February 2020 Optimizer

The Optimizer | February 2020 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

— In this issue —

Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Upcoming Activities and Events


Distinguished Young Women

Scholarship Golf Outing

Past Events

Chili Dinner

Optimist Meetings

Students of the Month

Soccer Field Donation Request

Band Revue

Getting to Know You – Jerry Mislang

Board Briefings

Optimists After Five

Thank You Notes

This Month in Club History

How to Publish Optimist News

—- Meeting Schedule —-

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

Erin Brodzeller and Eric Wood will be joined by several students from the MFHS QUEST Program, an educational alternative to the traditional high school.  This program is also offered a $1,000 scholarship by the club each year

An Optimist Club first, Bernadette van Willingham and several students will give a presentation on the upcoming MFHS Culture Fair.  Some of the topics they’ll talk about is how it get started, how it has grown and who participates,

We’re honored to be joined by and recognize the NMS, MFHS and St. Marys’ February Students of the Month.

At press time of the February Newsletter, we’re working on confirming a Site Visit.  Once they’re confirmed, Todd will let you know via his weekly email.

~Submitted by Jerry Mislang

—- President’s Message February 2020 —-

A new month to the New Year brought a couple club activities and a big decision from our club. First off, I’d like to thank Sue Jeskewitz and Karen Nelson for handling the Jim Jeskewitz Memorial trivia contest. Thanks also goes out to guest question caller Neil Kerlin as he stepped in during my absence. A huge shout out to the other volunteers that worked to help set the event up, who worked during the night, and who helped clean up afterwards. Although the number of contestants was small, great fun was had by all. Secondly, I’d like to thank Kirsten Sperl, Kathy Matthiessen, and their committee as well as all those that helped at the chili dinner. From the chili making the night before to the actual event, many members were involved in helping pull the night off. Thanks to everyone that made this night a success. That same night saw the Wisconsin Singers come to the village of Menomonee Falls for a performance. Thanks goes out to Jen Dedrick for representing our club there as we were a sponsor for that event. As the calendar flips to February, we are gearing up for Distinguished Young Women contest and the Essay contest followed by the Oratorical contest in March. Our club never rests which is a good thing. A final thank you goes out to the club as we approved a donation of $20,000.00 to the Capital Improvement Campaign for the Soccer Field Turf project. The Board first approved the donation at the December board meeting, but due to the size, it had to go to the general membership for final approval. Thanks goes to Paul Lessila, Brian Heimark, and Scott Stein, who came in and gave an overview of the project so members knew what we were donating to. The members present approved the Board’s motion by a 37-3 vote.  Looking forward to the upcoming events and longer days.

~President Todd

—- Upcoming Activities and Events—-

Distinguished Young Women Scholarship Program

Oratorical Contest

OA5 3rd annual Brewers, Beer, Brats and Bags tournament

Scholarship Golf Outing


C:\Users\Schmit\Documents\Barb\Optimist\Newsletters\December 2016 articles\dyw logo.jpg

The 56th Annual Distinguished Young Women of Menomonee Falls Scholarship Program will take place Saturday, February 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at North Middle School. Ten girls from the Class of 2021 will be competing for the title of Distinguished Young Woman of Menomonee Falls. Tickets are available at the door for $5.

Contestants at all levels of Distinguished Young Women are judged on scholastics, interview, talent, self-expression and physical fitness. The Optimist Club awards $4600 in scholarships and cash awards to the participants. The winner will go on to represent Menomonee Falls at the state program in August.

Participants for the title are Hali Becker, Veronica Goveas, Madisyn Harrison, Mandeep Kaur, Alexandra McGovern Sikorski, Sarah Pflughoeft, Elise Poos, Autumn Seebach, Krithika Senthil, and Sidnee Trimble.

The girls have been rehearsing since late December. They have participated in practice interviews with Optimist Club members acting as judges. Thank you to Jeanine Dederich, Jen Dedrick, Cathy Hazzard, and Stevie Mistele-Wildt for judging.

Over the next two weeks girls will be visiting a nursing home to perform their talent, hanging out at an ice cream party with their Little Misses and spending many hours in rehearsal.

Please come out to North on February 22nd to support these very talented young ladies.


See the source imageScholarship Golf Outing

S A V E   T H E   D A T E !

Mark May 20, 2020, for the 30th annual scholarship golf outing at Ironwood Golf Course in Sussex, WI.  More details will follow in the coming months.  You don’t want to miss this event.  We have $20,0000 promised to our High School Seniors, so we need golfers.  Start asking friends, families, co-workers, neighbors, etc.  Everyone needs a day off work on Wednesday


— Past Events —

Chili Dinner

Wrap-up article will be in next month’s newsletter, but here are photos from the prep day and day of the event!


Chili Prep photos by Jon Cline


Chili Dinner photos by Jon Cline


— Optimist Meetings —

Students of the Month

January 2020 Students of the Month

The Optimist Club “Students of the Month for January 2020“ include (l to r) front row Joseph Tabbert and Kailyn Mercadotls, both juniors at MFHS, and JT Vespalec, an eighth grader at St. Mary Parish School. Standing Simar Arora, a seventh grader and Heidi Lillegard, an eighth grader, both attend North Middle School.

Photo by Don Gorzek


Soccer Field Donation Pledge

At our business meeting on January 22, 2020 we heard a presentation about the “Capital Improvement Campaign’s Soccer Turf Project”, and the Board’s decision to approve a pledge of $20,000. Since it was more than $3,000 it went to the club for approval. Club members had a chance to question presenters after their talk. The presenters included Paul Lessila, Scott Stein, and Brian Heimark. Club members who were at the meeting were give a ballot to vote on the Board’s pledge of money.

Photo by Don Gorzek


Band Revue

Members of the Saxophone Ensemble that will be a part of “2020 Band Revue” include Alex Nadolski, Moria Shea, Gabby Bourbock, and Nathan Bowman. They are all seniors and provided and our members a sneak peak of the show.

Photo by Don Gorzek



Musical Director John Woger discussed the Band Revue’s history that he has helped head for many years. John will be retiring at the end of the school year. In appreciation for his thirty-five years of service in the School District’s Music Department, Jerry Mislang presented John a crystal award on behalf of our Club.

Photo by Don Gorzek




— Getting to Know You: Jerry Mislang —

We moved to Fussville in 1956 and started 1st grade at St. Anthony’s, then graduated from MFHS in 1968 (‘Mr.’ Schlumpf was my Journalism teacher). After two years at La Crosse, enlisted in the Army, sent to Korea in 1971 for 16 months, serving as a Military Policeman. Discharged in 1972 and started a year later at ‘Wisconsin Bell’, worked there for 27 years and got a buyout in 2000. Worked for Exacta Corp two years, got another buyout, then started my meat and cheese business part time business in 2005 and the lo and behold, “The Sausage King” was born!

Family comes first! Kathy and I were married in 1976 and bought a home on Arthur Ave., then moved to our current home on MacArthur Dr. in 1985. Blessed with three daughters, Jennifer, Jaclyn and Jolene, their husbands and five grandkids who are the center of my life. Nothing’s better than spending time with “the kids”.

I love to volunteer, especially if it impacts kids. I’m proud to have been head coach for 46 different teams, five all-star teams and was the first to start (nonpaid) announcing MFHS freshman and jv football, boys and girls freshman basketball and softball games. I’ve been asked to emcee many social and MFSD events, and have done the PA for every MFHS sport. I’ve also been fortunate to announce games at Miller Park, the Al McGuire Center, Germantown, Sussex Hamilton and West Allis Hale high schools, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Kapco Park, Halfear Field, Pohlman Stadium (Beloit Snappers) and halftime at a WIAA football game at Camp Randall.

Lastly, it was February four years ago that I was forced to confront my personal demons. In addition to the VA, I’m absolutely convinced I never would have made it without the prayers, support and encouragement from many of you reading this article. Thank you so much, you’ve all been a big part of the best four years of my life.




— Board Briefings – January 21, 2020 —

Present: Todd Paulus, Ann Freudenthal, Lenny Kimmel, Greg Mattson, Carol Schulteis, Joanne Wanner, Jeanine Dederich, Don Eisenhauer, Shannon Dederich

The meeting was called to order at 6:57 AM by President Todd Paulus. Approval of agenda was motioned by Ann, seconded by Greg and approved by all.

See the source imageReview of December board meeting minutes. A motion was made by Joanne, seconded by Carol and approved by all to accept the minutes.

Donation requests

Falls Angels – Bambi Wagoner and Lisa Stigler along with 9 players and 4 coaches requested a donation. A motion was made by Jeanine, seconded by Carol and approved by all to donate $500 to them.

Shady Valley PTO Hoopalooza requested a donation.  A motion was made by Greg, seconded by Ann and approved by all to donate $250.00

Review of Treasurer’s Report – Motion was made by Shannon, seconded by Greg and approved by all to accept the treasurer’s report.

Budget Approvals and Fund Raisers

A motion was made by Jeanine, seconded by Shannon and approved by all to approve the Essay Budget.

A motion was made by Greg, seconded by Carol and approved by all to approve the Oratorical Contest Budget.

The Christmas Party Post Budget was presented.

New Members – Steve Chmielewski requested to join the club, sponsored by Terra Chmielewski. A motion was made by Greg, seconded by Jeanine and was approved by all to accept his membership.

New Business

Shannon Dederich presented information on the Special Project. She is looking into a Resource Fair for special needs families, especially those with children in High School. She will continue to get information on the project for a future presentation.

Memoriam Page in Directory – A motion was made by Greg, seconded by Carol and approved by all to list past presidents and current members on the Memoriam list in the directory.

Unfinished Business – Park Project Start-up Fund – A meeting is scheduled for next week. Feasibility study results will be available in 3 – 4 months.

President’s Comments – The newsletter articles are due by Monday, December 30th.

Next Meeting Date – Tuesday, February 18, 2020

A motion was made by Greg, seconded by Lenny to adjourn the meeting at 7:57 AM.

~Submitted by Ann Freudenthal


—- Optimists After Five —-

https://clipartion.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/free-cornhole-clip-art.jpegOA5 hosted the customer service project in January – following up on last year’s success of making blankets for the Menomonee Falls Fire Department.  The team made 12 new blankets to donate for the ambulances in the community to use when a child is involved in an emergency.  Much thanks to all the volunteers for their time, and the Optimist at Large for the money to purchase the material for the blankets!

The group has also set the date for the 3rd annual Brewers, Beer, Brats and Bags tournament.  The event will be Sunday, April 26th at the Knights of Columbus Hall and this year will be partnering with the Meat Raffle committee to amp up the fundraising efforts.  Volunteers and participants will be needed for the event – mark your calendars now!


—- February Thank You’s (excerpts) —-


Menomonee Falls Food Pantry
Thank you for what you do…all year long. Also thank you for all the Chili Supper tickets you gave us.”

Mary Beth Yeager & Donna Ruelle, Adult Special Needs
“Thank you again for your donation of $2,000…our clients had a fantastic time celebrating the Spirit of Christmas.”

Ken Kreutzmann, WASA
”We would like to thank you for our generous continued sponsorship of the Big Cheese Classic wheelchair basketball tournament in the amount of $1,500.”

Hebbring Family
“Thank you for your generous donation for Bob’s choices of charities and organizations.  We appreciate your kindness and support during these times.”

Scott Stein,MFHS Soccer Head Coach
“Thank you for your generous donation to the soccer field project. Your dedication to the kids and the Falls community is appreciated.”

John Woger, Retiring MFHS Music Director
“I just wanted to thank you so much for the beautiful award for my years of service to the MFSD…it was an honor to be there.”

~Submitted by Jerry Mislang


— This Month in Club History —



February, 2010 (10 years ago) – John J.J. Selland, MF club president for the 2008-09 year, is named Optimist of the Year by OI’s SWIS District at its 1st quarter meeting.

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




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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