April 2020 Optimizer

The Optimizer | April 2020 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

— In this issue —

Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Congrats to Our Club!

Upcoming Activities and Events


OA5 Brewers, Beer, Brats and Bags CANCELLED

Scholarship Golf Outing RESCHEDULED

Fishing Derby CANCELLED

Optimist Meetings

Do The Right Thing

Getting to Know You – Ann Freudenthal

How to Publish Optimist News


—- Meeting Schedule —-

No meetings scheduled at this time due to Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” order.


—- President’s Message April 2020 —-

My how things can change in a hurry. When we last met over 2 weeks ago, who knew that we would be in a holding pattern as to when our next meeting would be held. Although I miss seeing everyone weekly, I am more concerned that all members stay healthy. This is a scary situation we are living through, and hopefully by following all the guidelines, we can get through these uncharted waters smoothly and with full health. Many unknowns are out there right now. We have events coming up in April and May that will probably have to be cancelled or rescheduled. In my weekly update, the Scholarship Golf Committee made a decision to push our event back to July 22nd, although that date is not a given. We will monitor things as we get closer to that date. Other events, as to whether they take place or not, will be a decision the various committees will have to make. Unfortunately for many of them, this is a critical time for planning, and not being able to get out and get together may make it tough to pull these events off. This is a point in our lives where we have to keep our “Optimism” high in hopes that this will end sooner rather than later. Please stay safe and do all you can to help stop the spread of this virus so we can get back to some normalcy in our life. I will keep you updated as things progress as to when we can next get back together for a meeting. In the meantime, stay safe and stay healthy.

~Todd Paulus


Congratulations to our Optimist Club

We received Distinguished Club and Honor Club awards for the 2018 – 2019 year!!

Many thanks for all you do!!!


—- Upcoming Activities and Events—-


OA5 Brewers, Beer, Brats and Bags



We are sorry to say the 3rd annual Brewers, Beer, Brats and Bags tournament scheduled for April 26th has been CANCELLED. Stay safe and watch for future OA5 events.





See the source imageScholarship Golf Outing


The 30th annual scholarship golf outing that was scheduled for May 20th has been RESCHEDULED to Wednesday, July 22nd at Ironwood Golf Course.  We will monitor the situation as that date draws near, as to whether we keep that date or not.  We do not want to put any members at risk in trying to hold this event.  Please mark your calendars for this date and start talking to friends, co-workers, and neighbors to see if they are interested in joining us this day.  Watch for further updates in future newsletters and my weekly updates.

~ Todd Paulus, Golf Outing Chair


Fishing Derby


We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. As we all know, these are challenging times that we are navigating right now. While the decision was not easy, after much thought and consideration, we must announce that the 2020 Kids Fishing Derby has been cancelled. While we are saddened that the event will not happen this year, we are confident that this is the best decision for the safety of each and every one of us and for the community that we serve. Due to the fishing derby be held in May, as well as other challenges that would surface had we tried to schedule it later in the year, we have made the decision to bring the derby back in May 2021. We look forward to 2021 being our best kids fishing derby yet!  If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Kids Fishing Derby Co-Chairs, Dustin Koehler and Sue Carney. Take good care of yourselves and stay healthy!

~ Dustin Koehler



— Optimist Meetings —

Do the Right Thing

Named after former MFSD teacher and Optimist club member John Weaver, we’ll meet the winners of this year’s Do the Right Thing program. These kids were joined by their families at our March 11th meeting, as we heard what they’ve done to earn their award.


Front row: Andy Tran, Ella Weyner, An Truong

Back Row: Jace Jashinsky, Kallie Dalton, Kai McClain

photo by Don Gorzek


— Getting to Know You: Ann Freudenthal —

I have a hard time writing an interesting article about myself since my life seems so ordinary. But here are a few things about me. I was born and raised on a beef farm in Lancaster, WI, second oldest of 11 kids. Yes, I was raised in a typical large Catholic farm family which was popular at that time. When I was in my junior year of high school, we moved to Menomonee Falls because my parents wanted a better life for us kids with more opportunities. I went from a school of 400 students to a class of over 500 students at Menomonee Falls High School—huge adjustment for this farm girl.

Throughout college at UWM, I worked at various businesses in Menomonee Falls including Bob-Bon Pharmacy, Bloomberg Leather Company and Benson Mfg. When Northridge Mall opened in 1972, I applied at many stores and was hired by Sears to work in the drapery department. I knew nothing about curtains or blinds but I needed to make some money so I took it. 30 years later the store closed and I left Sears as the top Sears Custom Window Covering salesperson in the country. Clients in inner city homes to lakefront mansions made my job so interesting. I loved my career so much that I would often say to myself “I can’t believe they are paying me to do this.” I felt so lucky! When Sears closed the store in 2002, I started my own window covering business and ran that for 13 years. Now I am happily retired.

In 2010, I found myself on my own and decided to buy a condo in Germantown. Now I enjoy retirement with my best friend, Fred Blanke. We love to travel and we have been to both ends of the earth: Alaska and the tip of South America—around Cape Horn. Trips to Europe and Hawaii are on the calendar.  And we both love our involvement in so many activities with the Optimist Club. We are season seat holders for the Brewers and attend 30+ games a year. And of course, we love the Packers and seldom miss a game on TV. We also enjoy bike riding and spending time with our dog, Libby. I also enjoy knitting, and sewing, particularly machine embroidery.

Volunteerism has always been a part of my life. I was active in 4-H in my youth. As an adult, I have volunteered many hours for Children’s Hospital Foundation, Al’s Run, Menomonee Place, Falls Patio Players, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, nursing homes, at church and for many other organizations. I was asked to come to an Optimist Club meeting in 2008 to represent Falls Patio Players when they performed songs from the Christmas Carol. I had no knowledge of the club and found it rather odd that the meeting was at 7:15 in the morning. But I went and soon realized these were my kind of people. All these strangers quickly became friends and I knew I belonged here. I loved every line of the Creed. A few months later I was sworn in by my high school speech teacher, Mr. Selland.

Interesting things about me – I have brothers who are triplets. Our family picture was on the front page of the Wisconsin State Journal when they were born back in 1962 with the headline, “Three of a kind makes a full house.”

When at Sears, I was a “victim” of a male client who called each Sears store in town asking for a decorator to make a house call and help him with his bare windows. When I got there, I quickly realized that his windows weren’t the only thing that was bare. He was arrested and his story made national news. The Milwaukee Journal headline was “Police say it is Curtains for Suspect.” Very scary at the time but rather humorous now.

Every summer I host an unusual theme party for my neighbors. Themes have included a landfill party, pig party, and an F party. Yes, everything was about the letter F for Freudenthal. Great fun for all.

There is a plaque in my kitchen that says – “It is in Giving that We Receive. I was given this as an award years ago when I took a leadership course. I feel so blessed to have received so much from so many people. Life is Good!


In the Time of Pandemic

And the people stayed home. 
And read books, and listened, 
and rested, and exercised, 
and made art, and played games, 
and grew gardens full of fresh food, 
and learned new ways of being,

and were still.

And listened more deeply. 
Some meditated, some prayed, 
some danced. 
Some met their shadows.

And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. 
And, in the absence of people 
living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways,
the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, 
and the people joined together again, 
they grieved their losses, 
and made new choices, 
and dreamed new images, 
and created new ways to live 
and heal the earth fully,

as they had been healed.

~ Kitty O’Meara, 2020


See the source image— How to Publish Optimist News –-

There are multiple venues for publishing Optimist news and events the community and to the Optimist members. It is important to get the word out so everyone is aware of the events we sponsor to benefit the youth of the community. Committee chairs are responsible for writing the articles and sending them via email to the people listed below:

NEWSLETTER  Jerry Mislang or Barb Schmit no later than the 27th of each month – jerry.mislang@prodigy.net or schmitbarb@gmail.com

NEWSPAPERS  Shannon Dederich three or more weeks prior to your event, as quickly as possible after an event shannon.dederich@gmail.com

FACEBOOK  Cathy Sharkey, Dawn Mariscal or Lynette Shepherd – csharkey224@yahoo.comdmariscal@wi.rr.com, llshep4ma@gmail.com

WEBSITE  Beth Saunders –  bethjsaunders@gmail.com


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