January 2021 Optimizer

The Optimizer | January 2021 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club


— In this issue —

Weekly Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Upcoming Activities and Events



Oratorical Contest: Help Needed

Trivia: Postponed

Past Events

Leaf Raking

Drop N Shop

Optimist Meetings


Students of the Month

Board Meeting Minutes

This Month in Club History

How to Publish Optimist News


— Meeting Schedule —

This Wednesday morning January 6th we welcome Matt Henningsen a Wisconsin Badger defensive lineman (no.92 ). The Badgers defeated Wake Forest in the Mayo bowl on December 30th. Please come hear Matt’s experience on playing with a top Division 1 program and what lies ahead for himself and the Badgers.

“Our story is simple: Food is our passion. Food is family. Food is happiness. Food is LOVE”. These exact phrases were gleaned from the website of Smoked Two-Twenty-Five.  Military veteran and owner Jonas Mack will fill us in on the story behind his food truck that can be found on two different locations in Menomonee Falls.  And who doesn’t love “BBQ”?

Village President Dave Glasgow will be joining us! Dave asked if there’s anything we want him to focus on, and 2021 would be a great start!

We’re happy to welcome our first winners of 2021, Students of the Month from NMS, St. Mary and MFHS. This meeting has been moved back one week due to MFSD final exams.

~Jerry Mislang

— President’s Message January 2021 —

Happy New Year to everybody!

As all of you know if you are not capable of coming to the weekly meetings, we are on Zoom.

Please see my weekly e-mails for the ID and password. A big thanks to Shannon Dederich for coordinating this.

I approach this year with Optimism (no pun intended) that we can eventually get back to our events and programs as in the past but will start off the year with no Chili dinner this January and Todd Paulus is looking for a new venue to hold our annual Trivia contest.

The Distinguished Young Women program will be held virtually. A big thanks to Cathy Sharkey for continuing this wonderful program.

A big shout out to Dawn Mariscal and her team for the work they did on Drop & Shop. A lot of kids went home very happy!

Jerry Mislang and his team continues to bring interesting and informative speakers to our weekly meetings and no doubt this will continue in 2021.

Michael Russell and Annie Jurczyk have agreed to be co-chairs for the Oratorical contest. The club is seeking people interested in being a judge or time keeper. We need 6 judges and 2 time keepers but would like to have a few backups as well. The contest will be held in Mid-March and will most likely be done virtually.If interested please contact Mike Russell at michaelrussell@sbcglobal.net or Annie Jurczyk at annie.j@kw.com.

See you at the weekly meetings.

~ President Rick


— Upcoming Activities and Events —

OA5 Meeting at Water Street Pub


OA5 Meeting

The OA5 team has been quiet at the end of the year, when normally, they would be working on their service project in December!  COVID has affected this event too.  But it will pick up in the New Year!  As the School Resource Center team gets things running and finds the best way we can help them, the OA5 committee will work with them to both help in the immediate and figure out how we as a club can help them in the future.

The next meeting will be at Water Street Pub and Grill on Tuesday, January 12 at 5:45 for social and 6:00 meeting start.  The agenda will include updates on the Resource Center as well as setting a calendar for 2021.

~ Shannon Dederich


Oratorical Contest LogoLooking for Contest Judges and Time Keepers

We are currently seeking Optimist Club members who would be interested in being either a Judge or a Time Keeper for the 2021 Optimist Oratorical Contest.  We would need 6 Judges and 2 Time Keepers but would like to have a few backups as well.  Contest will take place in mid-March and will most likely be done virtually.

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






Trivia Contest

Optimist Trivia Night 2021 is postponed until a venue can be found.  Stay tuned!

~ Chairs Todd Paulus, Karen Nelson and Sue Jeskewitz


— Past Events —

2020 Leaf Raking Scoreboard: Optimist Club 1 / Mother Nature 0

With a nod to COVID-19 restrictions and a poor recent track record with winter weather, our leaf-raking event went through some significant changes in 2020.

Instead of holding leaf-raking on a single Saturday, we spread the event over three weeks starting on November 7 and concluding on November 22.

Five youth organizations (Cub Scouts, Falls Angels, Junior Phoenix Baseball, Kindness for Kaden & The MFHS Student Council), totaling 247 volunteers, were able to rake the yards of 16 senior residences.  These organizations took on additional duties this year including contacting homeowners to schedule, coordinating picture-taking, and dumping leaves at Shady Lane Greenhouses when necessary.

Homeowners donated $670 to be shared with the youth organizations.  The Optimist Club Board approved a donation of an additional $1,000 so that the teams split a total of $1,670.

Feedback about the 2020 approach was very positive from both residents and volunteer teams.  And because we had more choices for dates, weather was not a factor!  We recommend using the same approach in 2021.

Once again, Karl Hornung at Shady Lane Greenhouses graciously allowed us to dump leaves at his business so that we avoided Orchard Ridge dumping fees.  Please consider Shady Lane if you are in the market for plants!


~ Chairs John Yusko and Jason Husslein


2020 Holiday Drop N Shop

The 10th Annual Parent Holiday Drop & Shop was held a little differently this year but none the less was pulled off with success.  The committee met in mid-September and brainstormed great ideas to keep the event going and the first Take Home Drive Thru event was born.  Now that’s what being an Optimist is all about!!!  Over 100 children and their families came to the Community Education & Rec Department on Saturday, December 5th between 11 am to 1 pm.  Children received a take home Decorate T-shirt Kits, goody treat bags with family swim passes donated by the Rec Department, free bowling provided by Village Bowl, gift card for McDonalds, candy donated by the Alumni Club and other items.  The families also received special instructions how to play the online I Spy Jolly Jenny Virtual Game.  Bonus to the event was the large amount of toys kids could choose from donated by Greg Mattson & Bank Five Nine.  We even had Santa & Mrs. Claus visit us from the North Pole.  You can check out the great pictures taken by Jon Cline at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=clinedesignphotography&set=a.10159155834369180.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to my amazing committee who continue to support my crazy ideas.  Planning Meg Latus, Jenny (Jolly Jenny) O’Keefe, Steve Fleming, Joanne Warner, Gloria Behr & Jim Dieter.  Pre event preparation Marcia Hebbring & Shannon Dederich.  Gift wrappers extraordinaire were Larry & Marcia Hebbring, Greg & Deb Mattson, Rema Kunnath, Meg Latus, Jenny O’Keefe, Jean Christian, Kathie Jensen & Linda Zylka.  Drive Thru Volunteers, Larry & Marcia Hebbring, Greg & Deb Mattson, Meg Latus, Jenny O’Keefe, Kathie Jensen, Lynda Zylka, Jim Dieter, Mason & Nora Latus, Jason Husslein. In addition, THANK YOU to Jason Husslein and his amazing team to again assist us with promoting and handling the registration process.

We look forward to seeing all the faces of our little friends in person next year, however should we face another challenge we are trained and prepared for anything!  Bring on 2021.  SAVE THE DATE for December 4, 2021 YEAR 10 LET’S DO IT AGAIN!!!  If any club members are interested in becoming involved, we’d love to have you on the team.


~ Chair Dawn Mariscal



— Optimist Meetings—






On December 9th Megan Schultz, Sophmore at MFHS, talked about her Girl Scout Gold Award project.

Photo by Jon Cline.







Our December 23rd guest speaker was Ryan Hynes from the Girls Alabama Wheelchair Basketball program.

Photo by Jon Cline.










Students of the Month

Students of the Month were honored at our December 16th meeting.

Left to Right:

Nick Lipski (St. Mary Parish School), Beckham Staus and Alanna Miller (North Middle School), Gus Sullivan and Joe Lynch (Menomonee Falls High School). Not pictured: Macayla Posey (MFHS).

Photo by Jon Cline.






Board Meeting Minutes from December 15, 2020 —

Unapproved: to be approved at the next board meeting

Rick, Dan, Shannon, Greg, Carol, John, Jen, Todd, Fred.  Excused:  Jerry, Kim

Additions to: Merchant Services, Documentation discussion Moved to approve, Todd, Second, Dan

November 17th minutes tabled for email approval, Rick to send out

Question regarding Drop and Shop Budget, asked and answered.  Moved to approve, Todd, Second Dan


Menomonee Falls Junior Phoenix, $1000 to be used for facility for winter ball, rain day practices, etc.  (APPROVED $1000) Moved to approve, John, second, Jen

Brookfield Stars, $1000, used for 11 MF members of the team to cover ice costs, uniforms, etc.  (APPROVED $1000) Moved to approve, John, second, Jen

Optimist Scholarship Committee, $10,000-$15,000, used for MF Seniors for college scholarships (APPROVED $15,000) Moved to approve Greg, second Carol


Leaf Raking Payouts, received $670 from participants, original request was to match donations, new request to payout $1000 (APPROVED $1000) Moved to approve Jen, second Gregg

Christmas gift for Dewey (school staff that sets up the room for our meetings) requested, discussion was $50 Chamber Gift card (APPROVED) Moved to approve Todd, second Dan

No New Member Requests for December  

Oratorical contest has been taken over by Michael Russel and Annie Jerziak


Documentation discussion, John brought the need for documenting processes, contacts, etc. for each event in a single location for continuity.  Committee (John, Rick, Dan, Shannon) to be formed to come up with document process and introduction to all event chairs.  To begin in the new year.

Weekly attendance prize discussion, Rick brought the topic regarding Zoom Meeting attendees being eligible for attendance drawing.  Discussion of members participating and extraordinary circumstances deem them as eligible to receive winning if name is drawn.  This will include the drawing of Laura C. from the November meeting.  This will be reviewed in six months, as the original intention of the drawing was for attendance in person.  Drawing will be for $25 each week versus the increase of $5 as was prior, also to be reviewed in six months.

Merchant Fee Discussion brought by Dan, current fees have been updated by bank and are reasonable for use of credit card processing



— Thank You Notes (excerpts) —

Falls Area Food Pantry – Barbara Riehle / Assistant Director
“Thank you for your donation of $161…to purchase food for families in our community…we greatly appreciate your support.”

~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=300January 2005 (16 years ago)

After several years of donating $100 to the Hamilton Post Prom, the Board approves $150.

~ 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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