March 2020 Optimizer

The Optimizer | March 2020 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

— In this issue —

Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Upcoming Activities and Events


Oa5 Brewers, Beer, Brats and Bags

Scholarship Golf Outing

Fishing Derby

Past Events

Distinguished Young Women

Optimist Meetings

QUEST Program

Culture Fair

Students of the Month

New Member

MFHS Dance Team

Getting to Know You – Kirsten Sperl

Board Briefings

Thank You Notes

This Month in Club History

How to Publish Optimist News


—- Meeting Schedule —-

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

Our opportunity to recognize all the hard work from the students who participated in this year’s Distinguished Young Women’s program. It’s always great to hear their experiences and what impact this program has had on them.

A program named after former MFSD teacher and Optimist club member John Weaver, we’ll meet the winners of this year’s Do the Right Thing program. These kids will be joined by their families as we hear what they’ve done to earn their award.

We could just write March Students of the Month, but that is only the tip of the iceberg regarding these outstanding students nominated by NMS, MFHS and St. Marys’ schools.

The chairs of a new club activity, Special Needs Resource Fair, will present what’s all involved in this program. This is event is an answer to the SWIS District’s request to start a new activity that’s not a fundraiser. This should be a very interesting and informative meeting.

~Submitted by Jerry Mislang

—- President’s Message March 2020 —-

As we roll into our transition month of the year, March, we as a club also roll into our transition. Many thanks to Cathy Sharkey and all the volunteers that helped make DYW a success. It was great to see the number of girls participating increase after last year. Along with this event in February, my thanks go out to Dawn Mariscal, Nancy Kane, Jenn Dederick, and Wendy Sue Fluegge for helping to organize the essay contest. We saw an increase in the number of participants this year, which is great to see. March offers us the Oratorical contest as well as a special meeting each year – John Weaver Do the Right Thing award meeting. Also, March is time to find those clubs and dust them off as the golf outing is only 2 months away. Look for a separate article in the newsletter. Let the Spring weather be upon us.

~Todd Paulus


—- Upcoming Activities and Events—-

Oratorical Contest

OA5 3rd annual Brewers, Beer, Brats and Bags tournament

Fishing Derby

Scholarship Golf Outing



OA5 Brewers, Beer, Brats and Bags 3rd annual Brewers, Beer, Brats and Bags tournament will be Sunday, April 26th at the Knights of Columbus Hall. This year will be partnering with the Meat Raffle committee to amp up the fundraising efforts. Volunteers and participants will be needed for the event – mark your calendars now!






See the source imageScholarship Golf Outing

This year marks an anniversary year for us as a club – 30 years raising funds for high school seniors with our golf outing. The event will be held on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at Ironwood Golf course in Sussex. The event will be an 18-hole shotgun start with a scramble format.  It will begin at noon. Lunch will be served before we head out and heavy hors d’oeuvres served after the event. We are hoping to do a silent auction, a voice auction, a 50/50 raffle, opportunity basket raffle, and a raffle for a gift card.

In order to make this event a success as it has been in the past, we are hoping for support from our members. First off, we need golfers. The past few years our numbers have hovered around 100 golfers.  Let’s find a way to increase this.  Ask friends, family members, or co-workers if they want to join us for a fun day and evening to raise money for kids. Secondly, we need auction items for both the voice auction and silent auction. Some items may even make their way into our opportunity baskets depending on the number of items we get. Make sure you ask businesses you frequent or daily contacts, if they have anything they would like to donate. Often times, it just takes someone to ask., we need sponsors. We need hole sponsors and cart sponsors. These sponsors help our bottom line immensely. Lastly, we will need some golf balls this year. Over the past few years, we have not had a golf ball Wednesday, as we had an inventory of them to work from. After a few years now, that inventory has been worked down, so we need to replenish. We use these balls as prizes for hole contests. If you have a dozen new golf balls you would like to donate, please contact me or bring them to a meeting. We will host Golf Ball Wednesday closer to the event, but I will take donations at any time. Our committee does a great job organizing this event, but we really need help from all members to make this a success. We have fun while raising funds. Hopefully we will see you on May 20th.

Fishing Derby Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls will host the 2020 Kids Catch and Release Fishing Derby on Saturday, May 9th, 2020 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.  More details in the next newsletter.



— Past Events —

C:\Users\Schmit\Documents\Barb\Optimist\Newsletters\December 2016 articles\dyw logo.jpg

Ten Menomonee Falls High School Juniors participated in the 56th Annual Distinguished Young Women Program on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at the North Middle School Auditorium. The Optimist Club has sponsored and organized the program since 1986. The participants will be attending the Optimist Club meeting on March 4.

Autumn Seeback (2nd Alternate); Veronica Goveas (Distinguished Young Woman of Menomonee Falls); Madisyn Harrison (1st Alternate)

photo by Don Gorzek


Veronica Goveas was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Menomonee Falls for 2021. She will represent Menomonee Falls at the Wisconsin State Program to be held in Franklin, WI this summer. Veronica is the daughter of Mary and Joseph Goveas. She performed an Indian Semi-Classical Dance for her talent. Veronica was also won the Scholastic, Talent, and Self-Expression Awards. She will receive a $2500 scholarship from the Optimist Club.

Madisyn Harrison was named 1st Alternate. She will receive a $1000 scholarship from the Optimist Club and $300 cash award from Community League of Menomonee Falls.  Autumn Seebach was named 2nd Alternate and won the Fitness and Spirit Awards. She receives a $500 scholarship from the Optimist Club. Krithika Senthil won the Interview Award. The Be Your Best Self Essay Award went to Elise Poos. Each category winner will receive a $100 cash award.

Also participating were Alexandra McGovern Sikorski, Sarah Pflughoeft, Hali Becker, Mandeep Kaur, and Sidnee Trimble.

Sarah Pflughoeft, Hali Becker, Mandeep Kaur, Veronica Goveas, Elise Poos, Madisyn Harrison, Sidnee Trimble, Autumn Seebach, Krithika Senthil and Alexandra McGovern Sikorski

photos by Don Gorzek

Our program is so wonderfully successful because of the great team I have working with me. Ali Leon did the fitness choreography, is a co-host and is a contact at school for the girls. New mom Becky Shull was back to co-host again this year. Dawn Mariscal puts together the beautiful program book and Good Luck Wishes. Susan Steliga coordinates the Little Miss program the Be Your Best Self Essay. Steve Fleming is the tabulator and arranges for gifts for the contestants. Kathryn Hoff and Rema Kunnath were the Scholastic Judge Chairpersons. Lynette Shepherd is the Program Judges Chairperson. President Todd opened the show with an enthusiastic welcome.

Stage Manager Dave Curran was invaluable backstage. Larry Hebbring, Brad Bence, Rick Kohl and Tex Reiter assisted (flawlessly!) as stage crew. Corrine Reiter also assisted backstage. Kathryn Hoff, Kathie Jensen, Deb Mattson, and Joanne Wanner sold tickets and programs. Carolyn Anderson, Kevel Anderson, Nancy Kane, and Rebecca Hulce took tickets at the door. Hailey Gorzaski, Christina Anderson, and JOI member, Isra Ahmed, supervised the Little Misses and Mister. Carol Schulteis and John Yusko were there to make sure everything was covered.

Kristy Gruenwald provided the contestants with beautiful floral arrangements.

Danny Shepherd provided the sound system for the program. Thank you for putting so much thought and effort into creating an amazing sound experience! John Seymour ran the light board for dress rehearsal Friday evening. Theater manage, Callie Thorow, did the program lights and provided much needed assistance on the stage.

Kirsten Sperl assisted Steve with tabulating results. Stevie MistelWildt had the important job of running ballots to the tabulators and helped with Little Misses. Rema Kunnath and Sue Gorecki assisted the girls in the dressing room.

Thanks to Chris Forston and his team at Falls Cable Access for videotaping the program. You are able to watch it on Channel 14 or online at

And finally, our program is so blessed to have photographer Don Gorzek who put in endless hours to capture program forever on film. Thank you doesn’t seem adequate to express our gratitude.

We will be meeting with the sophomore girls who are interested in participating next year at the end of the school year. The Class of 2022 program will take place in early 2021.

~Cathy Sharkey


— Optimist Meetings —

QUEST Program

Quest Instructor Erin Brodzeller talked about the benefits of the program for high school students, at our February 5th meeting. Kelly Moore, a senior in the program, described how important Quest has been to help turnaround her life. After graduation in June, Kelly plans to attend UW-Whitewater.

Photo by Don Gorzek


2020 Culture Fair

Bernadette van Willigen, is a German teacher and advisor for the “Culture Fair” at MFHS. At our February 12th meeting, she introduced Pader Xiong, a senior, Julia Totsky, a sophomore, and Nathan Russell, a junior. They talked about events and activities that will occur at the ”2020 Culture Fair.”

Photo by Don Gorzek


February Students of the Month

The Optimist Club “Students of the Month for February 2020” include (l to r) front row Brooklyn Levenhagen, a junior, and Michael Evens, a sophomore at Menomonee Falls HS. Standing Lucy Wallace, an eighth grader at St. Mary Parish School, Emily Gaynor and Parker Fox. Both are seventh graders at North Middle School.

Photo by Don Gorzek


New Member

President Todd Paulus installs new member Steve Chmielewski at our February 26, 2020 meeting. Steve’s sponsor and wife Terra listens to the reading.

Photo by Don Gorzek





MFHS Dance Team

Also at our February 26th meeting, we heard from Menomonee Falls High School’s Dance Team.

Photo by Don Gorzek




— Getting to Know You: Kirsten Sperl —

I was looking for a way to give back to the community.  While sitting on a bike in spin class I was listening to Dick Woosencraft tell about a club he was a part of, the Optimist club.  I came to a few meetings and I was hooked, I became a member in 2008. After volunteering at some events, I became the chili dinner chair in 2010.

I was born and raised in Menomonee Falls.  I graduated from the University of Eau Claire with a duel degree in special education and elementary education.  For the past 25 years I have worked 3rd shift at Arandell Corporation in Menomonee Falls. Currently I work in the roll receiving warehouse driving a clamp truck.  Working nights has allowed me to help family during the day.

Outside of work I enjoy working out at the YMCA.  I’m on a bunko league.  I enjoy cooking and baking.  I especially like to make breads and pastries.

I have made many friends and have enjoyed the experience that the club brings to my life.


— Board Briefings – February 18, 2020 —

Present: Todd Paulus, Ann Freudenthal, Marcia Hebbring, Lenny Kimmel, Greg Mattson, Carol Schulteis, Joanne Wanner, Jeanine Dederich, Shannon Dederich and JOI members Jack Lynch and Charlie Pietz

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

See the source imageReview of January board meeting minutes. A motion was made by Marcia, seconded by Joanne and approved by all to accept the minutes.

Donation requests

Cops & Kids Foundation – Bob Kraemer requested a donation. A motion was made by Marcia, seconded by Ann and approved by all to donate $750 to this foundation.

Riverside PTO Hoopalooza – Sally Carlson requested a donation. A motion was made by Greg, seconded by Jeanine and approved by all to donate $250.00

The Women’s Center requested a donation which was declined.

Zion Lutheran Gala requested a donation which was tabled until the next board meeting

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

Budget Approvals and Fund Raisers

A motion was made by Rick, seconded by Jeanine and approved by all to approve the Post Prom budget.

A motion was made by Greg, seconded by Ann and approved by all to approve the Do The Right Thing budget.

The Trivia Contest post-budget was presented.

Greg made the motion via email to accept the OA5 Blanket budget, and approved by all via email vote.

New Business

Shannon Dederich presented information on the Special Project. The Resource Fair for families with special needs members is scheduled for October at the Community Center. Volunteers from the club will be needed. Shannon will present her project to the club membership at the meeting on Wednesday, March 26.

JOI gave the board an update on their activities. They sponsored a Super Bowl Food Drive at the High School which was a big success. They also had a bake sale at the chili dinner. Other volunteer opportunities for their club are being discussed.

A request was made to sponsor a sophomore for Wisconsin Leadership Seminars. A motion was made by Jeanine, seconded by Greg and approved by all to approve the $200 scholarship cost.

A request was made by Cheryl Cieslewicz for the American Legion Auxiliary Henrizi-Schneider Unit #382 to sponsor a girl to Badger Girls State Program. A motion was made by Rick, seconded by Lenny and approved by all to give $350 for the sponsorship.

Unfinished Business – Park Project Start-up Fund – A meeting is scheduled for next week. Work on the amphitheater will start this spring. No other new developments at this time.

President’s Comments – The newsletter articles are due by Wednesday, February 26th.

Next Meeting Date – Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A motion was made by Jeanine, seconded by Greg to adjourn the meeting at 7:40 AM.

~Submitted by Ann Freudenthal


—- February Thank You’s (excerpts) —-


Falls Patio Players
“We’re so grateful for the many years of support…your donation helps us to continue to provide a theater camp.”

~Submitted by Jerry Mislang


— This Month in Club History —

March 8, 1975 (45 years ago) – Open to boys and girls from Lannon, Sussex, Germantown and the Falls, the 1st Annual Tri-Star Basketball Competition results in trophies and two Bucks tickets for David Moser 9, Tim Koltermann and Jamie Lolancono 12.

~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 – or

NEWSPAPERS  Shannon Dederich 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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