December 2017 Optimizer

The Optimizer
December 2017
Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

—- In this issue —-

  • December Meeting Schedule
  • President’s Thoughts
  • Upcoming Events
    • Calendar
    • Christmas Party
    • Community Christmas Card Taping
    • Jan. 3 Meeting at MFHS
    • Chili Dinner
    • Broadway Shows at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
  • Executive Board
    • November Board Meeting
  • Past Events
    • Leaf Raking
    • Students of the Month
    • Club Meeting Photos
  • JOOI Club
  • This Month in Club History
  • Thank You Notes
  • How to Publish Optimist News

—- December Meeting schedule —-

All meetings are at 7:15 am at the Community Center except as noted.

  • December 6 No meeting – Christmas Party Dec. 5
  • December 13 Scott Walter / Girls On the Run program and Kelsey Ogle / MFHS Girls Swim Team
  • December 20 Students of the Month
  • December 27 No meeting

—- President’s Thoughts —-

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives”  ~ Jackie Robinson?

YOUR life is important!!!  Because you are a member of the Menomonee Falls Optimist Club!  A club that has an impact on so many!  Not just the kids we fund raise for, but their families, which also impacts this community!  That’s a lot of impact and it’s powerful because of our collective efforts!!  It’s not about just one or two, it’s about what each one contributes to the cause of our club, to Bring Out the Best in Kids!!  What an honor to be part of it!!

The last couple months as President have been awesome, working with all the committees and leading our member meetings and board meetings.  I am committed to the “agendas” and keeping things on task and moving along because our time is so valuable (and I just don’t want to disrespect anyone’s time) but I am learning that there is a fine line between rushing things and keeping things moving, so please bear with me as I blur that line and get more comfortable with this new role.

We have been able to help a lot of groups with their donation requests and making an impact on our youth.  In order to continue being the club our community counts on, we need to keep up the good work. The best thing we can do is participate and get more involved.  Invite your friends to a meeting and encourage them to join our efforts!!

If you are currently not as active with the club as you would like to be, come get to know us at the Christmas party and remember – any committee would welcome you with open arms.  Please consider reaching out and joining us!  The rewards are “priceless”!!

Be an active participant in this life of yours!!  Here’s to having an important life!!

Your friend in Optimism,


—- Upcoming Events —-

  • Fri. Dec. 1 Optimist Night at Falls Patio Players.
  • Sat. Dec. 2 Holiday Drop and Shop
  • Tue. Dec. 5 Optimist Christmas Party at North Hills Country Club. Caroling at Linden Grove at 5:15. Cocktails at 6:15 pm. Dinner at 7:00 pm. Comedy Sportz at 8:00 pm.
  • Wed. Dec. 13 Community Christmas Card Taping. MFHS 6:00 pm
  • Wed. Jan. 3 Night meeting at MFHS Innovation Center. Meeting at 6:15. Gathering after at Three Cellars.
  • Fri. Jan. 12 Chili Dinner 4:30 to 7:30. MFHS cafeteria.

Christmas Party

You deserve to celebrate after all of the excellent work you have done this year as a member of this club! Cap off the wonderful year by joining in the merriment of the 2017 Optimist Club Holiday Party!

Join us Tuesday, December 5th.

  • 5:15pm Linden Grove – Christmas Caroling
  • 6:15pm North Hills – Cocktails (cash bar)
  • 7:00pm Dinner and wine
  • 8:00pm Comedy Sportz live show!!! (This is all imrov and audience participation! SO much fun!)

This fun-filled evening of dinner, wine and entertainment is only $37.50/person ($75/couple) so why not?!?!

Don’t be discouraged if you missed the cutoff for signing up! Please contact Kristy Gruenwald or Carol Schulteis ASAP if you decide last minute that YOU deserve to celebrate!!!!  We will make it happen for you 😉

I hope to see all of you there!

Contact us if you pay online after November 29th or if you wish to sign up and pay via cash or check.

Kristy Gruenwald   414-840-4534
Carol Schulteis   262-255-4747

Community Christmas Card

Taping It is time to schedule the annual Falls Cable Access Holiday greeting… the Community Christmas Card.  The taping will take place at the Falls Cable Access studio at Menomonee Falls High School.  Enter the doors two to the right of the flag poles (the cable access vehicle will be out front).

Our Optimist Club taping is scheduled for Wednesday December 13 at 6:00pm.

There will be Christmas snacks, treats, cookies, hot Apple Cider and Chocolate.  Come in to tape our greeting (only takes a few minutes) and stay to see who else is coming in.

Wear your Holiday finest and encourage your Optimist friends to join in!

Please let Jeanine know if you are coming so she has a general idea of how many people will be there.

Jeanine Dederich 

January 3rd Meeting at Menomonee Falls High School

Do you know what STEM means? Are you baffled by some (most?) of today’s technology? Would you like to hear about how Menomonee Falls High School is preparing our students to help baffle us even more? Or would you just like to be informed and entertained?

Join us on January 3, 2018 for the Optimist Club meeting in Room 035 in the Innovation Center at the High School. After a brief business meeting, Bret Warner will help us learn that STEM means science, technology, engineering, and math. We will find out what our educators are doing to make sure our kids are prepared to lead in an ever-changing technological and economic global marketplace. And we’ll get to see cool stuff to make us wish we were back in high school!

The meeting starts at 6:15 p.m. Afterwards, we’ll head to Three Cellars at N72W13400 Lund Lane to discuss what we’ve learned—there will be a quiz! This should be fun…don’t miss it!

Carol Schulteis

Chili Dinner

It’s that time again, time to start thinking about our annual chili dinner. This event will be held Friday, January 12, 2018 at the Menomonee Falls High School cafeteria. The dinner will be from 4:30 – 7:30 pm before the Menomonee Falls Indians and Sussex Hamilton Chargers varsity basketball game.

Every year we ask each member to try and sell 8 tickets. This year’s tickets will be numbered to help with the accounting process. Tickets are on sale for $6.50. Club members have been creative with selling over the years. Here are some suggestions,

  • use as stocking stuffers or Christmas gifts
  • buy tickets, pick up containers and have a winter’s worth of chili in your freezer
  • buy tickets and donate to the Menomonee Falls food pantry or other charity
  • sell to co-workers and bring containers of chili to work for them

There’s no obligation to sell tickets but it is a great event and a fun way to support our club and get a good meal to boot. We have chili, hot dogs, and chili dogs along with chips and a beverage, enough to feed even the hungriest of people. The Jr Optimist Club will be having a bake sale at the same time so stop by and have a little sweet.

During the event we will be selling tickets for a 50/50 raffle as well as have gift baskets to be raffled off during the game.

So, get involved, you can pick up your tickets at a Wednesday meeting or watch for them in your mailbox.

Any money or donated/unsold tickets can be returned to: Kirsten Sperl  N88W15021 Cleveland Ave, Apt 2, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

Thank you for supporting and being a part of such a worthy club.

Kirsten Sperl

Broadway Shows at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

The Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls is very fortunate to have access to preferred orchestra seating for the Broadway shows at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, thanks to club member John Barnes. The next show is “Waitress”. Optimist Night is January 5th.  But if that night is not good for you, you can chose any performance from January 2 – 7th.

The ordering information sheet is attached to this newsletter email showing all the shows for the rest of the season including Les Miserables and An American in Paris. You can order online or call Kelly Hough at 414-273-7121 ext 213.

Theater tickets make great Christmas gifts!

Ann Freudenthal


—- Executive Board —-

Board Meeting Minutes – November 21, 2017

President Lynette Shepherd led the Board meeting on Tuesday, November 21st, 2017. Meeting synopsis is as follows:

Donation requests:

  1. Betsy Potter, Grace Gehring, Cindy Lux – St Mary Parish. Approved $2,200 donation for work camp
  2. Ralph Krueger – Bowlers Ed. Approved $500 donation for in-school bowling
  3. Ann Fruedenthal – Patio Players/First Act Theater camp. Approved $3,000 donation
  4. Moira Paulus – Wheelchair Basketball. Approved $1,000 donation as Gold Medal sponsor
  5. North Middle School – Your Choice Live program. Approved $750 donation with request to be present if requested in 2018
  6. North Middle School – Memorial Day Program. Approved $750 donation

Treasurer’s report:

Jim Foster and Larry Podolske provided monthly report

Committee Reports and Budgets:

  1. Approved $200 request from Beth Saunders to obtain security for website with an additional $100 per year to prevent hacking
  2. Approved $16,000 request from Cathy Hazzard for 2018 scholarships, to include $1,000 to Quest student
  3. Approved $500 written request from Don Eisenhauer to pay dues for JOOI
  4. Jerry Mislang provided written post-budget for Tri Star for informational purpose

Unfinished Business:

  1. Independence Day Parade – Topic of saving money on this event was tabled
  2. WIAA Athletes – Don Gorzek emphasized we can financially support only teams, not individuals, per WIAA rules

New Business:

  1. Young Member Social – Jeanine/Lynette – This topic was tabled
  2. Sponsoring of the Sussex Club – Diane Matuszak reported 29 new members to Sussex, Lannon, Lisbon, Butler club, for which Diane is President. Menomonee Falls Optimist Club is the sponsor club. No defined amount was requested, but President Lynette will send an email to all Board members to vote on monetary support of $1,000 to get this Club up and running.
  3. Sponsoring the Christmas Parade – Larry Hebbring asked if the 11/26/17 Menomonee Falls Christmas parade could be “sponsored by Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls” for insurance purposes for 2017. This was approved and recognition will be given on banners, website, publications, etc.

The Board meets the third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 a.m. Members include:

  • President Lynette Shepherd
  • 1st Vice President Jeanine Dederich
  • 2nd Vice President Dustin Koehler
  • Treasurer Larry Podolske
  • Past President Don Gorzek
  • Past Presidents Council Dan Schwind
  • Board Members: Sue Carney, Tom Dueppen, Chris O’Reilly, Barb Schmit, Kathryn Hoff, Dave Curran, Dustin Koehler. Dustin Koehler


—- Past Events —-

2017 Leaf Raking Makes Its Own Sunshine

November 4 dawned sunny, warm and bright with the prospects of a great day to rake leaves for seniors and earn some donations for a number of kids’ organizations!

Okay…it was actually cloudy, rainy and no more than 40 degrees, but it was still a great day for leaf raking. Over 225 volunteer rakers and a dozen or so Optimist Club members turned the gloomy weather into sunshine for 27 senior citizens whose yards were cleaned up before the winter weather hits.

Organizations who provided rakers included the Cub Scouts, Falls Jr Indians, Falls Angels Softball, Student Council, National Honor Society, Jr Optimists and Kindness for Kaden. Through November 20, we’ve collected over $750 in donations for these groups—and we are not done collecting! Even better, the Optimist Club will be matching the total and issuing checks in the near future.

Special thanks to all the Optimist volunteers who helped with set-up, clean-up, sign-in and leaf hauling. Your experience, guidance & effort were invaluable as a couple “rookie” chairpersons muddled through the process—thanks again!

And…an extra special note of appreciation to Karl Hornung at Shady Lane Greenhouses who generously provided us with an area to dump leaves after the village was unable to accommodate us. Karl was gracious, helpful and cooperative—a genuine pleasure to work with!

Please mark your calendars for next year’s Leaf Raking on November 10, 2018…I‘m pretty confident we can guarantee better weather!

John Yusko

Seth Grob, age 6, of Cub Scout Pack 109 readies himself with energy food before he spends the morning raking leaves. Jason Husslein and John Yusko give instructions to the students before raking event starts. Jason and John are taking over the committee chair position for Leaf Raking for Seniors that was run with great success for many years by Matt Goihl. Falls Angels Softball coaches Rob Tack and Tom Sardina supervise and help their athletes. Falls Angels Softball team members clear yards of leaves along Menomonee Avenue. Falls Angels Softball team members clear yards of leaves along Menomonee Avenue.

Photos by Don Gorzek


Students of the Month

Photo by Don Gorzek

The Menomonee Falls Optimist Club Students of the Month for October 2017 include from left, North Middle School Kate Lockwood and Will Toth, both seventh graders and from MFHS seniors Tamia Powell and Scott Weiland.




Photo by Don Gorzek

Optimist Students of the month for November 2017 are from MFHS Senior Hannah Xiong and from North Middle School Emma Pulvermacher and Ellie Klun, both sixth graders. Not pictured from MFHS is Gwendolyn DeLeon.




Optimist Club Meeting Photos

Photo by Don Gorzek
Barb Watters enlightened us on the goings on of our own Village & the Village Centre.  She talked about our new, successful Friday Night Beer Garden and the plans for our Village’s future.






Photo by Don Gorzek

MFHS Girls Golf Coach Tony Pritchard, with Cosette Schfelker, first MFHS female golfer to qualify for state since 1981 (36 years)




Photo by Don Gorzek

Matt Carran, Director of Community Development, for the Village of Menomonee Falls spoke at our November 22, 2017 meeting




Photo by Don Gorzek

Lyle Friesenhahn, Advisor to BSA Venture Crew 109 of Menomonee Falls, will be here with a couple youth to tell us about their organization and how they used our donation.





Photo by Don Gorzek

Cross country head coach Tom Shannon with Kylee Wunschel and Tom Goihl (member Matt Goihl’s son) joining us to fill us in on their Cross Country season!





Photo by Don Gorzek

The November 29, 2017 Optimist Club meeting was held in the newly remodeled North Middle School Auditorium. The cost of the project was four million dollars. Before the Optimists toured the update facilities, members of the 2017 Edition of “A Christmas Carol – The Musical”, entertained club members. Patio Players Mike Crain as Scrooge, Ben Bartos as Bob Cratchit, and Anna Marie Zorn as Mrs. Cratchit sang several songs. Club photographer, Don Gorzek, was able to capture a 180-degree fish-eye view of the auditorium.




—- JOOI Club —

The Junior Optimist Club had a great time raking leaves in early November as a part of the adult club’s program. We had a great turn out and had fun despite the rainy weather. We enjoyed pizza at our next meeting to celebrate and socialize! We also recruited some volunteers to help set up “Bands of the Falls,” another community event. This month, we are looking forward to volunteering at the Optimist Club’s Holiday Drop and Shop! We plan on bringing a big group to help. Our club is also excited about our holiday party, taking place in late December. Looking forward, we are beginning to prepare for our bake sale, which traditionally takes place during the Chili Dinner in January. Lots of fun things going on for the Junior Optimists! As always, we thank the adult club for their continuous support!

Alison Leon

—- This Month in Club History —

December 19, 1995 (22 years ago) – The annual Friend of Education Award is presented to the Optimist Club by the School District of Menomonee Falls because of eight years of offering the Post Prom Party.

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


—- Thank You Notes —-

The club received thank you notes from the following:

  • Menomonee Falls Food Pantry
  • Jeff Steliga family
  • Tom and Linda Walkner


—- 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 no later than the 25th of each month –
  • NEWSPAPERS Kim Wenzel three or more weeks prior to your event, as quickly as possible after an event –
  • FACEBOOK Cathy Sharkey, Dawn Mariscal or Lynette Shepherd –,,
  • WEBSITE Beth Saunders – Page 2

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