rehearsals and practice interviews. We did provide them with some fun as well. They were treated to dinner and makeup lessons and had a pizza party with their little misses.

So many Optimists gave of their time and talent to make this program a success. I need to start with my wonderful committee. Ali Dwyer did the choreography and was my contact at school. Becky Weber did interview prep and provided the girls with help on their talent. Ali and Becky were also the co-hosts for the program. Both girls also got engaged in the weeks before the program!! Susan Steliga and Becky Maurice coordinated our Little Misses. Becky collected the Good Luck Wishes from the parents. Susan and Jeanine Dederich organized the Be Your Best Self Essay. Dawn Mariscal solicited ad sponsors and put together the beautiful program book. Kay Weber was the Scholastic Judges Chair. Linda Zylka was the program Judges Chair. Steve Fleming was responsible for contestant gifts and the important job of tabulating the scores. Lynette Shepherd had the tickets printed and judged practice interviews. Jane Haven organized our social outing and also helped with interview prep. Meg Latus was a huge help the day of the program.

The sound system can make or break a show like this. Danny Shepherd and his daughter Sarah made the show! Thank you!! Because it’s all ‘bout that bass, ‘bout that bass…

Thanks to the Optimist Club members who judged the practice interview. They were Sue Carney, Jim Foster, Kathy Mattheissen, Bob Wenzel, Terry Fitzsimmons, Marcia Hebbring and Barb Schmit.

The backstage team did an outstanding job as usual. Larry Hebbring organized a great crew. So good, that when Larry went home sick Friday night, they didn’t miss a beat. Thanks to Rose Schwartz, Bill Hathaway, Rick Kohl, Dave Curren, Fred Lambert, Kevin Mitschke, Charlie Keller Scott Byington, Del Kreuser and Brad Bence. How many Optimists does it take to roll out gymnastics mats???

Carl Trapp, Kathy Mattheissen and Kirsten Sperl sold tickets and supervised the JOOI students who volunteered. This year we took donations to Blessing in A Backpack in exchange for a program book. I am happy to report that we raised $205 for them.

Helping in the dressing room was Ann Freudenthal, Linda Christman and Gerilyn Yanke. Alyse Haven, Jane’s daughter did the opening number choreography and also helped in the dressing room. Joanne Wanner made our competition numbers. Kirsty Gruenwald created the beautiful flower arrangements. Ted Klumb played the part of Jerry Mislang giving the welcome speech. Marcia Hebbring assisted Steve with tabulating. John Seymour and Sammy Amound did the spotlights. Thank you all!!

Special thanks to Roger Bochek, theater manager for his time and guidance. Also thanks to Lynn Grimm, Mary Foster, Tom Gerrits, Tom Hintze, Rich Burg, Sarah Holst and Lonna Schikert from North Middle School. They went above and beyond to accommodate our requests.

Mr. Zens and the Menomonee Falls Jazz Ensemble provided live music for our program. We will be donating $400 to support their activities.

Harry Stoetzel and Falls Cable Access recorded the show. It can be seen on Channel 14 or online at

Thank you to the Community League of Menomonee Falls for donating the 1st Alternate Scholarship and hosting the bake sale during intermission.

A shout out to the Jr Optimist Club members who helped with taking tickets, ushering and corralling little misses.

And finally, THANK YOU to Don Gorzek for the countless hours he spent photographing the program from start to finish. He so beautifully captured every aspect of this program. Don, we are truly blessed to have you on our committee and in our club!

Cathy Sharkey





Otto Optimist…

Things you don’t see very often:

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