March 2022 Optimizer

The Optimizer | March 2022 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

— In this issue —

Weekly Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Upcoming Activities and Events


Volunteer Opportunities

Oratorical Contest

          Optimist Scholarships

Trivia Contest

Distinguished Young Women

Fishing Derby

Optimist Meetings

QUEST Students

Students of the Month

KK Arnold with Coach Matt Stuve

Past Event

Essay Contest

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’ll be joined by the Varsity Dance Team that had several ‘firsts’ in school history this year.

For the first time we’ll meet members of the MFHS Educator Academy and learn what their program is all about.

Arguably our best monthly meeting, the Students of the Month will be recognized for their accomplishments.

Members of the Community League will be our guests, a Menomonee Falls based volunteer organization that has several yearly major activities, including the Garden Tour, Spring Marketplace and A Community Affair.

First we hear from our Essay Contest Winners. Then a program we helped fund, the MFHS Pride Program, will give us an update on ‘What’s Happening’ with their group.

~ Jerry Mislang


— President’s Message —

Hello Optimists!!

Well, we have another month in the books. Time is flying by. All that means is we are getting closer to Spring!! You know why? Because we are hearing form Todd about the golf outing! That’s always a good sign…

So, February was a busy month for the Club and March is shaping up to be the same. We have the Trivia Contest coming up, so if you have a team and are interested in participating, please make sure you get your team and money in soon.

Also, another sign of spring is the Fishing Derby. Thanks to Dustin Koehler and his team for getting that going for this year.

Lastly, we have our Oratorical and Essay contests in motion and Annie and Michael are doing another great job with that. I know they are looking for some volunteers for judging and a few other spots. Please let them know if you can help them.

Until next month, see you at the meetings or on Google!!


President Dan




— Upcoming Activities and Events —


Oratorical Contest

Deadline to sign up for Trivia Contest

Trivia Contest

Zone competition for Oratorical Contest

Distinguished Young Women practice interviews

Distinguished Young Women Program

Fishing Derby

Scholarship Golf Outing



Volunteer Opportunities

Oratorical Contest Thursday, March 17
Need 3 Judges, 1 Alternate Judge and 1 Alternate Timekeeper. See article in this newsletter.
Contact Mike Russelll 262-290-8354

Distinguished Young Women Saturday, April 2 & 9
Helpers for practice interviews and several tasks on the night of the program. See article in this newsletter.
Contact Cathy Sharkey  262-844-1538

Tri-Star Basketball Chair 
If this is going to happen, we need someone soon!
Contact Dan Schwind




2022 Oratorical Contest

Oratorical Contest LogoThe date for this year’s contest is Thursday, March 17, 2022 – registration 5:30 and the contest starts at 6:00 at the Menomonee Falls Community Center. The theme for this year’s contest is “STAYING OPTIMISTIC IN CHALLENGING TIMES” – We can’t wait to hear from the students since the speeches were so impressive last year!! If you know of a student that would like to participate, please contact Annie at 414-628-3459 or

At this point, we still in need 3 Judges, 1 Alternate Judge and 1 Alternate Timekeeper. Please consider volunteering your time by contacting Mike at 262-290-8354 or

The first and second place students will move on to compete at the Zone Competition that will take place on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 6:00pm at the Menomonee Falls Community Center. We will be reaching out to the judges/timekeepers/tabulators who helped out last year Zone Competition soon.

We would like to thank Stevie Mistele-Wildt, Dr. Carolyn Anderson, Ann Freudenthal, Fred Blanke and Rema Kunnath for volunteering as judges, timekeepers and tabulators for the Oratorical Contest. If we missed someone, please let Mike know.

Seeking 3 Judges, 1 Alternate Judge,  1 Alternate Timekeeper

Contact Mike Russell  262-290-8354

Optimist Scholarships

Cathy Hazzard and Lynn Zindl presented the 2022 scholarship options to the seniors at MFHS on February 24.   Our club has generously donated $22,000 to graduating seniors in 2022!  Ten $2000 scholarships will go to graduates who successfully fill out an application along with an essay and verified volunteer sheets.   One $2000 scholarship will go to a Quest graduate, to be determined by Quest staff. One of the ten scholarships will be issued to the child of an Optimist member.  If you are an Optimist member with a senior graduating from another high school, please have your child visit the Falls website to obtain the information required for the application.  All students should visit  Click on “Scholarships Opportunities”, MF Scholarship & Educational Foundation.  Applications will be collected in the high school gym on Thursday, March 31 from 9am to 2pm.  If you are not in our district, please deliver to Cathy Hazzard.  For any questions, Cathy is available at, or 414-350-4749.

~ Cathy Hazzard


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 Saturday, April 9, 2022 at the North Middle School Auditorium. There are seven participants from Menomonee Falls and Hamilton High Schools representing the Class of 2023. The young women are learning their fitness routine via YouTube which was choreographed by Ali Leon. They will also learn interview tips from 2021 Distinguished Young Woman of WI, Veronica Goveas, and are putting together their 90 second talents. All of their efforts will culminate on stage at showcase on April 9 which begins at 7:00 PM. Falls Cable Access will once again be recording the program.

I have been meeting with the girls and can tell you they are excited and grateful for the opportunity to participate in Distinguished Young Women. Thank you in advance for volunteering!

~ Cathy Sharkey


I am in need of several volunteers for this event. Please see the opportunities below and contact me at 262-844-1538 if you are able to help. Thank you to those who have already volunteered!


Saturday, April 2 – MFHS Room 111

Practice Interview Judges (4)
Each participant will have a 10 minute in-person interview with Optimist volunteers. Needed 10:00 AM – Noon


Saturday, April 9 – North Middle School Auditorium

Tabulator (1)
Enter scores in your laptop as the judges finish scoring a category. There is a 2nd tabulator and an experienced Judges’ Chairperson to assist you. Needed 6:30 – 9:00 PM

Dressing Room Assistants (2 females)
Supervise the dressing room and assist with outfits. Needed 6-9 PM

Ticket Takers at the Door (3)
Needed from 6:15 – 7:15 PM

Dinner Assistance (1-2)
Set up dinner in the North Choir Room (delivered from Ally’s Bistro) and beverages for the judges and committee members; clean up after dinner. Needed from 5:00 – 7:15 PM

Backstage Help (2-3)
Need a few people to help set up microphones on stage and move the piano. Needed from 6:45 – 8:00 PM

Contact Cathy Sharkey  262-844-1538

Fishing Derby

We have exciting news! Planning has begun for the 2022 Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls Kids Fishing Derby.  The Derby will take place on Saturday, May 14th 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 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 to 10 AM at the Mill Pond Shelter.  During registration, each child will receive a t-shirt, fish recording log, and a ticket for a door prize . The fishing contest will be from 10 AM to Noon.  At Noon, participants will want to hand-in their fish recording log to one of many volunteers that will be on site. Trophies will be awarded to contest winners shortly after Noon. Door prizes can be claimed at the registration table anytime between 10 AM and Noon.

The Menomonee Falls Neighborhood Watch will be selling food at the pavilion at the Mill Pond & Shelter from 9 AM – 1 PM.

Please bring your own fishing equipment.  Only a limited supply of bait will be provided.  Children under 11 years old must be accompanied by an adult.  Those 16 years old and older must have a fishing license.

Over the years, sponsors and supporters of this event include the Menomonee Falls Police Department, the Menomonee Falls Neighborhood Watch, the Village of Menomonee Falls, RB Enterprises, Fleet Farm, Krueger’s Entertainment Center, Cops and Kids Foundation, Sandy Spring Farm, Kwik Trip, Tru Turn, Menomonee Falls CE & Rec, and the Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls.

If there are any questions, please contact Dustin Koehler at 262-370-9529 or Sue Carney at 608-509-3117.

2022 Fishing Derby flyer

~ Dustin Koehler



— Optimist Meetings 


QUEST Program

QUEST students visited our club on February 9th were we listened to their inspirational stories.

QUEST was created in 2005 to provide an educational alternative for students in the district who were looking for an alternative to the traditional high school. A student may attend QUEST because he/she is at-risk of not graduating due to a lack of credits, does not feel comfortable in a traditional school setting, has experienced medical situations causing them to fall behind in school, etc. The program is geared for juniors and seniors. All students graduating via the QUEST program earn a Menomonee Falls High School diploma.

The goal of QUEST is to create a low stress, inclusive environment that focuses on building relationships. In addition to completing the classes needed to graduate, students in the QUEST program also participate in community service, team building, mindfulness, and self-reflection.

February Students of the Month

Students of the Month from MFHS, NMS and St. Mary’s were presented by Principal’s Bob Vitale, Lynn Grimm and Linda Joyner along with their nominators. February 2022 Students of the Month were introduced at our February 16th meeting. (left to right) Adysen Pennings (St. Mary’s Parish School), Cooper Kujawa and Ayanna Peoples (North Middle School), Christina Anderson and Brayden Rosenow (Menomonee Falls High School).


Kamorea “KK” Arnold

Germantown Junior Basketball Player Kamorea “KK” Arnold was our guest speaker on February 23rd. She is the rated the # 1 Girls’ Basketball player in Wisconsin and has committed to the University of Connecticut, a perennial national power. She was joined by her head coach Matt Stuve and assistant coach and Menomonee Falls teacher Shane Cox.

— Past Events 

The results are in from the 2022 Essay Contest…

The Essay topic this year was  “HOW DOES AN OPTIMISTIC MINDSET CHANGE MY TOMORROW”.  First, I would like to thank our judges, Dr. Carolyn AndersonKristen Kubisiak and Cathy Jakicic, for volunteering to judge the essays—without you this contest would not have been possible. Finally, the results of the contest are as follows:

1st Place: Anirudh Warrier

2nd Place: Gabriel Xiong

3rd Place: Kaleb Trice.

Congratulations to all of our contestants for their insightful essays.  A Special Congratulations to our 1st Place winner Anirudh Warrier! His essay will be forwarded on to our District Essay Contest for a chance at a $2,500 Scholarship. Best of luck to Anirudh!

~ Annie Jurczyk




— Membership and Executive Board Info

February 15, 2022 Board Minutes

Unapproved: to be approved at the next board meeting.

Board members: Jerry Mislang, Mike Russell, Scott Dreier, Dan Schwind, John Yusko, Fred Blanke, Tom Ciskoski, Shannon Dederich
Absent: Rick Kohl, Kim Wenzel, Jenn Dedrick, Don Eisenhauer
Other attendees: Dustin Koehler

Purpose: Regular monthly meeting

  1. The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:00 am.
  2.  The meeting agenda and January meeting minutes were approved; motion by John, second by Mike
  3. Donation Requests

    a. Girl Scout Troop 6315

    i. Request for $1,000 for purchase of a gaga ball pit

    ii. Jerry moved to approve $1,000, second by Scott

    b. Menomonee Falls High School instrumental music group

    i. Request for $2,192.78 to purchase a new motorized screen

    ii. Our club is their first donation request; we agree to provide “seed money” to use as they approach other donors
    iii. John moved to approve $1,000, second by Shannon

  4. Budget Request

a. Fishing Derby—Dustin Koehler

i. Fishing Derby is scheduled for May 14, 2022

ii. The proposed budget totals $1,808. This represents an increase over last year’s total of $1,471 reflecting Dustin’s best guess at the impact of potential rising prices.

iii. Dustin floated an idea to provide t-shirts to adult volunteers. The Board decided not to do so.

iv. Tom Ciskoski also recommended approaching Kohl’s Corporation about volunteers and an associated donation. Shannon promised to get contact information to Dustin.

v. Jerry moved to accept the budget as presented, seconded by John; motion carried.

5. 501(c) (3) update–Fred Blanke and John Yusko

a. No updates

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

c. Jerry inquired about insurance costs; Don continues to work with agents

6. Treasurer’s Report

a. As of January 31, 2022, we have approximately $104,000 in our accounts. That compares to about $76,000 at the end of January, 2021.

b. Jerry will not be able to make the next meeting or two.

7. Anything else for the good of the club

a. Michael Levy from Elavon presented a couple merchant services alternatives to our current relationship.  We agreed that Shannon would lead an analysis to present a couple alternatives for the Board to consider.

b. Fred asked if there were any updates to the Independence Day parade; have we started planning?  Dan promised to follow up with Steve Fleming on progress.

8. The next meeting is scheduled for March 15, 2022. John will not be able to attend; we will need to have a substitute note-taker.

10. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:10a.m.

~ John Yusko



— This Month in Club History — 17, 1976

MF Optimists kick off campaign to form a club in Mequon-Thiensville.

~ 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 – or

NEWSPAPERS  Shannon Dederich three or more weeks prior to your event, as quickly as possible after an event

FACEBOOK  Cathy Sharkey or Dawn Mariscal –

WEBSITE  Beth Saunders –


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