February 2022 Optimizer

The Optimizer | February 2022 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

— In this issue —

Weekly Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Upcoming Activities and Events


Volunteer Opportunities

Oratorical and Essay Contests

Trivia Contest

Distinguished Young Women

Getting to Know You – Shannon Dederich

Optimist Meetings

Students of the Month

Falls Coffee Company

MFHS Boys Basketball Team

Past Events

NMS and Wisconsin Singers program

Chili Dinner

Membership and Executive Board Info

Board Meeting Minutes

This Month in Club History

How to Publish Optimist News

— Weekly Meeting Schedule —

Meetings are held at 7:15 a.m. at the Community Center unless otherwise noted.

A MEETING FIRST! We’ll be joined by MFSD Elementary School Principal’s Scott Walter (Riverside), Aaron White (Valley View), Tina Posnanski (Ben Franklin) and Brad Hoffman (Shady Lane). We’re looking forward to meeting these folks and learning about them and their schools.

Each year we’re privileged to hear from students in the MFSD QUEST Program. They’ll talk about their journeys to this point and what they hope to accomplish going forward. Their stories usually run a gamut of emotions, from heartbreaking to heartwarming and so much more.

Students of the Month
from MFHS, NMS and St. Mary’s will be presented by Principal’s Bob Vitale, Lynn Grimm and Linda Joyner along with their nominators.

Another first! Germantown Junior Basketball Player Kamorea “KK” Arnold will be our guest speaker. She is the rated the # 1 Girls’ Basketball player in Wisconsin and has committed to the University of Connecticut, a perennial national power. She’ll be joined by her head coach Matt Stuve and assistant coach and Menomonee Falls teacher Shane Cox.

~ Jerry Mislang


— President’s Message —

Merry Christmas to all of our members and your

Well, we are off and running in the New Year and I cannot believe we are through January and into February. Time is sure flying by. I hope you all have been able to get through the dog days of winter and the cold weather we had. Look on the bright side, the days are staying light longer and spring is getting closer. The Packers didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, but baseball is hopefully just around the corner which is a sure sign of spring!!

A few highlights from the month:

We had a successful Chili Dinner. Great to be back and serving Chili. Although it was different, we as Optimists found a way to adapt to the new ways of serving. A huge THANK YOU to Kristen Sperl and her committee and helpers on being able to hold the event which has been absent for 2 years. Kirsten you and your Chili warriors deserve a huge round of applause!!

Great Job!!!

Highlights from the Board Meeting:

Approved $3000 approved to the MFHS Robotics team

Upcoming events that we have for the club are:

Essay & Oratorical Contests

Trivia Contest


Fishing Derby

Looking for a Chair:

Tri-Star Basketball has been chaired in the past by Bob Wenzel. Bob indicated to me that he would not be able to chair this year but assist. I reach out to our club to ask if someone would be willing to take it on this year. As I mentioned Bob would be willing to assist. Please let me know if you’re willing and able.

Club member Terry Marcou dad is turning 100 years old in February. Ed Marcou will reach the century mark in February and Terry is asking those that know his dad if you would like to send or give him a Birthday card to please get to Terry or to Karen Nelson so they can present them to his dad for his birthday.

Also, please keep JJ Selland in your prayers. I was informed that JJ will be in a rehab center for a few weeks. Those that know JJ know he has been a part of our club for many years and has been a part of many new and creative ideas for our club to raise money for the kids in our community. Get well soon JJ!!

Thank you all for your continued support this year and look to continue to do good things in the New Year. I’m enjoying this and look forward to what is in store.

Until next time!!


President Dan




— Upcoming Activities and Events —


Oratorical Contest

Deadline to sign up for Trivia Contest

Trivia Contest

Zone competition for Oratorical Contest

Distinguished Young Women Program



Volunteer Opportunities

Oratorical Contest Thursday, March 17
Need 3 Judges, 1 Alternate Judge, 1 Tabulator, 1 Alternate Tabulator and 1 Alternate Timekeeper. See article in this newsletter.
Contact Mike Russelll 262-290-8354

Distinguished Young Women Saturday, April 9
Judges Chairperson: Secure 5 judges for the program on Saturday, April 9, 2022; conduct participant interviews, and lead the final deliberation to select the next DYW of Menomonee Falls

Helpers for the night of the program: sell and take tickets, help out backstage. See article in this newsletter.

Contact Cathy Sharkey  262-844-1538

July 3rd Parade Sunday, July 3
Cotton Candy Co-Chair to take over next year
Contact Dan Schwind or Larry Podolske

Tri-Star Basketball Chair 
Judges Chairperson: Secure 5 judges for the program on Saturday, April 9, 2022; conduct participant interviews, and lead the final deliberation to select the next DYW of Menomonee Falls
Contact Dan Schwind




2022 Oratorical and Essay Contests

Oratorical Contest LogoMike and I are so happy to once again Co-Chair the Oratorical Contest this year. The date for the contest is Thursday, March 17, 2022 – registration 5:30 and the contest starts at 6:00 at the Menomonee Falls Community Center. The theme for this year’s contest is “STAYING OPTIMISTIC IN CHALLENGING TIMES” – We can’t wait to hear from the students since the speeches were so impressive last year!! If you know of a student that would like to participate, please contact Annie at 414-628-3459 or Annie.j@kw.com

At this point, we still in need 3 Judges, 1 Alternate Judge, 1 Tabulator, 1 Alternate Tabulator and 1 Alternate Timekeeper. Please consider volunteering your time by contacting Mike at 262-290-8354 or michaeldrussell@sbcglobal.net.

The first and second place students will move on to compete at the Zone Competition that will take place on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 6:00pm at the Menomonee Falls Community Center. We will be reaching out to the judges/timekeepers/tabulators who helped out last year Zone Competition soon.

We would like to thank Don Eisenhauer, Stevie Mistele-Wildt, Dr. Carolyn Anderson, Ann Freudenthal, Fred Blanke and Rema Kunnath for volunteering as judges, timekeepers and tabulators for the Oratorical Contest.

Seeking 3 Judges, 1 Alternate Judge, 1 Tabulator, 1 Alternate Tabulator, 1 Alternate Timekeeper

Contact Mike Russell  262-290-8354


We are also happy to be relaunching the Optimist Essay Contest this year. The entry deadline is soon approaching as students have until 6pm on Wednesday February 2, 2022 to turn in their 700–800-word Essay on the topic of “HOW DOES AN OPTIMISTIC MINDSET CHANGE MY TOMORROW?” Our Judges will score these Essays and our 1st Place winner will be forwarded to the District Essay Contest for a chance to compete for a $2500 scholarship.

If you know of a student who is interested, please have them contact Mike either via email or 262-290-8354 and he will send them an application.

We would like to Thank Dr. Carolyn Anderson, Kristen Kubisiak and Cathy Jakicic for volunteering to judge the essays. If we missed someone, please let Mike know.

~ Annie Jurczyk




Trivia Contest

7:00 p.m., March 26, 2022

St. Agnes School, 12800 Fairmont Ave., Butler

Tables of 10: $150

Put together a team and pick a team name—be creative! Wear costumes and bring table decorations.

REMEMBER! This is NOT designed for trivia buffs. Bring your own adult drinks, soda, and snacks.

Register by March 19, 2022
Send your $150 entry fee, team name, captain and captain’s phone number to Sue Jeskewitz at N80W17429 Robin Circle, Menomonee Falls WI 53051.

For more information, contact Sue Jeskewitz (414) 659-3037.

~ Todd Paulus, Karen Nelson & Sue Jeskewitz, Trivia Contest Chairs



The 58th Annual Distinguished Young Women of Menomonee Falls scholarship program is Saturday, April 9, 2022. Participants from the Class of 2023 will compete for the title and the opportunity to represent Menomonee Falls at the state program in July. The deadline to sign up is February 1, 2022.

I am looking for a Judges’ Chairperson. As the program chair, I am not allowed to interact with the judges. The Judges’ Chairperson has the responsibility of securing the 5 program judges, running the in-person interviews, and guiding the judges through the selection process on April 9. This job is critical to our ability to put on the program. Please consider volunteering.

~ Cathy Sharkey

Seeking Judges Chairperson: Secure 5 judges for the program on Saturday, April 9, 2022;
conduct participant interviews, and lead the final deliberation to select the next DYW of Menomonee Falls.
Seeking Helpers for night of the program: sell tickets, take tickets, help out backstage

Contact Cathy Sharkey  262-844-1538

— Getting to Know You —

Shannon Dederich

Hi! I’m Shannon Dederich and have been a member of the Menomonee Falls Optimist Club for just over 4 years. Jeanine (my aunt) sponsored me right before her president’s year and I’ve been so excited to be an active member since! I joined the club because I believe in the mission, adore the creed and truly benefited from so many of the activities the club sponsors as I grew up in Menomonee Falls including Spirit Winner of 1997 Junior Miss, post prom, Badger Girls and others.

As part of the club, I’m serving as the 1st Vice President and in my third year on the board. I am part of the grass roots team for Optimist After Five, a group intended to include members that can’t meet at our traditional morning meeting. I also am on the Meat Raffle Committee, Packer Raffle and Popcorn captain and love working all the other events! It’s great to see this group in action!

Outside of the club, I work for Delta Defense as a Print Buyer and totally geek out over paper and ink! I also tutor algebra in the evenings, going on my 22nd year of helping students! You can also find me at different markets selling some of my homemade goods, like masks, cards, t-shirts, mugs, etc. for my own company Postscript Gifting, where I specialize in personalized gifts. My other volunteer hours go towards sitting on the Menomonee Falls Scholarship Board and working with the Knights of Columbus when I can.

For fun, you can find me in the summer at a campground or a ball game, any type, any level! I love live sports, especially if my niece is doing gymnastics, and looking forward to my nephew in his first year of tee ball this year! Rain or shine I love concerts and shows and travelling to the Northwoods. When none of that is going on, I am most relaxed supporting small businesses in our community 🙂

Looking forward to another great year!



— Optimist Meetings 


January Students of the Month

We recognized our January 2022 Students of the Month at our January 12th meeting.
(left to right), Mariah Clarke (North Middle School), Riley Middleman (North Middle School), Kylie Bilello (Menomonee Falls High School), Jack Anderson (Menomonee Falls High School) and Anna Miller *St. Mary’s Parish).

Falls Coffee Company

Steve Sanders of the Falls Coffee Company, talked about this unique and interesting business at our January 19th meeting.



Boys Varsity Basketball Team

We welcomed the Falls High School’s Boys Basketball Team to our January 26th meeting.



— Past Events 

NMS and Wisconsin Singers Program

Due to our Optimist Club being a major sponsor for the University of Wisconsin Singers and the North Middle School Choir program, I had the (unexpected) privilege and honor to introduce them on Friday Night, January 21st. (I also was able to plug the best Club the area, if not the state!)


Our donation was well worth it. The NMS choir started the program, then moved down to the front rows and enthusiastically cheered every performance. The UW Singers and Band sang and played a variety of music, from pop and jazz, oldies and current hits, etc. All in all, a great night for families and kids, something that the “Friends of Youth” specialize in!


~ Jerry Mislang


Chili Dinner


~ photos by Jon Cline



— Membership and Executive Board Info

January 18, 2022 Board Minutes

Unapproved: to be approved at the next board meeting.

Board members: Jerry Mislang, Rick Kohl, Scott Dreier, Kim Wenzel, Dan Schwind, John Yusko, Fred Blanke, Tom Ciskoski , Shannon Dederich, Jenn Dedrick
Absent: Mike Russell
Other attendees: Don Eisenhauer, Carol Schulteis

Purpose: Regular monthly meeting

  1. The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:00 am.
  2.  The meeting agenda was approved; motion by Kim, second by Fred
  3. The December meeting minutes were approved; motion by Jenn, second by Jerry
  4. Donation Requests

    a. Arsenal Engineering/MFHS Robotics Club

    i. Request for $3,500

    ii. Jerry noted that any request over $3,000 must go to the full club membership for approval

    iii. Jerry moved to approved $3,000; seconded by Kim; motion carried

  5. Budget Review

a. Christmas Party—Carol Schulteis

i. Total cost to the club was a net of $9.99

ii. Income included a carry-over of $416 from 2019 that was collected from members, but not needed for 2019 expenses (note that there was no party in 2020)

6. 501(c) (3) update–Don Eisenhauer

a. We are still waiting for the official IRS approval of our application—expected to be finalized in mid-2022.

b. Don is working on obtaining insurance; current estimates around $800/year

c. Will be an annual expense for the Optimist Club

7. Treasurer’s Report

a. As of December 31, 2021, we have approximately $124,000 in our accounts. That compares to about $95,000 at the end of 2020.

8. Anything else for the good of the club

a. Jenn reported that, after last month’s scholarship discussion, she did some research into how scholarships are awarded.

b. There appears to be a way for the Optimist Club to target scholarships to individuals that may not have received as many scholarships as others.

c. Since there is some general confusion about the process, we agreed that we would like to have Cathy Hazzard discuss the process at a future meeting so that we have a better understanding

9. The next meeting is scheduled for February 15, 2022.

10. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:55a.m.

~ John Yusko



— This Month in Club History —

https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.lxN0iE3C_1LkAo5Y6y8Z3wAAAA&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300February 12, 1986

Hank Stoddard, noted Milwaukee sportscaster, is the speaker at the Valentine’s Luncheon at North Hills.

~ 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 or Dawn Mariscal – csharkey224@yahoo.comdmariscal@wi.rr.com

WEBSITE  Beth Saunders –  bethjsaunders@gmail.com

Post a comment

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