February 2021 Optimizer

The Optimizer | February 2021 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club


— In this issue —

Weekly Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Upcoming Activities and Events



Scholarship Golf Outing

Oratorical Contest: Help Needed

NEW Business Member Opportunities

Small Businesses of the Month

Fine Art Montage

Tax Management and Financial Horizons

Getting to Know You: Mike Russell

Optimist Meetings


Students of the Month

Board Meeting Minutes

Treasurer Issues

Thank You Notes

This Month in Club History

How to Publish Optimist News


— Meeting Schedule —

We’re going to start the month with a two for one! We’re going to recognize the 2020/2021 MFHS Varsity Cheerleaders and their coaches.  Also on the docket, the MFHS JOI (Junior Optimists International) and their advisor Alison Leon will tell us what they’ve been up to.

A “CAN’T MISS” MEETING!!! We’re going to honor multiple folks who revived the Wisconsin Lutheran basketball player whose heart had stopped beating during a game January 9 in the MFHS Gym.  Each of them had a role in saving this young man’s life and these real-life heroes have an incredible story to share.

In addition to honoring our Students of the Month from NMS, St. Mary and MFHS, we’ll hear from new Small Business Member Janet Hudachek of Fine Art Montage.

We all know something about the Food Pantry, but do we really KNOW the Food Pantry? Joining us will be Paula Knox and we can almost guarantee that we’ll leave the meeting with a better understanding and appreciation for what they really do for the less fortunate in our community.

~Jerry Mislang

— President’s Message February 2021 —

“Worrying is betting against yourself.”

As we approach February check out the Speakers that Jerry and his team have lined up for the month.

The oratorical contest will be done virtually this year and if interested in helping out as a judge or timekeeper please contact Michael Russell or Annie Jurcyzk.

It appears our popcorn wagon will be up at Village park (Appleton and Garfield) for the Summer with some additional fund-raising opportunities. I will keep you informed in the coming months.

The small business club member speakers stated off with Kim Wenzel and we will continue this venue that Jerry is working on.

Cathy Sharkey is putting the finishing touches on our directory so be on the lookout for that.

Anyone interested in volunteering opportunities please see me as we have a number of events coming up.

We will continue to show our weekly meetings on Zoom so look for my weekly emails to keep you informed.

~ Yours in optimism, President Rick


— Upcoming Activities and Events —

OA5 Meeting at Knights of Columbus Hall

Oratorical Contest

Scholarship Golf Outing


OA5 Meeting

For the February meeting, the Optimist after Five group will meet at the Knights of Columbus on February 16 at 5:45.  This meeting is open to all members, especially this month!  We will be getting together to brainstorm the best way to attract new members to the club.  We look forward to taking in everyone’s ideas.  Also, if you have anyone interested in the club, but hesitant, this is a great meeting to bring them to.  We can learn what some of those hesitations are and discuss how to fix that!

~ Shannon Dederich


http://images.clipartpanda.com/golf-clipart-KTjeBL4bc.jpegScholarship Golf Outing

The Scholarship Golf outing is back to its normal 3rd Wednesday in may date this year.  Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 19th at Ironwood Golf Course in Sussex.  Stay tuned for more information.  Start gathering your foursomes

~ Todd Paulus



Oratorical Contest – Looking for Contest Judges and Time Keepers

Oratorical Contest Logo

Mike and I are so happy to Co-Chair the Oratorical Contest this year. The date for the contest is Thursday, March 18 – registration 5:30 and the contest starts at 6:00. The Judges and Timekeepers will be together in person at the Menomonee Falls Community Center. The student will present their speech via Zoom. The theme for this year’s contest is HEALING THE WORLD WITH OPTIMISM – We can all use a little healing after the last year!

At this point we still in need 1 Judges, 2 Alternate Judges, and 1 Alternate Timekeepers. Please consider volunteering your time by contacting Mike at 262-290-8354 or michaeldrussell@sbcglobal.net.

We would like to thank Sue Jeskewitz, Don Eisenhauer, Dan Knodl, Stevie Mistele-Wildt, Jeanine Dederich, Ann Freudenthal, Larry Hebbring, Laura Ciletti and Fred Blanke for volunteering as judges and timekeepers; Shannon Dederich for tech/zoom help; and Sharon Ellis for her coaching help.  If we missed someone, please contact Annie at 414-628-3459 or Annie.j@kw.com.

If you are interested please contact either Mike Russell at michaeldrussell@sbcglobal.net  or Annie Jurczyk at annie.j@kw.com.



— NEW Business Member Opportunities —

Listed on Facebook, Optimist Website, Newsletter

RECRUITMENT INSERTA Business Member Recruitment insert to our Club Brochure will be available at our February 3 meeting.    The insert explains all the benefits our club can offer businesses during these uncertain times.  For more information, please contact jerry.mislang@prodigy.net / 262-352-2571

It would be great if most members could attempt to recruit at least one business.  Prior relationships are the key!  You’ll be more comfortable approaching businesses that you frequent, friends or neighbors.  You’ll never know unless you ask!


  • You’ll be invited annually to a weekly meeting to promote your business as a ”Business Member Speaker”
  • In our Weekly Mailer, you’ll be recognized as a “Business of the Week” the week you’re scheduled to speak
  • Your business will be listed as a “Businesses of the Month” the month you’re our guest Speaker
  • We’ll add all your pertinent information to our ”Business Directory” on the Optimist Club Website, Facebook Page & Yearly Member Directory
  • But most importantly, your membership and support will enable the Optimist Club to continue to impact literally over a thousand kids in the Greater Menomonee Falls area!

CURRENT MEMBER OPPORTUNITYIf you’re an existing member and would like to list your business and receive the same advantages listed above, we’ll send you a template to enter your pertinent information.   Please contact jerry.mislang@prodigy.net / 262-352-2571


Small Businesses of the Month


Fine Art Montage was founded in 2015 with artists coming together to get places for the members to display their artwork.  With the COVID situation and when the Purloin Studio owner retired, Montage and Uptown Art moved to Menomonee Falls.  Now Montage members have a home to display their art in addition to many off-site venues.

Janet Hudachek, owner



FineArtMontage.com  /  artloungewi.com



Tax Management focuses on offering quality income tax and accounting services to individuals and small businesses at an affordable rate. We focus on personal service—not a one-size-fits-all mentality—this way you get what you need without an exorbitant fee.

Kimberly Wenzel

262-923-8100 Ext 3





— Getting to Know You —

Mike Russell

Who is Mike Russell? And what is he about? I currently work as a Front Office Supervisor at the Delta by Marriott in the Falls where I have worked for 11 years, I have lived in the Falls for about 24 Years now, I am married to my wonderful wife Tricia and we have one son Nathan who is a Senior at MFHS this year.  I have been involved in many community groups such Cub Scouts where I was a Den Leader for 4 years and I am still involved now with Boy Scouts as a Merit Badge Councilor in Genealogy, Stamp Collecting and Coin Collecting.  I am very much into US History especially the Civil War period and was a Reenactor for a brief period and have spoken to students a NMS regarding the life of a Civil War soldier with my son Nathan.  This is my 1st year in the Optimist Club however; I was also involved in the Kiwanis Club of Menomonee Falls as well serving in many positions up to and including President.  I have graduated from the Menomonee Falls Citizens Police Academy and what a Great experience that was.  I love any program that is involved in making our children’s lives better and that is why I joined the Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls to continue making a difference for the youth of our community.





— Optimist Meetings—

Matt Henningsen a Wisconsin Badger defensive lineman (No.92) visited us January 6th to speak about his experience on playing with a top Division 1 program and what lies ahead for himself and the Badgers.

Photo by Jon Cline.






On January 13th, Jonas Mack, military veteran and owner of Smoked at Two-Twenty-Five told us about the story behind his food truck that can be found on two different locations in Menomonee Falls.

Photo by Jon Cline.







Dave Glasgow, Menomonee Falls village president updated us on the state of the village at the January 20th meeting.

Photo by Jon Cline.






Students of the Month

Students of the Month were honored at our January 27th meeting.

Left to Right:

(l to r) Maggie Stubbs (St. Mary school), Emma Oswald and Thong Nguyen (North Middle School), Grace Heitman and Maddie Blair (Menomonee Falls High School)

Photo by Jon Cline.




Board Meeting Minutes from January 19, 2021

Fred, Don, Carol, John, Kim, Dan, Todd, Jerry, Shannon, Rick, Jen

Moved to approve Todd, Second, Dan

December 15th minutes moved to approve John, Second Carol

Moved to approve, John, Second Carol


Menomonee Falls High School Astronomy Club, Billy Gottermoller, Mikeala Klumb, Looking for $500 for yearly subscription to Astronomy Software for remote imaging.
Moved to approve Todd, Second Jen, Approved

Menomonee Falls Library, Jaclyn Rammer, Looking for $600 for mobile shelving units to support patrons of all abilities
Moved to approve, Todd, Second Jerry, Approved


Mike Russell, Oratorical Contest (Emailed to board for approval)

January Meat Raffle, $500 budget to be returned through event profits
Moved to approve, Jerry, Second Todd


(SB) Janet Hudachek- Fine Art Montage and (SB) Stacie Estrada – Art Lounge
Moved to approve Kim, Second Jerry

Small Business Membership vs. Friends of Optimist:  Small Business Members will join as a regular member, to be listed in our directory, opportunity to present to group at membership meeting

Kim Wenzel presented tax opportunity for members, will be first small business presentation

Toni from the Chamber came to remind the board benefits of belonging to the Chamber of Commerce as a Community Group

February 16, 7:00 am, Menomonee Falls CEREC building

Moved to adjourn Dan, second Todd


— Treasurer Issues —

As I get more familiar with my Treasurer responsibilities, there are several areas I’d like to cover to make things easier for me and the Executive Board to review and approve the Monthly Treasures Report. While are expenses are down, so is our income, consequently we have to be more mindful of our Club’s monies during these uncertain times.

  • Unless it’s an emergency, I prefer not writing checks after the 20th of the month to make reconciling the checkbook easier.
  • In addition to a ‘pre’ budget, please also submit a ‘post’ budget after your event. What you plan on spending or earning and what the actual numbers are can be significant.
  • Please don’t be offended if I ask questions about your budgets. The budgets need to be reviewed and approved by the Board, so ideally, I have some answers before our monthly meeting.
  • Please try avoid ‘miscellaneous’ entries in your post budget. If you have several small expenses and want to lump them together, fine, but please have either a receipt or a cell phone snapshot.
  • We’ve received several yearly bills from outside groups that I’ve questioned and have either been explained, reduced or eliminated. My first year, I believe it’s fiscally irresponsible to blindly pay them without being able to explain what they’re for.
  • And please pray for Jim Foster, who monthly is trying to save me from myself.

Thanks again for your trust, patience and support.

~Jerry Mislang


— Thank You Notes (excerpts) —

Abby Hughes – DYW Scholarship Winner
“Thank you so much for the DYW Scholarship. I’m still benefiting from the positive experiences I had had and the skills I learned…Thanks again and stay safe!”

Laura Ciletti- Falls Patio Players
“Falls Patio Players is thankful for the generosity you have shown…and other means of support over the years.  Your willingness…to allow kids to explore their talents is much appreciated by the entire community.”

~Submitted by Jerry Mislang


— This Month in Club History —

https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.lxN0iE3C_1LkAo5Y6y8Z3wAAAA&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300February 5, 1982 (39 years ago)

The 1st Annual Optimist Cross Country Ski-In is held at North Hills Golf Course.  A party at President Ron Bretl’s followed.

~ 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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