December 2018 Optimizer

December 2018 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

In this issue

  • December Meeting Schedule
  • President’s Thoughts
  • Upcoming Activities and Events
    • Calendar
    • Christmas Caroling at Linden Grove
    • Optimists After 5 (OA5)
    • Adopt a Highway – Chair Needed
    • Trivia
  • Board Briefings
  • Getting To Know You – Diane Matuszak
  • Past Events
    • Leaf Raking
    • Christmas Parade
    • Gutter Busters Bowling Event
    • Packer Raffle
    • Students of the Month
    • Optimist Meeting Photos
  • Junior Optimist Club
  • Thank You Notes
  • This Month in Club History
  • How to Publish Optimist News

—- December Meeting schedule —-

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

  • Wed. Dec. 5 No Meeting (Christmas Party)
  • Wed. Dec. 12 Cross Country Head Coach Tom Shannon will bring his two 2018 WIAA state qualifiers, Eric Dethloff and Kylie Wunschel. She was First-team All-State, Greater Metro Conference Runner of the Year and WIAA Sectional Champion. Also, Cathy Sharkey and Jerry Mislang have volunteered to be our Club’s Optimist International Foundation Representatives and will give some insight on what that involves.
  • Tue. Dec. 18 OA5 meeting at KC Hall. Cocktails at 5:15, meeting at 6:00. See OA5 article below.
  • Wed. Dec. 19 Our last meeting in 2018 is the December Students of the Month. NMS Principal Lynn Grimm and MFHS Principal Vitale will introducing the presenters and four outstanding students. A great way to put a bow on 2018!
  • Wed. Dec. 26 No Meeting (Community Center is Closed) – Great timing! Most folks will probably be recuperating, returning gifts or looking for 50% off deals that morning!

Speakers Committee


—- President’s Thoughts —-


In this season of giving, let us pause to think how fortunate we are to be able to give of our time and resources.

We have been able to help many groups with their donation requests and help to make a difference for the youth in our community. Thank you. In order to continue being the club our community counts on, we need to keep up the good work. How? By participating and getting involved. Invite your friends to a meeting or event and encourage them to join us. Sponsors- encourage members to get involved.

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 on December 5 or any other event or meeting and remember – any committee would welcome you with open arms. Please consider reaching out and joining us! You’ll be glad you did.

Speaking of joining us – we welcomed 12 new members who were installed on November 13:

  • Fred Blanke
  • Keri Duce
  • Ryan Duce
  • Molly Dederich
  • Jeff Haubenreich
  • Brian Heimark
  • Carlos LeBron
  • Keri LeBron
  • Anna Listwan
  • Montana Mariscal
  • Marji Mulder
  • Brooke Tabbert
  • Four more were unable to attend on November 13 so they will be installed very soon! Please welcome them and help them get involved!

And now a few special notes of thanks-

  • A wonderful turnout for the first annual Optimist Christmas parade through downtown Menomonee Falls on November 25th! Many thanks to Larry Hebbring and his team for organizing this event!
  • To Dawn Mariscal and her many volunteers for the annual Drop ‘n Shop on December 1, thank you. Over 100 children were delighted with this annual program. Thank you all – and Santa too.
  • As I write this note, the annual Optimist Holiday party is being planned for December 5 at Silver Spring Country Club. Kudos to Kristy Gruenwald and Carol Schulteis for chairing this event. And to Tim Newman and Ed Schlumpf for leading the caroling at Linden Grove.
  • Thank you to Cathy Sharkey and Jerry Mislang who have volunteered to take on the role as Optimist International Foundation Representatives from our Club. And thank you to Rick Kohl and Marcia Hebbring who will co-chair the Do the Right Thing program. Woohoo!!
  • I would be remiss if I did not thank the speakers committee for all of their hard work in securing great speakers this past year! You guys rock!
  • And to all of our committees, volunteers and Board – this Club would not be a success without all of you! Thank you!

As a reminder, we will not meet on Wednesday, December 5 (Holiday party in the evening) or on Wednesday, December 26th or Wednesday January 2nd as schools will be closed. I look forward to seeing you at our first 2019 meeting on January 9th.

A joyous Holiday Season to you and yours.

Jeanine Dederich


—- Upcoming Activities and Events—-

  • Sat. Dec. 1 Holiday Shop and Drop
  • Sat. Dec. 1 Theater social gathering for Zone 1. Falls Patio Players “Christmas Carol”
  • Wed. Dec. 5 Optimist Caroling and Holiday Party
  • Fri. Jan. 25 Chili Supper. Mark your calendar. More info to follow.
  • Sat. Apr. 6 Trivia Night. Mark your calendar. See note below.


Christmas Caroling at Linden Grove

Join your fellow Optimists for Christmas Caroling at Linden Grove before the holiday party. Great singing voices are NOT required. The residents love to see our smiling faces. Come to sing, whether you are attending the holiday party or not.

Linden Grove 5:15 pm on Wednesday, December 5


Optimists After 5 (OA5)

Optimists after 5 will be celebrating the holidays with service and cheer.  Our December meeting will be on the 18th, at Knights of Columbus in Menomonee Falls.  Meeting time is 5:45 for cocktails, 6:00 event start.

The agenda will include discussing the April/May Bags Fundraiser, 2019 calendar events and more.  All of this will be discussed over Fleece Blanket making for the Menomonee Falls Fire Dept.  We will construct 15 tie blankets to be sent to the department for use in accidents/fires where children are involved, to keep them warm and cozy.

We welcome all members of the club to join us for a fun, merry evening!

Shannon Dederich


We need you — Adopt A Highway Program

A message from Terry Fitzsimmons:

The “Adopt the Highway” program was designed to encourage volunteers to keep a section of highway free from litter. Our Menomonee Falls Optimist Club has sponsored this program for many years. Not sure who our first captain was but Larry Barbera, JJ Selland, Charlie Keller and Diane Matuszak all preceded Carl Trapp who recently stepped down as chair of the program. “With help from Terry Fitzsimmons, Diane Matuszak, her sons and other Optimists, alot of debris has been picked up over the years,” stated Carl. “Three times a year we have maintained our assigned road area from Appleton Ave to Mill Rd along the east and west sides of Pilgrim Rd and no medians. We begin after April 1st and must be finished by November 1st each year,” he adds. Mr. Barbera noted “the Menomonee Falls Junior Indian Baseball program sponsors the first clean up date each year and other groups such as Cub Scouts, Dolphinettes, MFHS athletic teams and service groups have all chipped in to help over the years. We try and find younger, built much closer to the ground type co-helpers to assist us each session so the older Optimists don’t have to bend any more than necessary!”

Duties of the captain, co-captain are:

  1. Register with the state as the highway chairperson (this has been done for 2019)
  2. Bring vest, vinyl gloves and garbage bags supplied by Waukesha County to Prince of Peace Lutheran W156N7149 Pilgrim Rd
  3. Minimum of 10 hopefully 20 people split into 4 groups: Group A parks at McDonald’s and heads south; Group B starts at the church and heads north; Group C begins at the church and heads south; Group D parks in the Sunny Dale subdivision (close to Mill and Pilgrim) and heads north. Each group walks until they meet up with the opposing group, crosses the street, and heads back in the direction they came from.
  4. It takes about an hour to clean up the route
  5. Collect the names of participants and the number of bags collected
  6. Submit information along with the location of the bags left on the roadside.
  7. County will pick up the debris

For the effort, our club is recognized as a sponsor on a road sign at the corner of Appleton Ave and Pilgrim Rd and the fact that we are doing our part with keeping our community roads clean is an added bonus. The Adopt a Highway Program allows Menomonee Falls Optimist members to donate approximately 1 hour on a chosen Saturday morning, 2 to 3 times a year, to assist in keeping Waukesha County clean.

Diane Matuszak states: “If it wasn’t for Terry Fitzsimmons and his team of athletes that ALWAYS show up, this program would not be successful. As Carl Trapp and I co-chaired for the past years it was a joy to have Terry Fitzsimmons on our team. Fitzsimmons arrives first and is followed by several cars with parents and athletes. They jump out and are eager to help. Waukesha County requests 2 to 3 clean up dates that work for the club. I would just add that in addition to rubber gloves, or yard gloves, also bring WIPES, sanitizing lotion and a small first aid kit. Carl and I would also bring crackers or cookies, paper cups and 1 to 2 gallons of juice. A sign in and a sign out is a sure way of knowing that everyone safely returns. She also notes: “A local service club donated one dozen garbage grabbers to The Optimist Club of SussexLannonLisbonButler. We will be happy to loan them to you! Thank you to Carl and to Terry for the good team we made. Thank you to Terry Fitzsimmons for all you do! Thank you to Optimists everywhere!”

Grab a friend to co-chair this event with you. Questions? Contact Terry Fitzsimmons 414-587-9322




QUESTIONS- Call Sue Jeskewitz -262-251-9595


—– Board Briefings – November 20, 2018 —–


  • Pat Hansen -MFHS baseball team. Requested donation for their Spring Training trip. $1,000 approved.
  • Meg Hanley & Felecia Perkins. Requested donation for Impact 4 Life. $2,000 approved.
  • Chuck Moser of JR Indians. Requested donation for Cooperstown trip. $1,000 approved.

Jerry Mislang presented a budget of $890 for plaques. Approved

Shannon Dederich presented a budget of $200 for OA5. Approved

Jim Foster provided the Treasurers Report and a Quickbooks update.

Jeanine discussed a special project to be done this year re:OI 100th anniversary.

Karen Nelson is stepping down from “Do the right thing program”. Rick Kohl and Marcia Hebbring plan to take it over.

Highway cleanup will be taken over by Terry Fitzsimmons.

The club is searching for an OI Rep to take Carl Trapp’s position.

Next meeting-12/18/18.

2018-2019 Optimist Board:

  • President Jeanine Dederich
  • 1st Vice President Todd Paulus
  • 2nd Vice President Rick Kohl
  • Treasurer Marcia Hebbring
  • Past President Lynette Shepherd
  • Past Presidents Council Don Eisenhauer
  • Board Members: Dave Curran, Kathryn Hoff, Barb Schmit, Ann Freudenthal, Steve Flemming, Joann Wanner

Rick Kohl


—– “Getting to Know You” Diane Matuszak —–

Diane Matuszak has been a Menomonee Falls Optimist Club member for 16 years and has volunteered for almost every project and/or event we sponsor. She has co-chaired Highway Clean Up with Carl Trapp for ten years, is captain for a Popcorn Wagon week and is a Captain for the annual Packer Raffle. She has also volunteered for the July 3rd parade with the Bucket Brigade and making cotton candy. And that’s not all – last year she was a lead for Leaf Raking and volunteered at the Chili Dinner, bringing in SLLB members to volunteer as well. She has also sponsored two new members for our Club.

Diane currently serves as the President of the SLLB (Sussex, Lannon, Lisbon, Butler) Optimist Club which got its “kick start” and is sponsored by the Menomonee Falls Club. This Club now has a JOI program at Sussex Hamilton High School and has 28 members already!

Diane is Lieutenant Governor of nine clubs in the SWIS District as well. She has attended all SWIS conferences for the last three years and four International Conventions.

To say Diane is devoted to the Optimist Club and all is stands for is an understatement. Please take a moment to thank Diane for all she does to bring out the best in kids. Thank you Diane!

Jeanine Dederich


—- Past Events —-

Leaf Raking

Jason’s Black Weather Cloud Impacts Leaf Raking for the Second Straight Year

Junior Indians MFHS Junior Optimist Club Kindness for Kaden Scouts Falls Angels

Despite 21 degree temperatures, gusty winds and 2” of beautiful slushy, crusty snow on the ground, over 240 volunteers braved the elements to participate in the annual Senior Citizen Leaf Raking event.  The volunteers were asked to do their best and they successfully helped clear leaves (and plenty of snow) from the yards of 30 residences.   As we went to press, grateful residents have donated almost $700 that will be matched by the Optimist Club and split among the participating groups.

Special thanks to the Optimist Volunteers who helped with set-up, registration, coordination with the teams and hauling leaves to Shady Lane Greenhouse.

And…please don’t forget to patronize Shady Lane for your gardening needs.  Karl Hornung graciously cooperated with us again this year to save us from paying dumping fees for about 2 dozen loads of soggy leaves at Orchard Ridge landfill.

John Yusko


Christmas Parade

Photos by Don Gorzek

On November 25th, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we had over 55 groups and Santa in the 1st annual Optimist Christmas Parade.  The blizzard stayed south and the weather was great. The parade started at 4:30, but multiple Optimists helped with Marshalling and the Staging area well before, getting all the groups lined-up and ready to go on the Christmas decorated night parade route.  The parade started at Harrison and Main, went to the 4-corners and down Appleton to Arthur Dr. passing streets packed with children waiting to see Santa on the Knights of Columbus Float.  Community groups, animals, stilt walkers, clowns, dance groups, bands and advertisers provided a Christmas spirit in Downtown Menomonee Falls.  The Downtown Bid district also ran promotions and the tree lighting that weekend.

Robin Tietz Turtenwald has been leading this parade for over 40 years with various clubs/organizations and now our Optimist Club has officially taken charge for the future.  Without Robin’s past help, this parade would never have happened or made it so easy for the club to take over.  Many thanks to Robin for her past work.

Once again the Optimists come through to make our community better and provide the best for kids.

Larry Hebbring


Gutter Busters Bowling Event

Photos by Jon Cline

Gutter Busters Bowling event with the Menomonee Falls Police Department was held on a day off of school- November 1 at Village Bowl.  Sponsored by the MF Optimist Club to the Cops and Kids Foundation, over 30 kids ages 7 and up enjoyed bowling and lunch, all while getting to know Menomonee Falls finest…police and Optimist volunteers that is!


Still another Record for Packer Raffle

Bolstered by the presence of former Packer Pro-Bowler George Koonce and another three Kohl’s volunteers, the 2018 Packer Raffle set a record for profits for the third straight year and the seventh time in the last decade. Final figures showed the event netted $23,803.71 in earnings compared to a projected $22,383.73. The amount was $1,162.48 more than was made in 2017, according to Ed Schlumpf, Raffle Chairperson.

Koonce spoke about his career as a Packer, donated his book as a door prize and autographed miniature footballs for 10 paying fans. Kohls donated $975 to the cause thanks to the additional workers including Optimist members Steve Luehring and Shannon Dederich.

The Grand Prize was won by member Luanne Rambert and her breakfast group who chose to attend the Green Bay-Buffalo game on Sept. 30. Ticket Connections, the broker annually used by the club, was able to move Luanne and her group into seats out of the rain that day.

Lance Gillitzer of West Bend took home second prize of $1,000, Deanna Sommerfield of West Allis got the $600 third prize and the $400 fourth place money went to Joe Eberhardy of Menomonee Falls.

The thirteen $250 winners included Janel Brandtjen, Joe Cappozzo, Porter’s Borders and Dennis Steinle as well as Optimist members Linda Zylka, Ed Veth,and Kay Weber all of the Falls; Bruce LaPointe and Jeff Frailing of Milwaukee; Amy Manion of Fond du Lac; Vicki Wachtl of Hartland; Peter Gross of Colgate; and Heidi McKenna of Richfield.

Winning a free entry for next’s year’s contest was Jim Newman, also from the Falls.

Special thanks go to many people including….

  • Pete Riopel and the Village Bowl staff for the facilities, meal and door prize donation.
  • Donors of In-House Raffle prizes: Malkins Flooring, Terry Marcou/Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral Services, Rog Rogers’ State Farm Insurance and Zone 1 Lieutenant Governor Rose Schwartz.
  • In addition to the gift certificate from Village Bowl, other door prizes were donated by Dennis Steinle and Main Street Framing in Lannon. Matt Hakes VFI firm covered the cost of the winners’ tailgate party at Lambeau Field. Dan Schwind and Town Bank donated funds to pay for the food and drinks on the winners’ limo trip to Green Bay. Barry Landowski’s Minute Man Press in Germantown printed the flyers at no cost to the club. Rog Rogers State Farm Insurance and Terry Marcou/Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral Services paid for the printing of the tickets.
  • Volunteering as auditors, ticket-takers, raffle sellers and door prize coordinators at the Tailgate/Drawing were Herb Gross, Mary Schlumpf, Meg Latus, Dan Schwind, Marcia Hebbring, Jerry Mislang, Del Krueser, JJ Selland, Larry Hebbring, Tom Ciskoski, Greg Mattson, Tim Newman, Diane Matuszak and Shannon Dederich.
  • Team captains this year were Tim Newman, Jerry Mislang, Donna Bosch, Dan Schwind, Terry Fitzsimmons, Larry Hebbring, Chad DeLuka, Meg Latus, Del Kreuser, Herb Gross, Carl Trapp, Marcia Hebbring, Diane Matuszak, Steve Fleming, Mary Schlumpf, Tom Ciskoski, me, and Lenny and Deb Kimmel who filled in so admirably after the untimely passing of Joe Ludan and whose names I sadly forgot to mention at the Raffle’s conclusion.
  • Once again a big “thank you” to Brenda Foote, a non-club member who sold 16 tickets again at her Water Street Pub in the Falls.
  • Finally, without the tireless efforts of co-chair Dan Schwind who coordinated advance tickets sales and handled the final details for the winners’ trip to Lambeau, this huge undertaking would never have reached the record-setting heights that it did.

As per usual, suggestions for improving next year’s event can be voiced to any of the captains listed above.

Ed Schlumpf


Students of the Month

The Menomonee Falls Optimist Club Students of the Month for November 2018 include (L to R) – From North Middle School: Nolan Weiss and Olivia Robinson; and from MFHS: Austin Trzebiatowski-Strupp and Miranda Bunke. Photo by Jon Cline




Optimist Meeting photos

Dave Glasgow, Menomonee Falls Village President, gave us an update on the village at our October 31st meeting. Photo by Don Gorzek








At the November 28th meeting, the club got to meet MFHS new varsity boys basketball coach, Aaron Womack and some of the team members for the 2018-19 season. Photos by Don Gorzek






—- Junior Optimists —-

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 snowy and cold weather. We enjoyed pizza at our next meeting to celebrate and socialize! 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 and are planning a new event at a local senior citizen assisted living home where we will be painting with the residents thanks to the very talented Don Eisenhauer! Lots of fun things going on for the Junior Optimists! As always, we thank the adult club for their continuous support!

Ali Leon

—– November Thank You’s (excerpts) —–

Kirsten Sperl FamilyThank you for the generous gift. The family has made a donation to the VFW.”

Maureen Crombie, SWIS District Governor“It was a pleasure to be invited to your Installation Banquet. I am so moved by everything you have done for the kids in your community…you have an awesome club.”

Submitted by Jerry Mislang


—- This Month in Club History —

December 8, 2005 (13 years ago) -John Weaver dies. Board decides to name the Do the Right Thing event in his memory in as much as John started the event and always believed in “Doing the Right Thing.”

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


—- 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 –

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