March 2018 Optimizer

The Optimizer

March 2018

Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

—- March Meeting schedule —-

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

  • Mar. 7 Night meeting. Guest Speaker, Teri Lux, President, Community Memorial Hospital Location: Community Center – 6:00pm gathering, 6:30pm program
  • Mar. 14 NMS advisors Kristin Janssen and Tracy Seymour along with several members of the Student Leaders Club will explain what their club is all about.
  • Mar. 21 Our monthly favorite, Students of the Month, plus a brief thank you for our Your Choice donation! MFHS, NMS and St. Mary’s students will be presented by Principal’s Bob Vitale, Lynn Grimm and Linda Joyner along with their nominators. Also, Carolyn Rebro asked for a few minutes to expound on the success of the NMS Your Choice program.
  • Mar. 28 Do the Right Thing (part one) is back! The room will once again will be packed as we recognize the DTRT students along with their parents, friends and relatives. DTRT (part two) is tentatively scheduled for May 2.


March 7 Night Meeting

Community Memorial Hospital has been part of the Menomonee Falls community since 1964. Now a part of Froedtert, it has a national reputation for excellence while serving Waukesha and surrounding counties. Join us on Wednesday, March 7, to hear Teri Lux, President of Community Memorial Hospital, describe what we can continue to expect as CMH strives to combine technology and personal care to serve our communities’ needs. The meeting will be at the Community Center. The program will begin at 6:15 pm. We plan to adjourn to DJ’s Goalpost on Appleton Avenue after the meeting. See you there!

Carol Schulteis


—- President’s Thoughts —-

Good news!!!  Increasing member participation has been a goal of mine from the start and I’m happy to say we have MANY opportunities for everyone to participate coming up the next couple months!

I know many of you find it difficult to attend morning meetings, and we are so, so happy to see you at the evening meetings, but there are still many members who have not experienced the JOY of participation.  There are no requirements to attend or participate but ask anyone who does, and they will tell you the sense of purpose and fulfillment that comes from it, is worth the time invested!!

So I’d like to encourage all of you that BELONG to our wonderful club, but haven’t participated in all we have to offer, to consider joining us the next few months as we look for volunteers for the upcoming events.

I promise you – you will not regret it!!  The fun you will have, and the satisfaction you will gain from joining our efforts in Bringing Out the Best in Kids, will inspire you to do even more!  Honestly, you will look forward to the next opportunity to help out and volunteer.

Start now!!  Cathy Sharkey can use help with DYW, Dawn Marsical can use help with the Oratorical Contest and Bob Wenzel can use help with Tri Star Basketball.  Not to mention we have the Fishing Derby, Trivia Night and the Scholarship Golf Outing all coming up soon and the more the merrier.

Looking forward to seeing a bunch of new faces at the events!!

Your committed friend in Optimism, 
Lynette Shepherd


—- Upcoming Events —-

  • Saturday March 10 Event. Distinguished Young Women Program. See article below. Location: North Middle School auditorium 7:00 pm.
  • Sunday March 25 Event. Tri Star Basketball. See article below. Location: Menomonee Falls High School – Noon-3pm
  • Wednesday April 4 Night meeting. Guest Speakers, Cathy Sharkey and the 2018/2019 Distinguished Young Women. Location: Community Center – 6:00pm gathering, 6:30pm program
  • Saturday April 21 Event. Trivia Contest. Location: St. Agnes Catholic Church, 12801 West Fairmount Ave, Butler Mark your calendar and start getting your team together. More info later.
  • Sunday April 29 Event. Texas Holdem Poker Tourney – Details to follow Location: DJ’s Goalpost
  • Saturday May 12 Event. Kids’ Fishing Contest. See article below.
  • Wednesday May 16 Event. Scholarship Golf Outing. See article below.





The 54th Annual Distinguished Young Women of Menomonee Falls Scholarship Program will take place Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at North Middle School. Fifteen girls from the Class of 2019 will be competing for the title of Distinguished Young Woman of Menomonee Falls. 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.

One of the participants is the daughter of a club member. Rohitha Punathil is the daughter of Rema Kunnath and Ratnasing Punathil. Other participants include Kailee Doherty, Kayla Francis, Shivani Ganesh, Tia Hebbring, Madeline Labott, Hannah Lucht, Kelly Maloney, Brinda Patel, Becky Perez, Jackie Plantier, Monica Repinski, Cosette Schefelker, Megan Schmeling, and Isabella Volk.

The girls have been rehearsing since late December. They have participated in practice interviews with Optimist Club members acting as judges. Thank you to Shannon Dederich, Shannon Kurtz, Bob Wenzel, Kathryn Hoff, Kathy Mattiessen, Kim Wenzel, Dave Curran, Jerry Mislang, Jim Foster, Jeanine Dederich, and Anna Listwan 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 10th to support these very talented young ladies.
Cathy Sharkey


Oratorical Contest

Optimist Oratorical Contest logoThe annual club Oratorical Contest will be taking place on Wednesday, March 21st starting @ 5:30 pm. Students under the age of 18 and attending the Menomonee Falls School District are eligible to participate. This year’s topic is “Where are My Roots of Optimism”. Speeches must be between 4 to 5 minutes and are scored based on Poise, Content of Speech, Delivery & Presentation, and Overall Effectiveness. Judges and volunteers are needed to help make this another one of our optimistically successful club events for the very talented students we support. If you are interested in being a judge, please contact Dawn Mariscal by email @ or by phone/text to (262)442-4952. If you are interested in volunteering for registration or as a greeter, timekeeper, room monitor or tabulating, please contact Chris O’Reilly at

Dawn Marsical


Tristar Basketball

Tristar Basketball for boys and girls ages 6 – 13 will be held on Sunday, March 25th in one of the Auxiliary Gyms at MFHS. The winners in each age group get a special prize and are given the opportunity to participate in the District Contest in Mukwonago on April 4.

The contest runs from noon to 3:00 and we’re still looking for a few more volunteers to work all or part of the contest. Please plan on checking in around 11:45 am as we usually get a few kids checking in early after participating in the Dodgeball Tournament in the main gym.

Please consider giving us a hand and call Bob Wenzel at 262-783-6414


Kids’ Fishing Contest

The Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls will host the 2018 Kids Catch and Release Fishing Derby on Saturday May 12th, 2018 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/Supporters 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, Kwik Trip and the Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls.

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

Tom Walkner


28th Annual Scholarship Golf Outing

Mark your calendars for Wednesday May 16, 2018 for the 28th Annual Optimist Club Scholarship Golf Outing at Ironwood Golf Course in Sussex, WI. Planning for the event is now underway. We are looking to make this a record year as we have earmarked $15000 in scholarships this year for High School Seniors. We will need golfers, voice auction items, silent auction items, raffle basket items, and golf balls to make this event a success. Please start asking your family, friends, neighbors, or contacts for help with our event. We are exploring some changes to the event, but until the committee meets in the near future, we cannot discuss those. If you are not a golfer but would like to join us for the fun after golf, which entails heavy hors d’oeuvres, please let me know. We can accommodate you. We would like to have you there to participate in the auction items as well as the opportunity raffle and the gift card raffle. If you care to join our planning committee, please contact me to include you in on future meetings. If you have been to any outings that have done things during the day that would add something to our event, please let me know. We are always open to new ideas. We hope to see you on May 16, 2018 at Ironwood.

Todd Paulus


—– Executive Board —–

February Board Meeting Minutes

Board Briefings – February 20, 2018

President Lynette Shepherd led the Board meeting on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. Meeting synopsis is as follows:

Donation requests:

  1. Menomonee Falls Jr Indians Baseball Cooperstown National Tournament – Approved $1000 donation

Treasurer’s report:

Larry Podolske was not present for meeting. Report will follow on future date.

Committee Reports and Budgets:

  • Do The Right Thing – Last year there were 46 students. It is now limited to approx. 30 students with $900 budget.
  • Fishing Derby – $1200 budget approved
  • Social Service Young Professionals Group (SSYPG) – Presented final budget for event at Ally’s Bistro. At next event, all attendees will pay their own way.
  • Chili Dinner – $5,600 profit with $1,000 from Kohl’s volunteers

Unfinished Business:

Insurance and Parade – Larry Hebbring and Steve Fleming were present to discuss the Christmas parade, asking Optimist Club to be main sponsor. This event is already coordinated and saves $500 to $600 for insurance. As main sponsor, the club will get a lot of publicity.

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

Members include:

  • President Lynette Shepherd
  • 1st Vice President Jeanine Dederich
  • 2nd Vice President Dustin Koehler
  • Treasurer Larry Podolske
  • Past President Don Gorzek
  • Past Presidents Council Dan Schwind
  • Board Members: Sue Carney, Dave Curran, Tom Dueppen, Kathryn Hoff, Chris O’Reilly, Barb Schmit

Dustin Koehler


—-Junior Optimist International at MFHS—–

Last month the Junior Optimist Club completed its annual Souper Bowl of Caring Food Drive. Through the help of our students and staff, we were able to donate about 200 food items and $40 to the Menomonee Falls Food Pantry. We are continuing to stay active in our elementary schools serving as after school mentors and tutors in some of the younger classrooms. In addition, we are gearing up to help out with the Optimist sponsored Distinguished Young Women. We love being able to lend a hand whenever an event needs some extra help, and this is a great example of an opportunity like this. We are looking forward to planning some larger scale events for the spring months!

Alison Leon


—- Past Events —-

Essay Contest

The annual club Essay Contest on the topic “Can Society Function without Respect” was a close competition. Students entering the contest prepare a written essay between 700 to 800 words on the topic provided and are scored based on Material Organization, Creativity, Vocabulary & Style, Neatness, and Adherence to Contest Rules. This year we congratulate Rohitha Punathil for achieving the highest score overall. Rohitha will receive a $100 cash award from the Club and her essay has now been submitted to the District Level contest. We wish her all the best. Rohitha will be attending a club meeting at a future date to share with you her essay. Thank you goes out to my elite team of judges, Marcia Hebbring, Chris O’Reilly, and Linda Zylka for taking the time out of their busy schedules for this event. Any club members that would have an interest in taking this event over please contact Dawn Mariscal by email @ or by phone/text to (262)442-4952. New energy and creative ideas are needed to raise the level of student participation.

Dawn Marsical

Students of the Month

The Menomonee Falls Optimist Club Students of the Month for February 2018 include from left, Senior Dylan Widmer and Junior Casey Mir from Menomonee Falls High School, sixth grader Angelina Anagnostopoulos from North Middle School, and Lilly Egger an eight grader at St. Mary’s. Not present to receive his award was Ben Nelson, from North Middle School

Photo by Don Gorzek


Optimist Club Meeting Photos


Our February 7, 2018 monthly night meeting was held at the YMCA on Menomonee Avenue!  Aaron Miller, Executive Director told us about the new things they are doing and then took us on a tour to see all the new enhancements to their facility.

Photos by Don Gorzek














Quest Program

Diane Gariepy, lead instructor of the “Quest Program”, Menomonee Falls School District’s alternative high school program spoke at our February 14, 2018 meeting. Gariepy introduced three of her senior students Brad Yoris, Amber Langhoff, and Alexis Anderson.

Photo by Don Gorzek




DARE Officer Retirement

Former Optimist Club member Jim Kirchberger retired from the Menomonee Falls Police Department on February 28.

For many many years, Jim was the DARE coordinator at North Middle School. He’s known by virtually every student as Officer “OJ” and has been a tremendous impact many of those kids. In recognition of his service to our youth, Police Chief Anna Ruzinski presented him with a plaque at his retirement celebration from the Club. Good luck always!


—- This Month in Club History —

March 23, 1988 (30 years ago) – Myra Langkau becomes the first woman to apply for membership to the club. She is subsequently admitted and is joined in April by Robyn Shiley (Turtenwald)

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 –
  • NEWSPAPERS Kim Wenzel three or more weeks prior to your event, as quickly as possible after an event –
  • FACEBOOK Cathy Sharkey, Dawn Mariscal or Lynette Shepherd –,,
  • WEBSITE Beth Saunders –

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