April 2017 Optimizer

The Optimizer
April 2017
Menomonee Falls Optimist Club


In this issue:

  • Meeting Schedule
  • Message From the President
  • Executive Board
    • March Board Meeting
    • We Need You….
    • Membership
  • Up-coming Events
    • Volunteer Opportunities
    • Tri-Star Baseball
    • Fishing Derby
  • Past Events
    • Tri-Star Basketball
    • Meeting at WAC with Community League
    • Mountain Biking Team
    • Art Club
    • Kindness for Kaden
    • Distinguished Young Women
    • Do the Right Thing
    • Essay and Oratorical Contest
  • JOOI Club
  • Students of the Month
  • This Month in Club History
  • Thank You Notes
  • Next Newsletter Deadline

—- Meeting schedule —-

All meetings are at 7:15 am at the Community Center except as noted.
Apr. 5: Distinguished Young Women @ Menomonee Falls North Cafeteria
Arrive at 6:00 pm, Program at 6:30 pm.
Apr. 12: Patio Players and Tom Frank (District Lt. Governor)
Apr. 19: SOM and Meg Hanley / Felicia Perkins-Peterson from NMS AODA for Wake Up Call
Apr. 26: Malissa Misch from MK Protection Strategies

—- Message from the President —-

If you are an Optimist Club member who may have missed a Club meeting during the past three months, you have missed some very excellent programs. Our “Speakers Committee” has found and scheduled some great presenters. At most meetings they have brought in not just one presenter, but many times two presenters talking about different community activities. If you have missed our Club gatherings, I am lead to believe, “You Must Be Square”.
The Club’s first Wednesday of the month evening meetings have been very well attended by many folks who are not able to attend the morning meetings. With our new evening meeting this year, you have less excuse for not attending a meeting.`
If you are curious about what has been happening, please review the Club’s monthly newsletter. Barb Schmit, Cathy Sharkey, Jerry Mislang, and all of the event and committee chairs that submit articles, have made great efforts to publishing the newsletter in a timely fashion. Thank you one and all. Members may find back issues of our newsletters on our Club web site.
In some of my earlier notes to Club members, I have strongly suggested that you become involved with one or more of the thirty-plus events and committees listed in the front of the Club Director/Yearbook. I have notice that many of you have join a group and some have even stepped up to a leadership position. Thank you.
Your involvement is what will continue to make OUR Club STRONG and GROWNING. Remember that being Optimists, our mission is “Bring Out The Best In Kids.”
All the Best to You,
Don Gorzek
Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls President 2016-17

—- Executive Board —-

Board Briefings – March 21, 2017

President Don Gorzek led the Board meeting on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Meeting synopsis is as follows:

Donation requests:

  1. Partner with MF Chamber for their annual Spring Shoot event on May 19th. No funding required; Volunteers needed for Optimist booth to promote Club.
  2. Boy Scout Troop 175, St. James Church, for Outdoorsman Camporee – approved $250
  3. Girls on the Run, Riverside School – approved $1,545
  4. Knights of Columbus Lucky Ducky Derby – approved $150

Treasurer’s report:

Guest Jim Foster researching software companies to support financial reporting; tax extension to file taxes to May 15, 2017

New Business:

  • Approved one new member – Shannon Kurtz. Welcome!
  • Approved committee budgets for Do the Right Thing, Oratorical Contest and Essay Contest
  • Approved popcorn wagon at Community Memorial Hospital’s Wheeling for Healing on 8/12/17 (volunteers needed 8:30 – 11:30 – contact Jeanine Dederich)

Unfinished Business:

  • Approved popcorn wagon at Falls Memorial Fest on May 27th. Jeanine Dederich and Larry Podolske working out details and logistics with Village Centre.

The Board meets the third Tuesday of every month at 7:00a.m. Members include:
Don Gorzek, President
Lynette Shepherd, 1st Vice President
Jeanine Dederich, 2nd Vice President
Larry Podolske, Treasurer
Ted Klumb, Past President
Dan Schwind, Past Presidents Council
Board Members: Sue Carney, Tom Dueppen, Len Kimmel, Chris O’Reilly, Todd Paulus, Rose Schwartz

Jeanine Dederich

We need you….
Are you interested in getting more involved in the Optimist Club?
This is the time of year when we start to look for members who would like to join the Board. There are several positions that open up each year and they have different levels of commitment but are very do-able and give you the opportunity to be instrumental in what goes on in YOUR club. While we won’t hesitate to ask potential candidates if they are interested, it would be great if you look at the open positions, ask a few questions from current or past Board members about those positions, and let any of us know if you’re interested in learning more about being a candidate.
We meet on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 a.m. This is a great opportunity to learn more about our Club from the inside and to continue to steer our team in the right direction. The Board wants and needs you to take that next step in keeping our Club fresh and vibrant. So please take some time, get feedback from other members and let us know if you are willing to join the board and be a “Friend of Youth”.
Interested? Contact Jeanine Dederich (jeanine.dederich@gmail.com) or
Lynette Shepherd (llshep4ma@gmail.com)


Please welcome Shannon Kurtz (sponsored by Cathy Sharkey) and Edward & Bonnie Veth (sponsored by Don Gorzek) as new members to the Optimist Club. Shannon is a chiropractor at The Chiropractic Company in Germantown and the Veth’s have just moved to Menomonee Falls from Chicago and are the proud grandparents of one of the students recognized for Doing The Right Thing on Wednesday!!

We are happy to have you joining us and our efforts to Bring Out the Best in Kids!!  You are now a part of the best club in Menomonee Falls!!
Lynette Shepherd

—- Upcoming Events —-

  • Sat. April 29: Tri-Star Baseball
  • Sat. May 13: Kids Fishing Contest
  • Sat. May 13: Post Prom
  • Wed. May 17: Scholarship Golf Outing @ Ironwood Golf Course, Sussex
  • Wed. June 7: Membership Drive Meeting @ Trysting Place
  • Mon. July 3: Parade
  • August: Picnic (Date and Location TBA)


Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers are needed for the following Optimist events. Please see article for each event for details.

  • Tri-Star Baseball
  • Fishing Derby
  • Optimist Board (See “We Need You….” Above)


Tri Star Baseball 2017

The annual Tristar Baseball contest will be held on Saturday, April 29 at the Ben Franklin Softball Field (South Parking lot). I checked the Farmer’s almanac and it’s supposed to be beautiful that day…
We need about 14 volunteers from 8:30 am until 1:00 pm. Duties include two registration tables and scorekeepers for the hitting, throwing and base running stations. If you can’t work a full shift, I’m grateful for any time you can give.
This will be a “hit or miss” event this year. Because of Easter being so late, Menomonee Falls Little League is having Picture Day and Opening Day on the same Saturday! We’ll also will be inviting all area select teams to participate again this year.
The signup sheet will start being routed at the April 19th meeting, but please email me anytime at jerry.mislang@prodigy.net if you can help out. Call 262-352-2571 if you have any questions.
Jerry Mislang

Fishing Derby

The Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls will host the 2017 Kids Catch and Release Fishing Derby on Saturday May 13th, 2017 at the Mill Pond in downtown Menomonee Falls. The contest is free and is open to all boys and girls age three through 16 that reside or attend school in the Menomonee Falls area. All participants will receive a t-shirt and a chance to win a door prize. Trophies will be awarded to boys and girls in five age divisions for the longest fish and most fish caught during the contest.
Registration for the event will be from 9:00 am to 10:00 am at the Mill Pond Shelter. The fishing contest will be from 10:00 am to Noon followed immediately by the presentation of trophies and door prizes. Bring your own fishing equipment. A limited supply of bait will be provided. Children under nine years old must be accompanied by an adult. 16 year olds must have a fishing license. Food will be sold during the event by the Menomonee Falls Neighborhood Watch.
Sponsors include the Menomonee Falls Police Department, the Menomonee Falls Neighborhood Watch, the Village of Menomonee Falls, RB Enterprises, Pops Frozen Custard, Krueger’s Recreation Center, YoCool Frozen Yogurt, Sandy Spring Farm and the Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls.
Volunteers from previous years will be contacted for the event this year. If you have not volunteered in the past but would like to, please contact Tom Walkner at twalkner@wi.rr.com or Tim Newman at tntnewman@hotmail.com. Tom is also looking for someone to take his place as co-chair for the event next year.
Note: Because of a major construction project in the area parking may be restricted or limited. Please plan accordingly.
Tom Walkner and Tim Newman


—- Past Events —-

Tri Star Basketball

This year there were 67 participants, both girls and boys from age 6 to 13, in the annual Tri Star Basketball event on February 26. There were winners across five different schools in our community. The winners will be moving on to the regional contest on Saturday April 29th. Again thanks to all the people that helped: Lynn Randar, Larry Podolske, Jon Cline, Jerry Mislang, Beth and Jeff Saunders and Blake and Braeden Molle. The kids enjoy it and appreciate it.
Bob Wenzel

March Night Meeting at WAC, with Community LeagueMeeting at Wisconsin Athletic Club with Community League
Photo by Don Gorzek
Community League members, Annie Moser, Rosemary Meinecke, and Barb Sellhausen talk about the nonprofit organization’s dedication to their mission of “Sharing, Caring and Fellowship” since 1960.
March Night Meeting at WACSandy Jeremy, General Manager of the Menomonee Falls Wisconsin Athletic Club told our members of the many special activities the WAC sponsors.  Afterward she took us on a mini tour and demonstrated how to play pickle ball.

Photo by Don Gorzek





Mountain Biking Team

The Club’s March 8, 2017 featured a presentation from the MFHS’s Mountain Biking team.

2017-03Mar-MtnBikingMBonsMike Bons, head coach, talked about the teams racing season and their association with NICA, Nation Interscholastic Cycling Association. Pictured in the background is coach Paul Schmidt, team members Lindsay Bons, a junior and Jared Schwarts a freshman. Photo by Don Gorzek


2017-03Mar-MtnBikingPSchmidtPaul Schmidt told Club members that the racing bikes owned by the team members could cost several thousand dollars depending how the bike is constructed. Photo by Don Gorzek




Art Club
Art Club students attended the March 8 meeting. They all won awards in the Scholastic Art competition, which is held annually with thousands of entries nationwide.
2017-03Mar-ArtClubArt Club students from left to right:
Abby Baumann, Katie Kruk, Natalia Bedolla, Miranda Fluegge, Lexi Chmielewski, and Davis Corazarri. Photo by Don Gorzek



2017-03Mar-ArtClubMFlueggePhoto by Don Gorzek








2017-03Mar-KindnessKadenKindness for Kaden
Joshua Diehl, from Germantown, introduces some of the group members that formed the group that formed “Kindness for Kaden”. They talk about the project at our Club’s March 15th meeting. Photo by Don Gorzek


Distinguished Young Women
Twelve Menomonee Falls area high school juniors participated in the 53rd Annual Distinguished Young Women Program on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the North Middle School Auditorium. Distinguished Young Women is a national scholarship program for high school girls. The Optimist Club has sponsored and organized the program since 1986.
Contestants for 2018 Distinguished Young Woman of Menomonee Falls, March 2017Distinguished Young Women Class of 2018
L-R: Basia Klos, Abi Duda, Priyanka Ramanathan, Anessa McCormick, Mary Antrim, Margaret Pomroy, Harleen Arora, Kaela Preston, Mackenzie Page, Kenzie Schmidt, Olivia Eisenhauer and Leah Kreiter. Photo by Don Gorzek
Priyanka Ramanathan was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Menomonee Falls for 2018. She will represent Menomonee Falls at the Wisconsin State Program to be held in Franklin, WI on August 5, 2017. Priyanka is the daughter of Abirami and Subbu Ramanathan of Menomonee Falls and attends Brookfield East High School. She performed a classical form of Indian dance known as Bharatanatyam for her talent.
Alyssa Benning, the retiring Menomonee Falls Distinguished Young Woman of Menomonee Falls for 2017, presented a DYW Medallion to Ramanathan. She was also awarded a $2000 scholarship from the Optimist Club, jewelry from William Nordstrom Jewelers, and a 90 Day membership to the Wisconsin Athletic Club. In addition to the title, Priyanka was the winner of preliminary awards in Fitness, Self-Expression, and Talent.
Basia Klos was named 1st Alternate. She played Bach’s Prelude Number 6 in D Minor on piano for her talent portion of the program. Basia will receive a $750 scholarship from the Optimist Club and $300 cash award from Community League of Menomonee Falls. Basia was also the winner of the Scholastics Award and Be Your Best Self Essay Award.
Mackenzie Page was named 2nd Alternate. Mackenzie performed a monologue for her talent. She will receive a $250 scholarship from the Optimist Club.

Distinguished Young Women, March 2017L-R: Mackenzie Page – 2nd Alternate, Priyanka Ramanathan- DYW for 2018, Basia Klos – 1st Alternate. Photo by Don Gorzek

Olivia Eisenhauer was the winner of the Interview Award and was voted the Spirit of Distinguished Young Women winner by her fellow contestants. Each category winner will receive a $100 cash award.
Also participating were Mary Antrim (Dominican High School), Harleen Arora, Abi Duda, Leah Kreiter, Anessa McCormick (Hamilton High School), Margaret Pomroy, Kaela Preston, and Kenzie Schmidt.
Our program is so wonderfully successful because of the great team I have working with me. Ali Leon did the fitness choreography, is a co-host and is a contact at school for the girls. Becky Shull co-hosts and works with the girls on talent and interview skills. Dawn Mariscal puts together the beautiful program book and Good Luck Wishes. Susan Steliga coordinates the Little Miss program. Jeanine Dederich helps with the Little Misses and the Be Your Best Self Essay. Steve Fleming is the tabulator and arranges for gifts for the contestants. Rema Kunnath and Linda Zylka were the Scholastic Judges Chairpersons. Linda Zylka is the Program Judges Chairperson. Kathryn Hoff, Kathy Kiepert and Kathy Mattiesson also provided support. Meg Latus arranged a wonderful dinner from Ally’s Bistro.
Choreography was also provided by 2017 participants Lauren Baumhardt and Alyssa Benning.
Many members of the Optimist Club generously gave their time to help prepare make this program a success. Thanks to Dave Curran, Kathy Mattiessen, Kim Wenzel, Rick Paddock, Lynette Shepherd, Jeanine Dederich, Jim Foster, Diane Matuszak, Jerry Mislang and Wendysue Fluegge for acting as practice interview judges
Larry Hebbring and Rose Schwartz were invaluable backstage. Cory Kleeba, Del Krueser, Dave Curran, Brad Bence, and Larry Newman assisted them. John Seymour and Montana Mariscal ran spotlights. Gail Heinecke, Kathie Jensen, Kathy Kiepert, and Joanne Wanner sold tickets and programs. Students from the Jr. Optimist Club helped with little misses and taking tickets. Kristy Gruenwald provided the contestants with beautiful floral arrangements.
Danny Shepherd provided the sound system for the program. Thank you for putting so much thought and effort into creating the best sound experience we have ever had! Rob Baumhardt assisted Danny.
Marcia Hebbring assisted Steve with tabulating results. Lisa Baumhardt, Rema Kunnath, Nikki Brooks and Lynette Shepherd were in the dressing room with the girls assisting with dresses, makeup, and hair. President Don got the program started with his welcoming speech to open the show.
Thanks to Harry Stoetzel and his team at Falls Cable Access for videotaping the program. You will be able to watch it soon on Channel 14 or online at http://www.fallscableaccess.com.
And finally, our program is so blessed to have photographer Don Gorzek who put in endless hours to capture all the events, rehearsals and fun moments of the girls over the months of preparation. Thank you doesn’t seem adequate to express our gratitude.
We will be meeting with the sophomore girls who are interested in participating next year at the end of the school year. The Class of 2019 program will take place in February or March of 2018.

Cathy Sharkey

Do the Right Thing

Our annual John Weaver Do the Right Thing recognition received a great response this year! John’s intent was to recognize students who possess good character – they make a difference in their classrooms, make good choices and “do the right thing” when no one is looking. We recognized 46 students nominated from 12 schools!  The students received a framed certificate, an Optimist bag and a cash award. Congratulations to all of these deserving kids!

2017-03Mar-DoTheRightThing1The main meeting room at the Committee Education and Recreation Center was filled to near overflow during the first of two “Do the Right Thing Awards” presentations. Photo by Don Gorzek
2017-03Mar-DoTheRightThing2The eight grade science teachers introduced four of their students who received awards. Photo by Don Gorzek
2017-03Mar-DoTheRightThing3Sam Fisher, a K4 student at St. Mary Parish School, was the youngest student to receive a “Do the Right Thing Award” this year. Photo by Don Gorzek

The following students received awards.
Calvary Baptist School: Emma Bond, Daniel Corbin, and Keirstin Turnquist
North Junior High: Sara Booher, Angelina Ruggeri, Juvertino Silverya, Brooklyn Levenhagen, Abby Baker, Cooper Lefebvre and Alexa Lau
St. Mary’s Parish School: Sam Fischer
Quest alternative high school program: Carlee Carini
Ben Franklin Elementary: Asia Groves, Emily Grant, Joe Sadowski, Benjie Harthun, Weston Heringer, Kai Jenkins, Ella Grace, Allie Thompson, Mason Trujillo, Maeve Niemiec , Ella Senske, Malina Mascotti and Fayth Lewis
St. Anthony Parish School: Abigail Bjork and Chloe Kunz
Aquinas Academy: Grace Larson, Jimmy Neddersen, Sean Larson, John Paul Andrastek and Caroline Dondlinger
Menomonee Falls High School: Kailee Doherty and Lexi Boram
Grace Lutheran School: Rachel Ripke and Julia Krueger
Shady Lane Elementary: Braelyn Jawson, Emma Pulvermacher, Tyler Greengo and Cole Bacon
Riverside Elementary: Cailin Stell, Timothy Berglund and Sidney Rock
Valley View Elementary: Kennedy Currey, Sophia Heuss and Wesley Vuolo
Karen Nelson

Essay and Oratorical Contest

The Annual Oratorical Contest was held on Wednesday, March 22nd at North Middle School.  All the participants gave outstanding speeches on the topic “What the World Gains from Optimism.”  Congratulations to Rohitha Punathil and Sara Booher who will advance to the Zone Contest being held on Saturday, April 8th at Sussex Public Library.  We wish them all the best and hope one of them will move on to the District level.  Rohitha will receive a $100 cash award and Sara a $75 cash award from the club.

Rohitha had also submitted the highest scoring essay on the topic “Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges.”  She will receive a $100 cash award from the club.  Rohitha will be presenting her winning essay and oratorical speech to the Club on Wednesday, May 3rd and receive her cash awards at that time.   Sure to be great presentations and another reason to be so proud of bringing out the best in kids.

Thank you to co-chairs Chris O’Reilly and Marcia Hebbring for assisting with this event year after year.  Thank you shout outs go to Corrine & Joe Reiter, Jenny O’Keefe, Beth Saunders, Larry Hebbring, Jim Dieter, Rose
Schwartz, Linda Zylka, and Nancy Kane (future new member).

2017 Oratorical Contest participantsPictured from Left to right Raghav Pandyo, Dawn Mariscal, Sara Booher, Rohitha Punathil, Grace Booher, and Isra Ahmed
Dawn Mariscal

—- JOOI Club —-

The Junior Optimist Club is continuing to work hard in our community! Last month, many of our members volunteered at the Distinguished Young Women program as helpers with the Little Misses and as ticket collectors and ushers. We don’t want to brag, but several volunteers commented that our students were outstanding leaders, great listeners, and reliable volunteers all around (Mrs. Leon was very proud ). This month we are continuing with our regular tutoring assignments at Ben Franklin Elementary and with our volunteer work through Kids Inc. We are also recruiting club members to participate in the Menomonee Falls River Clean-Up on April 22nd. We have helped with this event before and are looking forward to being a part of it again!
Alison Leon

—- Students of the Month —-

March 2017 Students of the MonthThe Menomonee Falls Optimist Club Students of the Month for March 2017 include from left, MFHS seniors Joshua McMahon and Marissa Igunbor, Tim Kohls from St. Mary Parish School, and eighth graders from North Middle School Hailey Carver and Maddie Blair. Photo by Don Gorzek

—- This Month in Club History —

April 1985 – Optimist Club hosts Jr. Miss Pageant for the first time, taking it over from the Jaycees.  Michelle Beschta is named the 1986 winner.

—- Thank You Notes —-

The club received a thank you note from the following:
Menomonee Falls Food Pantry

—- Next Newsletter Deadline —-

Articles for the May newsletter are due April 27. Please email your articles to Jerry Mislang.

Post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.