March 2017

The Optimizer

March 2017

Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

—- Meeting schedule —-

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

Mar. 1 Night meeting at Wisconsin Athletic Club 6:00 pm The Community League

Mar. 8 MFHS Mountain Biking team & MFHS Art Club

Mar. 15 Students of the Month & North Middle School 7th Grade “Kindness for Kaden” presentation

Mar. 22 Do the Right Thing

Mar. 29 Do the Right Thing

—- Message from the President —-

Presidents Thoughts for March 2017

March is a month that I look forward to. This is because it indicates the approach of spring. More importantly, March 2nd has been a tradition for decades at our home of having “Green Eggs and Ham” for breakfast. This tradition is to honor Theodor Seuss (Dr. Seuss) Geisel’s birthday as well as my “Number One Son’s” birthday. I also find that our Club members, Dick Woosencraft, Jaspal Arora, and Maribel Luehring were born on March 2nd. I wish a happy birthday to one and all.

Here is a thought that I found in the book “The Happiness Project for Mothers” by Gretchen Rubin.

“I don’t check my e-mail or talk on the phone when I’m traveling from one place to another, whether by foot, bus, subway, or taxi. I’ve realized that many of my most important ideas have come to me during these times.”

As spring approaches let us all check the over thirty committees and events that our Club members can become involved with in order to fulfill our mission to “Bring out the Best in Kids”.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss

All the Best to You,
Don Gorzek, Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls President 2016-17

—- Executive Board —-

February Executive Board Meeting – February 21, 2017

President Don Gorzek led the Board meeting on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. Meeting synopsis is as follows:

Donation requests:

  1. $250 for MFHS dance team state competition approved
  2. Falls Patio Players (Laura Ciletti) for youth summer camp, camp scholarships, t-shirts, costumes, Falls Patio Players general support – approved $3,000 to continue support
  3. May 13 fishing derby budget of $1,246 in expenses approved; submitted by Tom Walkner and Tim Newman
  4. Approved two requests from Jason Husslein, Community Rec and Education Department – $250 for summer Safety Town program and $1000 for North Middle School Lock– In on May 12
  5. Approved request from Jerry Mislang for funding of no more than $690 for the school year for plaques to be awarded to Students of the Month (instead of certificates).  Funding to begin Fall 2017
  6. Approved request from Jerry Mislang for funding for plaques for teams going to State competitions, not to exceed $70 per plaque (i.e. dance, cheer, wrestling, FBLA, ski team). Plaques will go in appropriate display cases at MFHS.

Treasurer’s report: Approved report as submitted by Rick Kohl

New Business:

    • Approved two new members Jon Cline and James Lowe. Welcome!
    • Looking for club members to lead food and beverage tent at “Falls Memorial Fest”, to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Menomonee Falls in downtown on May 27th. Please contact Don Gorzek or Jeanine Dederich with your interest.

The Board meets the third Tuesday of every month at 7:00a.m.

Members include:

  • Don Gorzek, President
  • Lynette Shepherd, 1st Vice President Jeanine Dederich, 2nd Vice President Larry Podolske, Treasurer
  • Ted Klumb, Past President
  • Dan Schwind, Past Presidents Council
  • Board Members: Sue Carney, Tom Dueppen, Len Kimmel, Chris O’Reilly, Todd Paulus, Rose Schwartz

Jeanine Dederich


On behalf of the Membership Committee I would like to welcome Jon Cline (sponsored by Jerry Mislang) and James Lowe (sponsored by Larry Barbera) to the Optimist Club!!

You are now official members of the “best club in Menomonee Falls” and will get as much out of your membership, as you put in!! The more you participate, the more you will appreciate all this club does to “Bring Out the Best in Kids”.

We look forward to seeing you at the meetings!!

Lynette Shepherd

—- Upcoming Events —-

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed for the following Optimist events.  Please see article for each event for details.

    • Oratorical Contest
    • Fishing Contest
    • Lead for food and beverage tent at “Falls Memorial Fest” May 27. (See Executive Board notes.)

March Night Meeting

Guest speaker – Annie Moser, Community League

WHEN:  Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Arrive 6:00; meeting and program at 6:30

WHERE:  Wisconsin Athletic Club (WAC) – Falls Parkway.

WHAT: This is your chance to hear from another group in Menomonee Falls about their program and support of the village. Followed by a tour of the WAC, pickle ball and drink specials at the WAC lounge.

WHO: All members, potential members and guests welcome!

Future Night Meetings

April 5 – Distinguished Young Women Location:  Menomonee Falls North Cafeteria

May 17 – Scholarship Golf Outing Location: Ironwood Golf Course, Sussex

June 7 – Membership Drive Meeting Location: Trysting Place

July 3 – Parade

August – Picnic

Date and Location TBA

–Do the Right Thing–

An Optimist Club favorite is coming up in March. Students who will receive the John Weaver “Do the Right Thing” award will be recognized at meetings on March 22 and March 29. This program is always warmly received by club members, as students of great character are recognized. Please plan to attend these meetings.

Karen Nelson

–Distinguished Young Women–

The 53rd Annual Distinguished Young Women of Menomonee Falls Scholarship Program will take place Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at North Middle School. Twelve girls will be competing for the title of Distinguished Young Women of Menomonee Falls for 2018. Tickets are available at the door for $5.

Contestants at all levels of Distinguished Young Women are judged on scholastics, interview, talent, self- expression and physical fitness. The Optimist Club awards $3650 in scholarships and cash awards to the participants. The winner will go on to represent Menomonee Falls at the state program in August.

Two of the participants are daughters of club members. Harleen Arora is the daughter of Jaspal and Manmeet Kaur Arora and Olivia Eisenhauer is the daughter of Don and Julie Eisenhauer. The other participants include Basia Klos, Leah Kreiter, Margaret Pomroy, Kenzie Schmidt, Abi Duda, Mary Antrim, Anessa McCormick, Kaela Preston, Mackenzie Page, and Priyanka Ramanathan.

The girls have been rehearsing since late December. They have participated in practice interviews with Optimist Club members acting as judges. Thank you to Kathy Kiepert, Lynette Shepherd, Kathryn Hoff, Kathy Mattiessen, Kim Wenzel, Rick Paddock, Dave Curran, Jerry Mislang, Jim Foster, Wendysue Fluegge and Diane Matszack for judging.

Over the next two weeks girls will be visiting a nursing home to perform their talent, hanging out at an ice cream party with their Little Misses and spending many hours in rehearsal.

Please come out to North on March 11th to support these very talented young ladies.

Cathy Sharkey

–Oratorical Contest–

The annual Oratorical Contest scheduled for Wednesday, March 22 from 5 pm until approximately 9 pm.  We are in need of one more judge for the contest.

If you are interested in being part of this event please contact Dawn Mariscal by email at or phone/text (262)442-4952.

Dawn Mariscal

–Optimist Scholarships–

The Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls is pleased to announce the availability of nine scholarships for graduating seniors from Menomonee Falls High School and/or residents of Menomonee Falls graduating from other high schools. Six $2000 and three $1000 scholarships will be awarded. Applicants must have served in a voluntary capacity to be eligible for an Optimist Scholarship. Our board has graciously added a $1000 scholarship to a student participating in the Quest program.

Applications and information regarding the essay requirement may be found on the school website at starting February 24, 2017. Click on Student Services on the left tool bar, then Scholarships in the drop down, then the Local Scholarship Link. Make sure to print the special forms for the Optimist Club which have their own links.

Completed applications and supporting documentation must be returned to the MFHS auditorium by 3pm on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. For more information about the scholarships, please call Cathy Hazzard at 414-350- 4749.

Cathy Hazzard

–Kids Fishing Contest–

The Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls will host the 2017 Kids Catch and Release Fishing Derby on Saturday May 13th, 2017 at the Mill Pond in downtown Menomonee Falls. The contest is free and is open to all boys and girls age three through 16 that reside or attend school in the Menomonee Falls area. All participants will receive a t-shirt and a chance to win a door prize. Trophies will be awarded to boys and girls in five age divisions for the longest fish and most fish caught during the contest.

Registration for the event will be from 9:00 am to 10:00 am at the Mill Pond Shelter. The fishing contest will be from 10:00 am to Noon followed immediately by the presentation of trophies and door prizes. Bring your own fishing equipment. A limited supply of bait will be provided. Children under nine years old must be accompanied by an adult. 16 year olds must have a fishing license. Food will be sold during the event by the Menomonee Falls Neighborhood Watch.

Sponsors include the Menomonee Falls Police Department, the Menomonee Falls Neighborhood Watch, the Village of Menomonee Falls, RB Enterprises, Pops Frozen Custard, Krueger’s Recreation Center, YoCool Frozen Yogurt, Sandy Spring Farm and the Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls.

Volunteers from previous years will be contacted for the event this year. If you have not volunteered in the past but would like to, please contact Tom Walkner at or Tim Newman at Tom is also looking for someone to take his place as co-chair for the event next year.

Note: Because of a major construction project in the area parking may be restricted or limited. Please plan accordingly.

Tom Walkner and Tim Newman

—- Past Events —-

Lt. Brian Murphy and Police Department Tour

Our February 1, 2017 Optimist Club Meeting featured now retired Lt. Brian Murphy, formerly of the Oak Creek Police Department followed by a tour of the Menomonee Falls Police Department.

Murphy sustained fifteen gunshot wounds trying to apprehend a gunman during the attack at the Sikh Temple shooting in 2012. While describing the events of that day, he took note of our Optimist Creed banner. Murphy told our group that many of the Creed concepts helped him survive awhile he downed on the parking lot with fifteen bullets in his body.

Becca Murray

Becca Murray shared her inspirational story as a basketball champion and Paralympian at the Optimist Club February 8 meeting. Becca was born with Spina Bifida, but has not let that stop her from excelling. She has won multiple gold medals at international competitions. In last year’s gold medal game, she scored 33 of her team’s 62 points and was named Most Valuable Player.

The Red, White, & Blue Top that Becca Murray was wearing during her presentation was part of her opening ceremony uniform that was worn at the “Rio 2016 Paralympic Games”.

Murray is holding the gold metal that she won at the Rio 2016 Games. Becca shook the metal so Optimist club members could hear the sound that the beads made. Becca told us that the gold, silver, bronze metals each made different sounds for the benefit of blind metal winners.

MFHS State Dance Team

2017-02feb-mfhs-danceThe Menomonee Falls High School State Dance team members were introduced at the Club’s February 15, 2017 meeting.

Quest Program

2017-02feb-questAt our February 22, 2017 meeting, Diane Gariepy, Lead Instructor of the Menomonee Falls School District’s “Quest” program introduce her outstanding seniors for the year. The students from the left are Carly Carini, Michelle Williams, and Perry Malila.

MFHS Wrestling

2017-02feb-mfhs-wrestlingThe Menomonee Falls High School State Bound Wrestling team members were introduced at the Club’s February 22 meeting. The team was introduced by head coach Jim McMahon (far left), and assistant coach Andy Rutke (next to him).

Poker Tournament

2017-01jan-poker1 2017-01jan-poker2The Poker tournament was held on January 29. The write-up was in the February newsletter.

—- JOOI Club —-

This month the Junior Optimist Club sponsored its annual food drive, The Souper Bowl of Caring. Each class at the high school received two boxes—one for the Patriots and one for the Falcons—and whichever class had the most donated food items in the winning team’s box (the Patriots) earned a prize sponsored by our club. We ended up rewarding both winning classrooms since the Falcons’ loss was so close! Through this event we were able to donate over 200 food items to the Menomonee Falls Food Pantry.

In addition, our club is continuing to tutor each week at Ben Franklin Elementary and volunteer at Kids Inc. after school.  We love getting to help the younger students!

Alison Leon

—- Students of the Month —-

February 2017 Students of the MonthThe Menomonee Falls Optimist Club Students of the Month for February 2017 from St. Anthony Parish School Nkem Ebije, from North Middle School Will Tath, from MFHS Sophia Nysse and Than Zaw, and from North Middle School Elliana Xiong.

—- This Month in Club History —

March 11, 1987 – The general membership decides to do away with the policy of giving bottles of liquor to members on their birthday. That and smoking at meetings is deemed to be a poor example when youth are in attendance.

Taken from 49 Year History Program

—- Thank You Notes —-

The club received a thank you note from the following:

    • Jr Indians Baseball Team

—- Mequon – Thiensville Optimist Event —-

The Mequon – Thiensville Optimist Club Raffle Dinner will be held on Tuesday, March 28th beginning at 6:00 PM at Shully’s Watermark located at 146 North Green Bay Road in Thiensville.

There will be a silent auction and buffet dinner is included along with a cash bar. Dinner is served at 7:00 PM. Ticket prices are $60.00 each. Your ticket automatically enters you into a drawing for a chance to win $1000 (one winner) or $500 (one winner) or $50 (9 winners) or $25 (8 winners). You DO NOT have to be present to win.

Please email or mail $60.00 per ticket to Pete Olsen, 9733 West Forrester Court, Mequon, WI 53097 or call Pete at 414.870.9733 or 262.242.4748. Checks made out to MTOC with Raffle Dinner on the note line. He will mail your ticket back to you.

—- Next Newsletter Deadline —-

Articles for the April newsletter are due March 28. Please email your articles to Jerry Mislang.

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