February 2017

The Optimizer    

February 2017

Menomonee Falls Optimist Club



—- Meeting schedule —-

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

Feb. 1 Night meeting at Menomonee Falls Library, main meeting room 6:00 pm.Lt. Brian Murphy, formerly of Oak Creek Police Department
Feb. 8 Becca Murray – Rio Paraolympian Gold Medalist
Feb. 15 SOM and MFHS Mountain Biking Team
Feb. 22 Department of Transportation Representative
Mar. 1 Night meeting at Wisconsin Athletic Club 6:00 pmThe Community League


—- Message from the President —-

President’s Thoughts for January 2017

Don’t be just another guy going down the street and going nowhere.~ Al McGuire

Our Optimist Club has started 2017 with some entertaining and worthwhile events. Those who attended our many January events, I trust found them to be rewarding.

As Club President, I receive printouts about Club Membership. Some folks indicated that they plan to drop their membership due to “Lack of Interest”. I believe that the problem maybe more a “Lack of Involvement”! One of the “Tenets” of Optimism is “Bring Out the Best in Kids”. I believe that as our members “Get Involved” with youth, through our over thirty committees and activities, they would become excited and certainly not have a “Lack of Interest”.

“Keep it simple, when you get too complex you forget the obvious.” ~ Al McGuire

Check the Club’s Membership Directory, Website, or Facebook Page for the committees and chair-people to contact for activities that spark your interest and join that group. You may be surprised how refreshing and exciting it is to work with and for the kids in our community.

Help one kid at a time. He’ll maybe go back and help a few more.  ~ Al McGuire

My compliments to all those folks who helped with the Club’s Chili Dinner Fund Raiser at the MFHS Basketball game on January 13, 2017. The Chili was Great! Or as Al McGuire would put it, “If the waitress has dirty ankles, the chili is good.”

All the Best to You,

Don Gorzek
Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls President 2016-17


—- Executive Board —-

January Executive Board Meeting

January Board Briefings – January 17, 2017

President Don Gorzek led the Board meeting on Tuesday, January 17, 2017.  Meeting synopsis is as follows:

Donation requests approved:

  • Request from Jr. Indians, Mark Plantier president – $1,000 for “Grand Slam” sponsorship for Cooperstown trip. Sponsorship includes Optimist name on banners, t-shirts, in program and on plaque.
  • Request from St. Mary’s Betsy Potter and student Patrick, summer teen mission trip – approved $2,700 as sponsor for trip to New Mexico.
  • Request from Lynn Grimm, North Middle school principal – support of $1000 for sponsorship of May Veterans program.

Treasurer’s report: Approved report; also approved $110 membership to Menomonee Falls Chamber of Commerce.  Their events will be posted on our website, Facebook and announced at weekly meetings.  With membership, any Optimist member may attend Chamber events

Budgets:  Approved budgets as submitted for DYW program and Trivia contest; Note to all committee chairs: Please provide budgets for events, past and upcoming.  President Don will follow up with you.

New Business: Lynnette Shepherd will look into scheduling a membership drive in March, not to conflict with morning or night meetings.

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



Please remember – the board needs a “proposed budget” with last year’s budget, last year’s actual #s and this year’s proposed #s for board approval prior to your event & then a final budget following the event with financial results.

The template for this can be requested from President Don, Lynette Shepherd or Jeanine Dederich.

Thank you for your cooperation!!

Lynette Shepherd


Chamber of Commerce

Did you know????

Our club is a member of the Menomonee Falls Chamber of Commerce and, as an Optimist member, you share the benefits of being a Chamber Member and can participate in all Chamber events.

Watch our Facebook page for Chamber Events you may be interested in attending!!

Lynette Shepherd

—- Upcoming Events —-


Volunteers Needed

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

  • Tri-Star Basketball
  • Distinguished Young Women Program
  • Oratorical Contest

February Night Meeting

Guest speaker – Lt. Brian Murphy, formerly of Oak Creek Police Department 

WHEN:  Wednesday, February 1, 2017  Arrive 6:00; meeting and program at 6:30

WHERE:  Main meeting room at Menomonee Falls Library.  Meeting will be followed by a tour of the police department

WHAT:  We are honored to have Lt. Brian Murphy, formerly of the Oak Creek Police Department, as our guest speaker.  Many of you will remember Officer Murphy as the first responding officer to the Sikh Temple shootings in 2012.  Lt. Murphy sustained multiple gunshot wounds in trying to apprehend the gunman and save the lives of those involved, a significant act of heroism.  His presentation will recount the events of that day as they unfolded.  This is one meeting that will not want to miss.  Library seating will be limited to approximately to 100, so mark your calendars now for this very special event.

Following Lt. Murphy’s remarks, a tour of the MF Police Department is planned for those interested in participating.

WHO: All members, potential members and guests welcome!


Future Night Meetings

March 1 – The Community League at Wisconsin Athletic Club

April 5 – Distinguished Young Women at Menomonee Falls North Cafeteria

May 17 – Scholarship Golf Outing at Ironwood Golf Course, Sussex

June 7 – Membership Drive Meeting at Trysting Place

July 3 – Parade

August – Picnic (Date and Location TBA)


Tri-Star Basketball

Volunteers are needed for our annual Tri-Basketball contest. It will be on Sunday February 26th from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, at the Menomonee Falls high gym.  It is run every year in conjunction with the dodgeball tournament. Volunteers are needed to help with sign up and running the individual drills.  The kids always enjoy and appreciate all the things that we do for them.

If you are available or have any questions, please let Bob Wenzel know at;

bwenzel@ameritech.net or 262-783-6414 home


Distinguished Young Women

2017 Distinguished Young Women program rehearsal at North Middle SchoolThe 53rd Annual Distinguished Young Women of Menomonee Falls Scholarship Program will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the North Middle School Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Twelve junior girls will be competing for the title and the opportunity to move on to the state competition. The girls are currently learning fitness routines and working on interview skills. Photos and more information about the contestants will be in the March newsletter.

It takes many volunteers to put on a production like this one. I need help selling tickets and program books in the lobby the night of the show. I also need a few backstage “moms” who can help with zippers, lace-up prom dresses, etc. Please email Cathy Sharkey at csharkey224@yahoo.com if you are able to help.

Cathy Sharkey


Oratorical Contest

Optimist volunteers are needed for the annual Oratorical Contest scheduled for Wednesday, March 22 from 5 pm until approximately 9 pm.  We are in need of greeters, registration help, time keepers, room monitors, score keepers, and the elite job of judges.

If you are interested in being part of this event please contact Dawn Mariscal by email at dmariscal@wi.rr.com or phone/text (262)442-4952.

Dawn Mariscal


—- Past Events —-


Chili Dinner

2017 Chili Dinner #4 2017 Chili Dinner #3 2017 Chili Dinner #1

The chili dinner has wrapped up or another successful year. We started on Thursday, after Tom Wagner, Kathy  Matthiessen, Al Matthiessen, and Sue Carney got the kitchen prepped and ready to go. Tom Dewerth, Bob Wenzel and Fred Rambert fried up 120 pounds of hamburger. Then Faith VanderHorst, Luanne  Rambert, Joanne Wanner, Wendysue Fluegge, Lynette Shepherd and Kim Wenzel mixed up 150 gallons of chili, while Larry Podolske, Dick Woosencraft and Al Matthiessen kept the kitchen flowing, picked up and packed up the chili for Friday.

Friday Matt Goihl gets the ball rolling by dumping the chili into two 75 gallon pots at the high school. Watching it simmer all day and keeping the steam from building up causing the chili to explode, was Sue Carney, Tom Wagner and Lenny Kimmel. Joanne Wanner, Barb Schmit, Kathy Jensen, Rose Schwartz and Kathy Matthiessen came early to help set things up. Selling chili, serving chili, and keeping the kitchen and to-go line running smoothly were Jim Foster, Linda Wagner, Dustin Koehler, John Seymour, Bill Hathaway, Pete Davel, Dan Schwind, Carol Schulteis, John Yusko, Barbara Price, Dave Curran, Jeanine Dederich, Carl Trapp, Larry Podolske, Greg Mattson, Tom Ciskoski, Kathy Ciskoski, Don Eisenhower Kathy Kiepert, Joy Fricke, Tony Bawiec, Mary Schlumpf, Ed Schlumpf, Lynette Shepherd, Rob Robinson, Walt Wyczawski, Ruth Anne Petroff, Lynn Wenzel, Bob Wenzel Tim VanderHorst, Faith VanderHorst, Pat Greco, Jerry Mislang, and Dave PetroffFaith VanderHorst, Tim VanderHorst, John Feltman and Danny Shepard ran the 50/50 raffle which netted the club $288 dollars. Joanne  Wanner was the winner of the 50/50 raffle, congrats Joanne. Cathy Sharkey worked clean up with help from Pat Greco, Kathy Matthiessen, Sue Carney, Rose Schwartz, and Lenny Kimmel. Thanks also to club members who brought friends and family to help out and support the chili dinner. Apologies if I have left anyone out. We had excellent help from the high school support staff and Dawn Bowman worked nonstop in the kitchen.

We presold 705 tickets and sold 94 at the door. The club donated 197 tickets to the food pantry and the high school. Ticket sale revenue was $5,192.50. We had donations from Schmitt Farm Produce, Ram Construction, Costco, Pick’N’Save, Piggy Wiggly, Woodmans, and Edward Jones for a total of $640.87 that helped offset the $1701.58 cost of the chili supplies. This year the chili dinner made a profit of $4,419.79 for the club.

Thank you to all that helped make this event a success. We had 37% of the club participate in this event and each contribution is important to our success.

The chili dinner committee: Kirsten Sperl, Kathy Matthiessen, Tom Wagner, Rose Schwartz, Sue Carney 


Junior Indians

Junior Indians at Jan 18 2017 meetingMark Plantier, President of the Menomonee Falls Junior Indians Baseball Teams, brought several of the Cooperstown National Tournament Team to our Club’s January 18, 2017 meeting. The boys spoke about their experiences at the Baseball Hall of Fame and competing against 150 other teams from across the county.

Left to right: Tommy Plantier, Evan Falkner, Jake Fields, Tony Fields, Mark Plantier.


Band Revue Student Directors

MFHS Band Revue student directors at Jan 25 2017 meetingThree of the MFHS Student Band Revue Directors spoke about the 67th Annual Band Revue at our January 25, 2017 Club Meeting. Left to right, Valerie Ehr, Collin Dedrick and Cole Mir.





Trivia Night 2017

LOTS OF LAUGHTER, AND APPLAUSE and some moaning, was heard at ST. AGNES activity center for the Optimist Trivia Night last night. 21 teams crowded the room with food, drink and wisdom. Some new faces appeared and I hope that they had fun!!! We tried to make the questions easier this year and I think we succeeded in most of the categories, as was evidenced by the scores.

2017 Trivia Contest winning team "Irish I Knew The Answer"

The “SCALLY WAGS”, wearing imaginative costumes portraying their “PIRATE” theme won the creative category. The team “IRISH I KNEW THE ANSWER” were the 1st place winners answering the most trivia questions.  The prize for the best costumes is “bragging rights” and a $100 donation to the CIC in honor of Jim Jeskewitz.  The 1st Place winner of the Trivia questions receives a traveling trophy of the “thinker” and also a $100 donation to the CIC in honor of Jess.

With the combination of all of the games and registration, our profit for the night is around $4000.  This Trivia Night was originally designed as JUST a social event for the Optimist Club members but each year with all the enthusiasm of the participants, we raise money “FOR THE KIDS”.

This night could not be successful without the many volunteers that give their time to organizing, setting up, cleaning up and writing the questions.  Thank you to Karen Nelson, and Todd Paulus, my co -chairs Sarah and Adam France, Pat Heagney, Larry & Marsha Hebbring, Corrine Reiter, Gregg Mattson, Jan Barbara, Nancy Newman, Dan Shepherd, Molly Paulus, Kathy Matthiessen and of course we cannot forget our production volunteer, Harry Stoetzel and his helper, Bob.

We usually schedule “TRIVIA NIGHT” for the last Saturday in January.  Please put it on your 2018 calendar and get your creative juices stirring!!!!

We thank all of you that helped clean up after the event.   We are fortunate to have such a great facility for such a reasonable cost and so we kike to leave it as pristine as possible.


Sue Jeskewitz


Poker Tournament

The Poker tournament was held on January 29 and had 31 players. Winner was Dan Klinger, second place Robert Dawson and third was Dornaj Davis. The winner graciously donated $100 of his winnings back to the club.  I would like to thank the volunteers; Jan Barbera, Lynette Shepherd, Kathryn Hoff, Jerry Mislang, Larry Hebbring and Larry Barbera. A special thanks to Donny & Jenny Matovich for hosting the event and providing lunch to the participants. The event made almost $700 for the club.

Rick Kohl


—- JOOI Club —-

Junior Optimist Club bake sale at Jan 2017 Chili DinnerThis month the Junior Optimist Club enjoyed hosting its annual bake sale in accordance with the adult Optimist Club’s Chili Dinner at the MFHS basketball game.  It was a great success!  Using the money we’ve raised from previous sales and other fundraisers and with the help from Marcia Hebbring’s Soup fundraiser in December, the Junior Optimist club was able to make a $1000 donation to Blessings in a Backpack.  Certainly this is a deserving organization, and we were all excited to be able to support it.  We look forward to continuing to be able to make donations such as this to other organizations, especially thanks to the continued support of our bake sale customers!

As the month wraps up, our club will host its annual Souper Bowl of Caring event—a competitive food drive at the high school which, in order to win, the class must bring in the most food and also place their food items in the box of the winning Super Bowl team.  The event begins January 24th and will run until the Super Bowl game.  We are looking forward to it!

Alison Leon


—- Students of the Month —-

January 2017 Students of the Month (MFHS)The Menomonee Falls Optimist Club Students of the Month for January from North Middle School, Sydney Beilfuss and George Wasef, and from St. Mary Parish School Patrick Dugan.






TheJanuary 2017 Students of the Month (NMS & StMary's) Menomonee Falls Optimist Club Students of the Month for January from Menomonee Falls High School, Seniors Evan Merlock and Sammi Visintainer with Don Gorzek, Optimist Club President.





—- This Month in Club History —

February 1994 – An estimated 600 people downed about 80 gallons of chili at the 3rd Annual Chili Luncheon held at St. Paul’s Church of Christ.

40 Year Anniversary Program (Ed Schlumpf)


—- Thank You Notes —-

The club received thank you notes from the following:

  • Food Pantry
  • Cadance Thoenes – STEM Program
  • LindenGrove – caroling
  • Optimist International – Dime a Day donation

—- Brewer Spring Training Reports from Ed —-

Attention Brewer Fans.  If you’d like a behind-the scenes report of the Brewers’ spring training activity this year, just drop an email to Ed Schlumpf at schlumpfed@yahoo.com.  He attends six or seven games each March in Arizona and has been filing reports with 150+ readers for the past several years. Let him know if you would like to be on his email list.


—- Next Newsletter Deadline —-

Articles for the March newsletter are due February 24. Please email your articles to Jerry Mislang at jerry.mislang@prodigy.net






Post a comment

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