April 2021 Optimizer

The Optimizer | April 2021 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club


— In this issue —

Weekly Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Zoom Meeting Info

Upcoming Activities and Events


Fishing Derby

Scholarship Golf Outing

Popcorn Wagon

Past Events

Oratorical Contest

Veronica Goveas – DYW Wisconsin

Students of the Month

Getting to Know You: Del Kreuser

Executive Board

March Board Minutes

Event Continuity

This Month in Club History

How to Publish Optimist News


— Weekly Meeting Schedule —

New Small Business Member Stacie Estrada of the Art Lounge will kick off our meeting.  We’ll then recognize some of the outstanding students who participated in this year’s Oratorical Contest.

Winning a conference championship in any sport is difficult, especially in the tough Greater Metro Conference, but we’re proud to recognize this year’s GMC champions, the MFHS Wrestling Team and Head Coach Andy Rutke. We’ll also recognize the remainder the Oratorical Contest students who couldn’t make the previous week’s meeting.

The Students of the Month from NMS, St. Mary and MFHS will be recognized by our club. Always a great meeting!!

Thanks to efforts led by Don Eisenhauer, one of our club’s best new initiatives several years ago was to start a MFHS JOI Club. Advisor Ali Leon and several club members will join us and talk about what they’ve been up to.

~Jerry Mislang

— President’s Message —

Spring is here and hopefully COVID will be gone, but for now we are taking a cautious approach moving forward. The Chili Dinner, Trivia Contest and Do The Right Thing were all cancelled this winter. I hope these events are all back next year and our plan is to bring them back.

The Fishing Derby and Scholarship Golf Outing will go on as planned. I don’t know about the July 3rd Parade yet.

The Popcorn Wagon is ready to go and will open Memorial Day weekend. We thing there will be many opportunities to increase our popcorn revenue this year along with some other volunteer opportunities in the Village Park. I will keep you all posted.

We will continue to “televise” our meetings on Zoom. Watch for Shannon’s weekly email.

Please take note of our Speaker lineup for April (another home run!).

I would also like to remind everyone that masks are required at our weekly meetings at the Community Center. My thanks for everyone for following this.

~ Stay optimistic! President Rick



Zoom Meeting Info

Shannon has set up a zoom meeting for those who prefer to attend the weekly meetings remotely. Please contact her if you have questions about this.

To access these meetings please use the link, highlighted in red.  If the link does not bring up zoom, you can right click and follow the “Go to” menu pop up.  If these attempts don’t work, you can open your Zoom and enter the included meeting id and passcode, highlighted in orange.  If you would like to join the meeting with your telephone only, you can use the information highlighted in pink (not recommended).

This link will work for every meeting going forward. It is currently set up for every Wednesday through 2021.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 840 3817 7868
Passcode: 2Bsostrong

+1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 840 3817 7868
Passcode: 8438635390

~Shannon M. Dederich
(262) 844-9924


— Upcoming Activities and Events —

Fishing Derby

Scholarship Golf Outing

Memorial Fest — Opening Day for the Popcorn Wagon


Fishing Derby

Thank you to those who have already volunteered to help at the event!  This event would not be possible without you!  We could still use a little more help.  If you are interested in signing up to help, please contact either Dustin Koehler at 262-370-9529 or Sue Carney at 608-509-3117.  Thank you for your consideration.  We look forward to a terrific Fishing Derby!

~ Dustin Koehler


See the source image31st Annual Scholarship Golf Outing

Planning is underway for the 31st Annual Scholarship Golf outing to be held May 19, 2021 at Ironwood Golf Course in Sussex, WI.  The event will begin with registration at 9:30 am and a shotgun start at 11:00 am.  For $140 you will get 18 holes of golf (scramble format), cart, use of facilities, entry into all hole contests, mulligans, lunch, and heavy hors d’oeuvres afterwards.  We are looking for golfers for this event, as well as raffle prizes, auction items, and golf balls.  Look for our famous Golf Ball Wednesday to return in late April.  If you have your foursome already, please let me know so I can get you on our list for planning purposes.  If you do not have a full foursome, please let me know to reserve a spot.  You can then let me know the name(s) of the rest of the golfers for your foursome.  If you need a flyer or a general donation letter, please contact me (tpaulus@ritehite.com) to get one.  We have approved $15000 in scholarships for this year’s class of Seniors.  This event helps offset those awards.  I hope to see you out there that day.

~ Todd Paulus



Popcorn Wagon

The Popcorn Wagon will be located in the southeast corner of the parking lot at Village Park. We will be popping for Memorial Fest (Saturday May 29) and every evening after that throughout the summer.



— Past Events —

Oratorical Contest

Oratorical Contest Logo

This year’s Club Contest occurred on Thursday, March 18, 2021. The theme was “Healing the World with Optimism.” We had 7 students participate (3 boys and 4 girls) ranging in age from 10 to 18 years old.  All of the speeches were so impressive and inspiring!  The top two contestants will move on to the Zone Competition.

Our top two winners are:

Sara Booher – age 18 from Menomonee Falls

Anirudh Warrier – age 13 from Hartland

Please mark your calendars NOW for April 14th when all 7 students will be at our Club meeting  to give their presentations to all of you. A special Thank You again to ALL of our volunteer Judges, Timekeepers and Tabulators for this Contest, we could not have made this event the success that it was without you.

Zone Competition will be Thursday April 15th at the Menomonee Falls Community Center. We are looking for Timekeepers and Tabulators to help with this contest (Optimist members allowed) and Judges (Optimist members are not allowed). Please contact Jennifer Dedrick at jenndedrick1@gmail.com or  Annie Jurczyk at annie.j@kw.com if interested.

The students (Left to Right) are Harsimran Singh, Joel Pierson, Joshua Mims, Noel Brusnahan, Lauren Marzinski, Anirudh Warrier and Sara Booher.

~ Annie Jurczyk


Veronica Goveas – Distinguished Young Woman of Wisconsin

Veronica Goveas of Menomonee Falls was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Wisconsin for 2021. She will represent Wisconsin at the 64th National Finals to be held June 24-26, 2021.  She was selected the Wisconsin representative at the state competition held February 14, 2021 in South Milwaukee. Along with the title, Veronica won preliminary awards in Scholastic Achievement and Interview. The national program will be a virtual program again this year.

Veronica is daughter of Mary and Joseph Goveas. She will graduate from Menomonee Falls High School in June with plans to attend college to study either biological or health sciences pursuing the pre-med track.  Her career goal is to become a physician-researcher. Between now and mid-June, Veronica will be learning a fitness routine, polishing her interview skills, and rehearsing an Indian semi-classical dance for her talent.

This is exciting for Menomonee Falls as we have not had a state winner since 1990!

Veronica’s successor will be chosen at the 2022 Distinguished Young Women of Menomonee Falls program to held virtually at the end of April. Participants will be recorded performing talent, fitness, and self-expression on April 28. Zoom interviews with program judges will take place May 1. That evening the girls will return to the stage to record the awards ceremony. Falls Cable Access will put together the footage and broadcast the program on their channel or on demand on their website.

Stay tuned for lots of exciting news from Distinguished Young Women!

~ Cathy Sharkey


Students of the Month

Grace DeValkenaera – North Middle School, McKenzie Mamayek – St. Mary’s Parish, Aleiyah McKenzie – North Middle School, Alex Russo – Menomonee Falls High School, Jake Poffinbarger – Menomonee Falls High School

~ photo by Jon Cline


Getting to Know You

Del Kreuser

This is my 37th year as a member of the Menomonee Falls Optimist Club.  I served as President in 1996-1997 and have been active in many of our club functions.  Currently, I am on the committee for the Packer Raffle, our biggest fundraiser.  Our club is truly “a friend of youth” which is why I enjoy being a member of this organization.  I try to attend as many weekly meetings as possible but I especially enjoy the Students of the Month meetings.  They give me a lot of hope for the future.

I have been a resident of Menomonee Falls for the past 45 years.   My parents lived in Menomonee Falls when I was born and I actually attended 1st grade at St. Mary’s Parish School.  We moved to Hubertus where I attended St. Hubert Grade School.  I graduated from Hartford High School and got my degree in Business Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  I married my wife, Linda, 49 years ago and we lived in Sussex for a short time before buying our first home in Menomonee Falls.  We have lived here ever since.  It is a great community!

My business career started in the Savings & Loan Industry where I worked until I started my own business in Mortgage Banking.  I was co-owner and President of Assured Mortgage, Inc. with offices in Brookfield, Fond du Lac and Lake Mills.  It was both challenging and rewarding.  It is a great feeling to be part of a customer’s most important purchase of their life.  I really miss the smiles and excitement that goes along with buying a new home.  I retired in 2018.

My life is now centered around my family and travel.  Linda and I vowed that we would leave the cold weather of Wisconsin for warmer temperatures as much as possible.  For the past five years we have traveled to Puerto Vallarta with my daughter Erika, her husband Paul and their two sons Sawyer and Brady.  They live in Plymouth, Minnesota so they relish being able to vacation with us.  Everybody loves the beach and the activities that they have for us like volleyball, soccer, kayaking, parasailing and games around the pool.  We also spend time playing tennis, pickleball, bocci ball and shuffleboard.  We always find things to keep us entertained.

Linda and I also travel to Fort Myers Beach, Florida during part of the winter.  We love the atmosphere and the beach.  Golf and Pickleball take up most of our time there.

When I am home I spend a lot of my time at the golf courses in the area.  I am a member of the Tri-County YMCA and enjoy my workouts there.

I love sports and attend Brewer games every year.  My brother and sisters still live nearby and we spend time together when we can.  Other than that, our home has been an ongoing remodel project that always keeps us busy.


Executive Board

March Board Minutes

Unapproved: to be approved at the next board meeting.

Fred, Don, Carol, John, Kim, Dan, Todd, Greg, Shannon, Rick

Moved to approve by Dan, seconded by Todd

To be sent out and approved via email

No treasurer’s report this month (JM Vacation)

No March donation requests


Golf Outing Scholarship Fundraiser (Todd) – no updates from last year’s budget

            Moved to approve by Dan, seconded by Jen

Michael Fischer (to be approved at later date after call follow up from Rick)

No open business for March

Ed Schulmpf (member) presented concerns on approved scholarship amount for Class of ’21.  With a requested donation of $10,000-$15,000 from the committee, the board approved $15,000.  Board appreciated the work and concern from Ed, but due to trying year and the original amount requested, $15,000 will remain.

Popcorn wagon location was discussed and confirmed that it will be located at the south east corner of Village Park parking lot.  Concerns were brought up about visibility from new park and events, will consider as we all learn through the first year of the park location.

April 13, 7:00 am, Menomonee Falls CEREC building

A motion was made by Dan, seconded by John


Event Continuity

The Executive Board has recognized that many of the events that we support on an ongoing basis are not documented in a way that would allow someone to easily coordinate the event without the current chair or co-chair’s guidance and expertise.  Consequently, we run the risk that we might not be able to support a given event in the manner that we’d like if the current chairs are unavailable.

We want to correct that potential problem by pursuing a “business continuity” effort that will give us a framework to continue holding our events on an ongoing basis.  A working committee of Shannon Dederich, Rick Kohl, Dan Schwind and John Yusko have committed to helping obtain basic information about the events and creating a documentation repository that will be easily accessible to members willing to pick up the pieces in case of some catastrophic event.

If you are a committee chair or co-chair for one of our ongoing events, please be on the lookout for an email in the next few weeks that asks for your help on providing documentation for how you handle the event.  In particular, we are looking for information about key tasks, important dates, relevant contacts, recurring expenses, and any significant issues/obstacles to consider when putting together the event.  Our goal is to have a good start at the documentation by mid-May.

We plan to begin the process in early April and we intend to assist you in any way we can.   Please start gathering your thoughts and any existing documentation.  If you have current documentation, please forward what you have to any of the committee members.  Questions and concerns can also be raised with any of us.  Thanks for helping!

~ John Yusko


— This Month in Club History —

https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.lxN0iE3C_1LkAo5Y6y8Z3wAAAA&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300April, 1975 (46 years ago)

The Menomonee Falls Optimists present Jim Neville a lifetime membership in Optimist International for his work in getting the local chapter started.

~ Submitted by Jerry Mislang from the 40 Year History Program, courtesy of Ed Schlumpf


— How to Publish Optimist News –-

See the source image

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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