January 2019 Optimizer


The Optimizer | January 2019 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

In this issue

  • Meeting Schedule
  • President’s Thoughts
  • Up-coming Activities and Events
    • Calendar
    • Chili Supper
    • Trivia
    • DYW
  • Optimists After Five (OA5)
  • Board Briefings
  • Getting To Know You – Anna Listwan
  • Optimist International Foundation
  • Past Events
    • Drop and Shop
    • Caroling at Linden Grove
    • Holiday Party
    • Students of the Month
    • MFHS Cross Country Team
  • 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, except as noted.

  • Wed. Jan. 2 No Meeting.
  • Wed. Jan. 9 Tom Content of the Citizens Utility Board will join us. The CUB website states that for decades, they’ve been an advocate for fair prices when it comes to our electric, natural gas and water utility services. This has all the earmarks of a great Q&A meeting!
  • Wed. Jan. 16 Luanne Rambert, Linda Kons and Carla Bennett will talk about their trip to Green Bay as our 2018 Packer Raffle Winners. This is one of the few highlights of the Packer’s season!
  • Wed. Jan. 23 We welcome the January Students of the Month. Principals Principal Lynn Grimm of NMS, Bob Vitale of MFHS and Linda Joyner of Saint Mary will introducing the presenters and outstanding students to kick off 2019.
  • Wed. Jan. 30 We’re in the process of scheduling one or two NMS / MFHS Activities or Clubs. Please check the January 28 Optimist Weekly Email from President Jeanine Dederich for details.
  • Wed. Feb. 6 A site tour of the Riverwalk on the Falls Apartments is tentatively scheduled for 6:00 p.m. There has been more “buzz” on this project than any others for several years and this is now your chance to check them out. We strongly encourage you to bring a guest or two. After the tour, several members have suggested some folks might be interested in gathering at the American Legion Post #382 or Fiddleheads…or both!

Speakers Committee


—- President’s Thoughts —-


An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. —Bill Vaughn

Wow!! 2019 already!

We will have a busy 2019 starting with the delivery of handmade fleece blankets to the Menomonee Falls Fire Department. This is one of our service projects initiated with the Optimist After Five group. Blankets will be used by the fire department as needed when they have children on their calls. This is one of our Club’s service projects as we celebrate the centennial year of Optimist International. Check out the photos of blanket making on page XX.

Next up is the Chili Dinner on Friday, January 25th. Kirsten Sperl and her committee are working hard on getting this event organized. All should have received tickets for the chili dinner in the mail. If not, please contact Kirsten. Request for many volunteers will be coming to you soon. The MTHS basketball team plays Marquette High School after the chili dinner.

As we look forward to the New Year, please encourage those youth groups you are aware of to remember the Optimist Club when they are looking for project funding. The request form is on our website – fallsoptimistclub.org. We work hard to live up to our mission and bring out the best in kids so let’s get the word out!

Thank you all for everything you do on a daily basis. You make my role as president so rewarding. You’re the best! Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year!

Jeanine Dederich


—- Upcoming Activities and Events—-

Tue. Jan. 15 OA5 meeting. Planning for Spring Bags Tournament.
Fri. Jan. 25 Chili Supper. See article below.
Tue. Feb. 19 OA5 meeting. Essential oils.
Sat. Feb. 23 Distinguished Young Women. 7:00 pm at North Middle School
Tue. Mar 19 OA5 Book Discussion Meeting. See OA5 article below.
Sat. Apr. 6 Trivia Night. Mark your calendar. See note below.


 Chili Supper


It’s cold outside which turns our minds and appetites to our winter chili dinner event. This year the chili dinner will be held on January 25, 2019. We will be in the MFHS cafeteria from 4:30 – 7:30 serving up bowls of chili, hot dogs and chips. MFHS varsity basketball team will be playing Marquette University HS. We hope everyone can come and enjoy a nice meal and support our Indians as they defeat Marquette.

This event starts on Thursday, January 24 when we start cooking the chili. We gather at St. Paul’s UCC Church around 3:00 pm and finish around 6:00 pm. Then on Friday, January 25, we start at the high school about 3:00 pm and finish around 9:00 pm. If you are interested in helping with either of these days we will have a sign-up sheet at January meetings as well as by email or phone call.

By now you should have received your chili dinner tickets in the mail. If you have not received tickets please contact me and I will get them to you. We ask that every member try and sell 8 tickets. There is no requirement and no pressure. Members in the past have purchased tickets and donated them. You can do this by returning tickets and money to me with a notation as to how you want the tickets used. The tickets are numbered for accounting purposes so you are responsible for the tickets you received. It’s a great way for friends and family to enjoy a nice meal and support our kids too.

We hope everyone can join us for this event.

Chili dinner committee: Sue Carney, Kathy Matthiessen, Rose Schwartz, Tom Wagner

Chili dinner chair: Kirsten Sperl  kirstensperl@gmail.com  
N88W15021 Cleveland Ave Apt 2 , Menomonee Falls, WI 53051



Optimist Annual Trivia Night

APRIL 6, 2019


QUESTIONS- Call Sue Jeskewitz -262-251-9595


Distinguished Young Women

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Photo by Don Gorzek

A group of MFHS Junior ladies took part in the first fitness workout for the Distinguished Young Women program on December 27, 2018. The ladies who attended the rehearsal included (l to r) Robin George, Kate Feltman, Hannah Xiong, and Abby Hughes. Cathy Sharkey, Distinguished Young Women Committee Chair, watched the rehearsal and was pleased with how well the participants were learning the routine. The event will be held on February 23 at 7:00 pm at North Middle School.


—- Optimists After 5 (OA5) —–

December was a fun meeting for the OA5 group.  Fifteen blankets were made to be donated to the Menomonee Falls Fire Department to place on paramedic equipment for when a child is involved in an accident or fire.  Members and non-members tied together flannel and will spread the holiday cheer on January 8th as part of the Optimists 100 year service project.

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The January 15 meeting will be a business meeting, starting the planning for the Spring Bags tournament.  If anyone is interested in joining the committee, please reach out to Shannon Dederich for more information.

February’s meeting will be hosted February 19, location TBD, with an introduction to Essential Oils, followed by a short business meeting.  There will be an opportunity to make an Essential Oil Roll On or blend just in time for the spring cleaning.

The March meeting will be a book discussion in collaboration with the Menomonee Falls Public Library’s Big Read event. The book is “True Grit” by Charles Portis. The meeting is on Tuesday, March 19th at 6:00 p.m. at Three Cellars — N72W13400 Lund Ln Suite A, Menomonee Falls, WI. The meeting is open to Optimist Club members and any other community members that would like to attend.

As always, all members are encouraged to join the OA5 group for their meetings!

Shannon Dederich


—– Board Briefings – December 18, 2018 —–

Michele Martinez, representing MFHS Link Crew.$1,000 approved.
Bret Warner, MFHS Robotics Team. $2,500 approved.
Moria Paulus, WI. Adaptive Sports Assoc. wheelchair basketball. $1,500 approved.

Cathy Hazzard, Scholarships. $16,000 approved.

Budget for DYW (Distinguished Young Women) approved.
Treasurer’s report approved.
February 2nd is SWIS Milwaukee Admirals game

January 15, 2019 next board meeting.

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” Anna Listwan—–

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Anna Listwan has been an Optimist Club member since 2018. She joined the club to meet more people in Menomonee Falls and to help the community.

Anna joined the club as part of the OA5 group. She has enjoyed helping out with OA5 events and has also enjoyed getting involved in events put on by the main club. Anna cannot wait to get involved with more events and meet more members. Her favorite activity so far has been working at the popcorn wagon.

Anna has lived in a number of places in Wisconsin including Eau Claire, Spencer, Rockland, and Madison. She has called Menomonee Falls home since 2014 when she moved here to live with her now husband, Nick. Nick is a Menomonee Falls native. They have one fur baby, Maddie, who is an Australian Shepard / Poodle mix.

Anna works as a Product Manager for SECURA Insurance and manages the company’s Commercial General Liability and Specialty lines of insurance. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, yoga, volleyball, spending time with friends, and reading. She also serves as the Treasurer for the Menomonee Falls Library Friends and as the North Central Regional Governor for the Society of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.

Jeanine Dederich


—- Optimist International Foundation —-

Optimist International Foundation (OIF) was established in 1971 exclusively for the charitable, literary and educational purposes of Optimist International (OI). The Foundation has grown steadily since 1971 and is recognized as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

http://images.clipartlogo.com/files/images/72/723513/optimist-international_t.png The Foundations supports OI by providing:

  • Scholarships to all Districts for Oratorical, Essay and CCDHH
  • Scholarships to Regional Winners for U.S. and International Contestants
  • Fundraising from outside organizations for the World Oratorical Championship and JOI

The Foundation supports OI Clubs by providing:

    • Club Grant – $500 grant for new projects.
    • CCC Matching Grant – $1000 grant for Childhood Cancer projects
    • Disaster Relief Grant – $1000 grant for clubs to work in their communities after a natural disaster.

OIF also offers a Club Pass Through Grant Program which allows individuals or organizations to make tax deductible donations to our club. (Donations made directly to our club are not tax deductible.) Details are available at www.oifoundation.org.

An easy way for individual members to support the foundation is through the Dime-A-Day program. With just one dime a day, you can become part of the movement of “Helping Optimists Help Kids” and become part of a large group of Foundation supporters who realize what a difference they make every day in the lives of children. A donation form is attached to the newsletter email.

Jerry Mislang and Cathy Sharkey are the club OIF representatives. Please feel free to contact them if you have questions about the Foundation.

Cathy Sharkey


—- Past Events —-

Drop and Shop

December 1, 2018 the 8th Annual Parent Holiday Drop & Shop was held.  Prior to the event, 140 children were pre-registered.  We had 130 children attend, 29 wonderful Optimist volunteers, and 36 student volunteers partake in all the fun and festivities.

To all the club members who continue to support this event year after year, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  Thank you for all being so flexible and jumping in to different areas to keep things flowing along.  That was truly above and beyond!!   Ann, Fred, Chris, Corrine, and Steve your quick thinking and adaptability to switch things up just proves my point that this event basically can run itself.  Also, extra appreciation goes out to everyone who embraced the energy of little London who surely gave us all reason to find Optimism in a challenging environment.

To Jason Husslein and the Rec Dept. staff – we would not be able to put so many smiles on so many faces without all you do for the Optimist Club.  Thank you for your partnership and support.

To the high school faculty staff of Sara Burling, Ali Leon, & Maggie Hangos for recruiting a wonderful crew of students.  They all did a wonderful job guiding our guests to all the activity areas.

Sincere gratitude to Don Eisenhauer and the Art Guild of Menomonee Falls.  Many artists engaged in hands on activities with the kids to make beautiful masterpieces of art work to enjoy for many many years to come.  This has been a wonderful addition to the event and helps to keep it exciting for kids to attend.

Sincere thanks and appreciation goes out to Alice Barbeln, Gloria Behr, Fred Blanke, Jean Christian, Don Eisenhauer, Steve Fleming, Ann Freudenthal, Larry & Marcia Hebbring, Jason Husslein, Kathie Jensen, Kathy Kiepert, Cory Kleeba, Rema Kunnath, Meg Latus, Kathy Matthiessen, Deb & Greg Mattson, Chris O’Reilly, Linda Podolske, Gary Pollpeter, Corrine & Joe Reiter, Rose Schwartz, Kirsten Sperl, Joanne Wanner, Bob Wenzel, & Linda Zylka.

SAVE THE DATE – Mark your calendars now for Saturday, December 7st, 2019 to join the crew above for a fun and rewarding volunteering experience.  As always, I am open for any suggestions, recommendations or criticism of any kind.  Your input helps make this event better and better year after year.

Dawn Marsical

Photos by Don Gorzek

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Olive Decario worked on a art craft project.

C:\Users\Schmit\Documents\Barb\Optimist\Newsletters\January 2019 articles\Photos from Don\Drop&Shop-Cropped\810_1264v2-5x7.jpg Kathy Jensen, Alice Barbeir, and Joan Wanner share their Christmas wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

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Debbie and Greg Mattson visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

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Ellyanna Ybarra, 13 years old from Templeton Middle School, works on creating a pot with the help of an Art Club member.

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Lila Wilke, age 6 attends Ben Franklin elementary school, speeds through a crawling tube.

C:\Users\Schmit\Documents\Barb\Optimist\Newsletters\January 2019 articles\Photos from Don\Drop&Shop-Cropped\810_1279v2-5x7.jpg Scarlet Kleba, age 6 attends Sanit Mary Parish School, whispers her wishes for Christmas to Santa during the

C:\Users\Schmit\Documents\Barb\Optimist\Newsletters\January 2019 articles\Photos from Don\Drop&Shop-Cropped\810_1281v2-5x7.jpg Linda Zylka serves cookies during the Drop and Shop lunch time.

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Kathy Matthiessen provides the kids favorite lunch items.


Caroling at Linden Grove

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Optimist carolers entertained residents at Linden Grove before the Optimist Holiday Party.


Holiday Party

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Photo by Don Gorzek

Our Optimist Club Holiday Party for 2018 was held at the Silver Springs Country Club on December 5th.

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Photo by Jon Cline

Entertainment was a murder mystery “Who Slayed Santa?”

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Photo by Jon Cline

Party planners extraordinaire: Carol Schulteis and Kristy Gruenwald

Photos by Jon Cline

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Students of the Month

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Photo by Don Gorzek

The Optimist Club “Students of the Month for December 2018 “ include (l to r) from MFHS Senior Jason Kroeplin and Junior Autum Seebach, and from North Middle School Kaelyn Richmond, a seventh grader, and Gabrielle Merlock, an eighth grader.


MFHS Cross Country Team

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Photo by Don Gorzek

Cross Country Head Coach Tom Shannon brought his two 2018 WIAA state qualifiers, Eric Dethloff and Kylie Wunschel to our December 12, 2018. She was First-team All-State, Greater Metro Conference Runner of the Year and WIAA Sectional Champion.

—- December Thank Yous —-

Pat Hansen – MFHS Baseball Coach –
Thank you so much your donation to…our spring training trip. I would love to visit the Optimist Club…and share with everyone our memories from the trip and some highlights from the finished season.”

Delores Bruss – Leaf Raking – Wow, what a job well done in the snow by the Cub Scouts and their parents…it was fun to watch! I certainly appreciate this service every year…”

Joe and Guin Roth – Leaf Raking – Thanks so much for your great job…include us on next year’s list. We will be watching for you!”

Audrey Hilgendorf – Leaf Raking – I so appreciated the youngsters raking my leaves. They were friendly and courteous and showed good teamwork.”

Bill Haise Family – Thank you so much for your donation to the Hope Network of Menomonee falls in memory of our son Steven. Your support at this difficult time is much appreciated.”

Menomonee Falls Food Pantry – “Thank you for all the support you give to our pantry all year long. Have a Blessed Christmas and New year.”

Submitted by Jerry Mislang


Image result for history clipart—- This Month in Club History —

January 17, 1995 (24 years ago) – Sharing the costs with the Rotary Club, the Board votes to contribute $125 toward a Teen Leadership Program to be attended by Matt Kons.

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 – jerry.mislang@prodigy.net
NEWSPAPERS Kim Wenzel three or more weeks prior to your event, as quickly as possible after an event – kfwenzel87@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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