January 2020 Optimizer

The Optimizer | January 2020 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

— In this issue —

Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Upcoming Activities and Events


Trivia Night

Chili Dinner

Past Events

Christmas Parade

Holiday Drop and Shop

Holiday Party

Valley View D.A.R.E. Program

Optimist Meetings

NMS Boys Basketball Team

Students of the Month

Board Briefings

This Month in Club History

How to Publish Optimist News

—- Meeting Schedule —-

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

NO MEETING Happy New Year!

Due to the Holidays, we’re waiting for a confirmation from one of several potential speakers.  Once they’re confirmed, Todd will let you know via his weekly email.

NMS, MFHS and St. Mary’s will send the winners of their January Students of the Month will remind us once again how fortunate we are to live in a school district with such outstanding students.

The Executive Board passed a motion to grant $20,000.00 to the Capital Improvement Campaign to install an Artificial Turf playing field at the High School.  As this amount is above the $3000 threshold laid out in our bylaws, this request will be voted on by general membership at the end of this meeting. Paul Lessila, AD Brian Heimark, and Soccer Head Coach Scott Stein will present their plans to our club that morning and you’ll have a chance to ask questions about the project.

Promoting their February show, we’ll be joined by MFHS Band Review Student Directors, a Saxophones Ensemble and John Woger, Director of Bands/Orchestra. John is retiring this spring after 35 years in the MFSD.

~Submitted by Jerry Mislang

—- President’s Message January 2020 —-

As the calendar turns to a new year, hope and Optimism abounds for 2020.  I truly hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season.  Dawn Mariscal and her group of volunteers got us started in December with the 9th annual Drop & Shop for families.  I am pleased to report no kids went missing.  It was great to see a long list of volunteers, of which many said they are already in for year 10.  Thanks to all for a job well done.  Special thanks to Carol Schulteis and Kristy Gruenwald who co-chaired the Optimist Christmas party that got us into the Christmas season and a season of gathering of friends and families.  It was a fun night at a beautiful setting.  Thanks to all those that attended that night as well to make the night special.  As the New Year is upon us, it gives us a chance to start out 2020 with two fun fundraisers for our club.  January 25th is the Jim Jeskewitz Memorial trivia contest at St. Agnes School in Butler.  Doors open at 6:00 PM with the contest starting at 7:00 PM.  Come test your knowledge with others in the room.  The following Friday, Jan. 31, gives us a chance to serve up Chili for our community and raise more funds.  With the requests flowing into our board meetings, any and all money raised will be well used by our club.  If you want to help out or have not received your Chili dinner tickets, please contact Kirsten Sperl.  Many hands make this fund raiser easier and much more fun.  Looking forward to a rewarding 2020 for our club.

~President Todd

—- Upcoming Activities and Events—-

Trivia Contest – see below

Chili Dinner – see below

Oratorical Contest


Menomonee Falls Optimist Club Trivia Night

JANUARY 25, 2020

St. Agnes School

12800 Fairmont Ave., Butler, WI

BYO Adult Drinks/Soda/Snacks

Doors Open – 6:00 PM

Contest – 7:00 Sharp

Tables of 10 people-$150.00

Per Person- $15.00

Form a team and pick a team name

Be creative, wear costumes and have table decorations

Remember- This is not designed for “Trivia Buffs”. It is only for fun!

For more info, contact Sue Jeskewitz at 251-9595 or 414-659-3037

Send Check to Sue, N80W17429 Robin Circle, Menomonee Falls, 53051



Chili Dinner

It’s that time again, time to start thinking about our annual chili dinner. This event will be held Friday January 31, 2020 at the MFHS cafeteria.  We will serve chili from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. before the MFHS takes on Sussex in basketball. It’s also the night of the Hall of Recognition presentation at the HS. You can eat there or take home to enjoy. If volunteering we work in shifts so you don’t need to be available for the whole event.

We will be cooking the chili the night before. We cook at St. Paul’s UCC church in Menomonee Falls from about 2 – 6 pm. We have shifts so you don’t need to be available for the whole time. Afterward, if interested, we go to AJ O’Brady’s for dinner.

Each year we ask every club member to try and sell 8 tickets.  The tickets are numbered for accounting purposes. Tickets are $6.50 with children under 4 eating free.  Get creative with selling your tickets.  Some suggestions are:

    • Sell to coworkers and bring them in take-out containers
    • Donate to the food pantry or high school
    • Buy containers for a winter’s worth of chili
    • Organize an outing with friends and neighbors
    • Date night
    • Take chili to those who can’t get out.

Whatever you choose it’s a great event. There’s no obligation to buy or sell tickets. It’s a fun way to support the kids and get a good meal, it’s a win/win for all.

We will have chili, hot dogs, chili dogs, chips and a beverage. The Jr Optimist club will have a bake sale at the same time.  Stop by and get a little sweet.

During the event we will be selling tickets for a 50/50 raffle and gift baskets to be raffled off during the game.

This year’s chili dinner tickets can be picked up at a Wednesday morning meeting or watch for them in your mail box.

Please return money and any unsold tickets to:
Kirsten Sperl, N88W15021 Cleveland Ave., Apt 2, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

If you are interested in volunteering for either the cooking of the chili on Thursday January 30 (2 pm – 6 pm) or for the chili dinner Friday January 31 (2 pm – 9 pm) contact  Kirsten Sperl  262- 844-7984 or email kirstensperl@gmail.com 

Thanks for supporting this event.

Chili dinner committee: Kirsten Sperl, Tom Wagner, Kathy Matthiessen, Suzanne Carney, Rose Schwartz

~Kirsten Sperl

— Past Events —

Optimist Club Christmas Parade

Photos by Don Gorzek

The Optimist Club kicked off the Christmas Season with the annual Christmas Parade on December 1st. We had snow, plenty of kids and a procession of lights and music down Main Street to the Four Corners, down Appleton Ave to Arthur. Over 60 groups participated including local officials, merchants, scouts, dance teams and Santa.  With the weather being a little challenging the turnout was good and local establishments took advantage of the festivities.

Our Optimist Club had a great turnout of helpers by marshalling and controlling the staging area. Terry Fitzsimmons was the supervisor of the Marshalls keeping the route safe.  Marshalls were: Kathy Sharkey, Larry Barbera, Chuck Keller, Greg Goss, Bill Hathaway, John Yusko, Jim Lowe, Rick Kohl, Tony Bawiec, Stevie Miztele Wildt, Tim Newman, John Thomas, Bob Pinter and their leader Terry Fitzsimmons.

Staging is a unique way to see the parade.  Getting all the groups and kids to their correct spot is challenging, but the group did it safe and sound.  We had Ann Freudenthal, Corrine Reiter, Marcia Hebbring, Jenny OKeefe, Andy Andy and Gary Pollpeter escorting the kids at the drop off area, with Joe Reiter, Scott Drier and Tom the Police Aide directing them into the drop off area, Del Krueser, Ron Hebbring 2 and 3, Lance Newman, Corey Kleeba, Fred Blank, Greg Mattson, Brad Bence and Dan Hart making sure each staging road was in order.  We are fortunate to see the parade groups before anyone else does and seeing the excitement on the faces of all the kids.

The Parade is financially supported by the Village of MF, MF Parade Committee, MF Optimist Club, KC’s and Advertisers that participate in the parade.   Special thanks to the Knights of Columbus for supplying transportation for Santa. Thank you All for your help and contributions. See you next year. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, with set-up at 3:00 and groups moving at 4:30.

~Larry Hebbring

Drop ‘N Shop

Photos by Don Gorzek & Jon Cline

On December 7, 2019, the 9th Annual Parent Holiday Drop & Shop was held. Prior to the event, 168 children were pre-registered. We had 134 children attend, 31 wonderful Optimist volunteers, and 17 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!!

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 artwork 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 Larry Barbera, Alice Barbeln, Fred Blanke, Andy Chertek, Shannon & Vickie Dederich, Don Eisenhauer, Steve Fleming, Ann Freudenthal, Joy Fricke, Larry & Marcia Hebbring, Jason Husslein, Kathie Jensen, Kathy Kiepert, Rema Kunnath, Meg Latus, Kathy Matthiessen, Deb & Greg Mattson, Jenny O’Keefe, Chris O’Reilly, Linda Podolske, Gary & Laurie Pollpeter, Corrine & Joe Reiter, Kirsten Sperl, Joanne Wanner, Bob Wenzel, & Linda Zylka.

SAVE THE DATE – YEAR 10!!!!  Mark your calendars now for Saturday, December 5th, 2020 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 Mariscal

Club Holiday Party

Photos by Don Gorzek & Jon Cline

On Dec 11th, 70 Optimist members and guests enjoyed an evening of cocktails, dinner, and entertainment at the Optimist Christmas Party held at North Hills Country Club.  Kristy and Carol would like to thank everyone who came.  We hope you all had fun and please let us know if you have any suggestions or changes you’d like to see.






Valley View DARE Program

Optimists approved a donation for the D.A.R.E. program at Valley View. They had their D.A.R.E. graduation on December 12. 127 Fifth graders did the program from September 16 to December 12th.

They celebrated with cake and apple juice.




— Optimist Meetings —

North Middle School 8th grade boys’ basketball team

North Middle School Boys’ Basketball Team and Head Coach Scott Park were at our December 4 meeting.

Photo by Jon Cline







Students of the Month

Photo by Jon Cline

The Optimist Club “Students of the Month for December 2019” include (l to r) front row Scarlett Stujenske and Liam Richarson, both sixth graders at North Middle School. Back row Ava Jurgenson, an eighth grader at St. Mary Parish School, Keeley Spears, a senior, Darinan Stephans, a junior, both from Menomonee Falls High School.


— Board Briefings – December 17, 2019 —

Present: Todd Paulus, Rick Kohl, Ann Freudenthal, Marcia Hebbring, Steve Fleming, Lenny Kimmel, Greg Mattson, Carol Schulteis, Joanne Wanner, Jeanine Dederich

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 AM by President Todd Paulus. Approval of agenda was motioned by Ann, seconded by Marcia and approved by all.

See the source imageReview of November board meeting minutes. A motion was made by Jeanine, seconded by Rick and approved by all to accept the minutes.

Donation requests

WASA Big Cheese Sponsorship donation request was presented by Moira Paulus. Motions was made by Steve, seconded by Greg and approved by all to donate $1500.

Wisconsin Singers donation request was presented by Jenn Dederick, Kelly Francis and several students.  A motion was made by Steve, seconded by Ann and approved by all to donate $800.

LMF Resource Reach Out Room donation request was presented by Jenn Dederick, Felicia Perkins, Michelle Olson and a student. A motion was made by Steve, seconded by Jeanine and approved by all to donate $1500.

Capital Improvement Campaign donation request was presented by Paul Lessila, Brian Heimark, Scott Stein, and Luke Lessila for a donation for the Soccer Field Turf project. A motion was made by Steve, seconded by Lenny and approved to donate $20,000, to be given once the project is ready to move forward.  Jeanine opposed. This will be brought before the club members at a future weekly meeting for approval as the donation approval exceeds the board’s $3000 limit per the bylaws.

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

Budget Approvals and Fund Raisers

The Leaf Raking Post Budget was presented.

A motion was made by Jeanine, seconded by Rick and approved by most to approve the DYW 2020 budget.  Steve abstained from voting.

Cathy Hazzard requested approval for the High School Scholarships. A motion was made by Joanne, seconded by Lenny and approved by all for $21,000 to be given out for scholarships in 2020.

New Members – Dr Carolyn Anderson requested to join the club. She is sponsored by Marcia Hebbring. Motion was made by Steve, seconded by Lenny and was approved to accept her membership.

New Business – Park Project Start-up Fund – Everything is on hold until the feasibility study is done.  That is scheduled to start in January

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

Next Meeting Date – Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A motion was made by Steve, seconded by Greg to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 AM.

~Submitted by Ann Freudenthal



— This Month in Club History —


January 1, 2001 (19 years ago) – Entering the real new millennium, the club’s membership stands at a record 106.

~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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