January 2022 Optimizer

The Optimizer | January 2022 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

— In this issue —

Weekly Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Upcoming Activities and Events


Volunteer Opportunities

Chili Supper

Trivia Contest

Distinguished Young Women

Optimist Meetings

Students of the Month

Past Events

Leaf Raking Team Shut Out Mother Nature for a Second Time

Holiday Drop ‘N Shop

Check Presented at Patio Players Christmas Carol

Member Christmas Party

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.

We start out the New Year with a ‘twofer’. A first time visitor, The Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra and Todd Knight will be our guests.  Also speaking will be Packer Raffle Winner Shannon Dederich, who will fill us in on her game day experiences.

The Students of the Month are joining us a week early because they have exams the following week.

Another new speaker we’re excited to have, Steve Sanders of the Falls Coffee Company, will fill us in on their unique and interesting business.

As of press time, we don’t have a firm commitment from anyone, but we’re working on it!

~Jerry Mislang


— President’s Message —

Merry Christmas to all of our members and your families!! I truly hope you all enjoyed a blessed holiday!!

I cannot believe we are coming to the end of 2021!! We have had a good year despite the challenges we have faced!

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and look forward to continued great things for our club in 2022!!

We had great meetings and great speakers and donations as well.

A few highlights from the month:

We had a successful leaf raking for the seniors and were able to donate back funds to the many groups that assisted the club in getting the yards done. Thanks to Jason Husslein and John Yusko for a well- organized event.
Dawn and her many elves were able to hold an in person Drop N Shop this year and everyone was glad to see the kids again this year. Thank you, Dawn!
I wanted to add that if you cannot attend a meeting in person, we have Google Meet available for you to join from wherever you may be. I will send the link in my weekly email

Highlights from the Board Meeting:

Approved $1500 for the MFSD Resource Reach out room.
Approved $1200 for The NM Musical Choir to support the kids of the WI Singers.
Oratorical/Essay contest will be held – Annie Jurczyk and Michael Russell will chair

The board approved the following budgets:

Approved budget for DYW
Approved budget for MFHS Scholarships:
$20,000 for MFHS seniors
$2000 for Quest

Upcoming events that we have for the club are:

Chili Dinner January 28th

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.

Happy New Year!!!!


President Dan



— Upcoming Activities and Events —


Chili Dinner cooking/prep day

Chili Dinner

Deadline to sign up for Trivia Contest

Trivia Contest


Volunteer Opportunities

Chili Supper Friday, January 28
(see article below)
Contact Kirsten Sperl 262-844-7984

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
Contact Cathy Sharkey  262-844-1538



Chili Dinner

It’s January and that means it’s almost time again for our annual Chili Dinner!  This year’s event will be will be held at the MFHS cafeteria on January 28, 2022 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.  We will be serving chili, meatless chili, chili with noodles, hot dogs, chips and a beverage. The dinner can be eaten in or taken to go. The varsity boys basketball team takes on Brookfield Central after the dinner.

We are asking that every member try and sell 8 tickets for the dinner.  Members in the past have sold to coworkers, neighbors, and family. Tickets can be purchased and donated to the food pantry, the school, or whomever you choose. All tickets are numbered and for accounting purposes unused or unsold tickets need to be returned to me.  Any money for sold or donated tickets also should be returned to me at:

Kirsten Sperl, N88W15021 Cleveland Ave. Apt 2, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

We will soon be signing up volunteers.  If you know how you would like to help feel free to contact me at 262-844-7984. If this is new to you some of the volunteer opportunities are:

  • serving dinner
  • helping customers
  • stirring the chili
  • working on the take-out line
  • taking tickets or money
  • and clean up.

The Junior Optimist Club will be hosting a bake sale the same time as the dinner.  So, stop on by for a tasty after dinner treat!

Thanks for supporting this awesome event! Hope to see you all there!

~ Kirsten Sperl, Chili Dinner Chair



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 set for Saturday, April 9, 2022. Participants from the Class of 2023 will compete for the title of Distinguished Young Woman in a full, in-person showcase at North Middle School. The program is open to all junior girls who live in Menomonee Falls. Sign up for participants runs through January 30.

I am in need of volunteers to put this program together. My greatest need is for a Judge’s Chairperson. This job involves recruiting the 5 program judges, overseeing interviews with the participants, and staying with judges during the program and through deliberation process. Training is available and there is a list of potential judges in the metro area who would love to help. It is a big job but also fantastic opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these high school girls.

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.
Contact Cathy Sharkey  262-844-1538

I will have more information on other volunteer positions next month once the participants are set. Thank you in advance for supporting this amazing program!

– – – – – – –

Distinguished Young Women of Wisconsin has a new state chairperson. Meg Sranske is enthusiastically planning for the Wisconsin program for July 30, 2022. A huge part of her job is fundraising to provide scholarships for the participants for the Class if 2023. Meg is currently running a giving campaign to raise this money.

Perhaps you had a daughter who has benefited from this program and you would like to see other young women benefit from the experience. You might consider making a donation to the state program. Below is Meg’s request from the state’s Facebook page. Please see Cathy Sharkey if you have any questions.

‘Tis the season of GIFT giving! Give the gift of a donation to support the scholarship fund of the Distinguished Young Women of Wisconsin Class of 2023 program. Your sponsorship will forever make a difference in a young woman’s life. Email wisconsin@distinguishedyw.org to find out how you can give this holiday season.

~ Cathy Sharkey



— Optimist Meetings 


December Students of the Month

We recognized our December 2021 Students of the Month at our December 15th meeting.
(left to right), Mr. Josh Mims (North Middle School), Taylor Lemminger (St. Mary’s), Seth Tremble (MFHS), Paige Schulz (MFHS), and Ryen Probasco (North Middle School)



— Past Events 


Leaf Raking for Seniors

Leaf-raking Teams Shut Out Mother Nature for the Second Time!

Using 2020’s recipe for success, our leaf-raking teams were able to triumph over Mother Nature again in 2021!

Starting November 6th, seven youth organizations completed raking the yards of 22 senior citizen residents over a two-week period ending the weekend of November 20th.

Over 250 volunteers from Cub Scouts Pack 109, Falls Angels, Junior Phoenix Baseball, Junior Optimist Club, MFHS National Honor Society, Kindness for Kaden & The MFHS Student Council coordinated timing with the residents, organized leaf-haulers when required, and generally had some fun!

Special thanks to Mike Russell and Ed Schlumpf who were able to lend a hand—and their trucks/trailers—to help transport leaves to Shady Lane Greenhouses.  Your willingness to help is much appreciated!

The Optimist Club received donations of $975 that we shared with the youth organizations.  The Optimist Club Board approved a donation of a matching $975 so that the teams split a total of $1,950.

As he has for the past few years, Karl Hornung at Shady Lane Greenhouses graciously allowed us to dump leaves at his facility so that we avoided Orchard Ridge dumping fees.  Please consider Shady Lane if you are in the market for plants!

We look forward to more success in 2022!

~ John Yusko


Holiday Drop ‘N Shop

The 11th Annual Parent Holiday Drop & Shop returned to an in-person event with much success.  Ninety-two children were in attendance at Community Education & Rec Department on Saturday, December 4, 2021 between 10 am to 2 pm along with over 50 wonderful high school and middle school student volunteers.

You can check out more great pictures taken by Jon Cline at https://www.facebook.com/media/set?vanity=clinedesignphotography&set=a.10159991016764180.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to my amazing committee and Optimist Volunteers:  Jean Christian, Tom Ciskoski, Shannon Dederich, Don Eisenhauer, Steve Fleming, Ann Freudenthal, Joy Fricke, Larry & Marcia Hebbring, Jason Husslein, Kathie Jensen, Meg Latus, Lorie Marks, Kathy Matthiessen, Greg Mattson, Stevie MisteleWildt, Jenny O’Keefe, Chris O’Reilly, Gary Pollpeter, Corrine Reiter, Tex Reiter, Kirsten Sperl, Joanne Wanner, Linda Zylka.

In addition, THANK YOU to Jason Husslein and his amazing team to again assist us with promoting and handling the registration process.

SAVE THE DATE for December 3, 2022!!!  If any club members are interested in becoming involved we’d love to have you on the team.

~ Dawn Mariscal


Check presented at Patio Players’ Christmas Carol


Club president Dan Schwind presented a check to the Patio Players at the Saturday, December 4th evening performance of A Christmas Carol.

Optimist Christmas Party

Photos by Jon Cline from our 2021 holiday party on Wednesday, December 8th at North Hills Country Club.


— Membership and Executive Board Info

December 21, 2021 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 , Mike Russell, Shannon Dederich, Jen Dedrick
Absent: none
Other attendees: Cathy Sharkey

Purpose: Regular monthly meeting

  1. The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:00 am.
  2.  The meeting agenda and November meeting minutes were approved.
  3. Donation Requests

    a. Menomonee Falls School District Resource Outreach Room

    i. Request for $1,500 was approved.

    ii. The board agreed that we should encourage the group to approach us for additional funds when needed.

b. North Middle School Jazz Band/Choir

i. Request for $1,200 to cover transportation expenses for a January 21, 2022 concert was approved.

4. Budget Approvals

a. Distinguished Young Women—Cathy Sharkey

i. Total budget of $5,722 for the competition year 2022/2023 was approved.

ii. The budget includes an increased donation for an ad in the program.

    • b. Leaf Raking for Seniors–John Yusko

i. Donations totaled $975

ii. Requested payouts totaling $1,950 to the participating youth groups was approved.

      1. iii. Payout distribution spreadsheet and letters were provided to Jerry Mislang so that he can forward the checks.

c. Oratorical Contest–Mike Russell

i. Budget of $1,135 was approved.

ii. Mike pointed out that, unlike past years, he intends to track the essay contest and oratorical contest separately.

d. Essay Contest–Mike Russell

i. Mike has minimal historical data from which to compose a budget.

ii. He submitted a request for $44, which was approved.

e. Scholarships–Cathy Hazzard

i. Requested $20,000

ii. Board approved $20,000 as requested, with an additional $2,000 to be dedicated to Quest students; total of $22,000 was approved.

iii. The board also agreed that we should work with the scholarship committee to see if we can come up with a way to more equitably distribute scholarship funds contributed by the Optimist Club. There is a sense that the award process results in some students being “over-rewarded” at the expense of other deserving students.

f. Meat Raffle results

i. Discussion was tabled because of some discrepancies between the committee report and the actual expenses recorded by Jerry.

ii. Shannon agreed to re-visit with Marcia Hebbring and resolve any issues.

5. 501(c) (3) update–John Yusko

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

b. We have received an approval of our status from the State of Wisconsin.

6. Foundation Board update

a. Don Eisenhauer is pursuing options/estimates for insurance.

b. Don is working with Sue Carney on a brokerage relationship to handle donations of securities.

c. We have received and deposited a few donations.

d. Donations and pledges for Village Park are going well; we have received commitments for about 25% of our goal.

e. We recognize that we owe a budget for estimated expenses to the Optimist Club Board; our expenses should be relatively small, but we are still working on identifying them.

6. Treasurer’s Report

a. As of November 30, we have approximately $123,000 in our accounts.  That compares to about $97,000 at the same time in 2020.

7. Anything else for the good of the club

a. Dan reported that he received a few complaints about the “raunchiness” of the answers given during the game played during the Christmas party.  He will discuss them with the Christmas party chairs.

b. Shannon and Marcia are still putting together a budget for a chili kick-off fundraiser to be held at the K of C Hall in January.

8. The next meeting is scheduled for January 18, 2022.

9. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:40 a.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=300January 23, 1995 

A Strategic Planning Session at the Firehouse on Appleton results in a decision to try meeting once a month in the evening at St. Paul’s in order to attract some members who don’t normally attend the morning meetings.

~ 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.