May 2017 Optimizer

The Optimizer | May 2017 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

—- May Meeting schedule —-

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

  • May 3: Tri-Star Baseball winners and Essay/Oratorical Winners
  • May 10: Students of the Month from four schools
  • May 17: Scholarship Golf Outing at Ironwood Golf Course, Sussex
  • May 24: School District Sports Teams and Post Prom
  • May 31: Optimist Club Scholarship Award winners

—- Message from the President —-

Remember that being Optimists, our mission is “Bring Out The Best In Kids.”

One of my grandchildren had a birthday this past month. One of the gifts that we gave her was the book, Me … Jane, by Patrick McDonnell. The story tells of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. This is a great book for young children.

As an Optimist, I found the book’s postscript message from Jane both interesting and challenging. I paraphrase;

“Each one of us makes a difference. We cannot live through a single day without making an impact on the world around us – and we have a choice as to what sort of difference we make. The life of each one of us matters in the scheme of things, and I encourage everyone, especially young people, to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment.

Children are motivated when they can see the positive results their hard work can have.  … they are a continual source of inspiration for me and for other children around the world. I invite you to get involved!”

Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute and a United Nations Messenger of Peace

Your involvement with children is what will continue to make OUR Club STRONG and GROWNING. Remember that being Optimists, our mission is “Bring Out The Best In Kids.”

All the Best to You,

Don Gorzek

Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls President 2016-17

—- This Month in Club History —

May, 1982 – $200 scholarships are granted for the first time to winners at four area high schools. Julie Neeb is the winner at Falls North, Carl Webber at Falls East, Lisa Adamski at Washington H.S. In Germantown and Laurie Kruse at Hamilton-Sussex. – 40 Year History Booklet

—- Upcoming Events —-

  • Sat., May 13: Fishing Derby, Post Prom, Adopt-A-Highway Clean-Up
  • Wed., May 17: Scholarship Golf Outing at Ironwood Golf Course, Sussex
  • Thu., May 25: JOOI Annual Installation Banquet at Oakwood Park
  • Sat., May 27: Falls Memorial Fest (Optimist Popcorn Wagon will be there)
  • Wed., June 7: Membership Drive Meeting at Trysting Place
  • Mon., July 3: Parade
  • August: Picnic, date and location TBA

Volunteer Opportunities

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

  • Fishing Derby
  • Post Prom
  • Popcorn wagon at Falls Memorial Fest

Fishing Derby

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 from 9:00am to Noon. 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.

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 and Tim are currently looking for a couple of individuals who could help measuring and recording the fish caught by the contestants. Tom is also looking for someone to take his place as co-chair for the event next year.

Tom Walkner and Tim Newman

Post Prom

2017-05May-PostProm2 2017-05may-PostProm1Post Prom is on Saturday, May 13 and over 300 students are expected to attend.  Volunteers meet in the MFHS tennis court parking lot at 10:30 pm and carpool out to Silver Spring Country Club.  After loading the busses at 11:15 pm, we head down to Action Territory in Kenosha to chaperone the students.  They board the busses at 3:00 am and we get back to MFHS at about 4:00 am.  Insomniacs are encouraged to volunteer by emailing Jerry at, calling 262-352-2571 or autographing the signup sheet routed at the May 3 and 10 meetings.  If you would like to or know someone / business that would like to donate a gift or cash, please contact Jerry. Great, safe fun for the kids is our primary goal every Year!

Jerry Mislang

Scholarship Golf Outing

Mark your calendars and get your entry forms in.  The 27th Annual Scholarship Golf Outing is scheduled for May 17, 2017 at Ironwood Golf Course in Sussex, WI.  We will be playing a scramble format again this year with a Noon shotgun start.  Registration will begin at 10:30 am with lunch starting at 10:45 am.  The cost is the same as it has been or many years at $130.00 per player.  This fee gets you 18 holes of golf, cart, use of the driving range and putting green, lunch, heavy hors d’oeuvres afterwards, entry into all the hole contests and 4 mulligans per player.

We have earmarked $15000.00 in scholarships again this year for High School Seniors and this event is what funds these scholarships.  We will also have a Voice Auction as well as an Opportunity Basket raffle.  Our committee is working on a few new wrinkles for the event.  At press time, they have not been finalized so you will have to show up that day to find out what those wrinkles are.  With over 200 members in the club, we need help from many to make this event a success.  This outing is not limited to members only.  We would like to have new players join us for the day, see what our club is about, and hopefully get them to join our clubs are participating in our event.  As of today, we have a foursome from the Mequon Thiensville Optimist Club joining us for the event.  All you have to do is ask.

If you have any connections to items that we may possibly use in our voice auction or Opportunity Basket raffle, please get them to me as soon as possible.  We will find a place for everything.  Yes, Golf Ball Wednesday is back – May 3rd.  If you can donate a dozen, new golf balls to be used as a prize on one of our hole events, that would be great.  Please bring them to the meeting on May 3rd (or the following week if you forget or cannot make that meeting).  If you are unable to get to either one, please contact Todd Paulus to make arrangements to have them picked up.  Most importantly, is we need golfers.  Please talk to family, friends, or neighbors in regards to joining us for a fun-filled day. Success of this event lies in numbers.  Let’s surpass last year’s figure of 114 golfers to raise funds for the kids.

Todd Paulus

Popcorn Wagon at Falls Memorial Fest

We have a volunteer opportunity for you!  The Optimist Club will be represented at the Falls Memorial Fest on Saturday, May 27th with our Popcorn Wagon.  Thank you “Kernel” Larry and team for getting the wagon to the event!

The Fest will take place on downtown Main Street from noon- 10:00 p.m.  There will be music, a car show, Lucky Ducky Derby, food and other festivities.  The popcorn wagon will be located east of the river near the gazebo. We need volunteers to run the popcorn wagon from noon- 10:00 p.m. in 2-hour shifts.  Thank you Kathy and Kirsten for volunteering for the first shift!  Available times are 2:00 – 4:00pm, 4:00 – 6:00pm, 6:00 – 8:00pm, and 8:00 – 10:00 pm.  So join in the fun and help us out!

Please email Jeanine Dederich at to sign up today!  Thank you!!

Jeanine Dederich

—- JOOI Club —-

Last month the Junior Optimist Club volunteered at the Menomonee Falls River Clean-Up picking up trash around Rotary Park and the surrounding river.  We also continued our regular tutoring and Kids Inc. schedules at Ben Franklin Elementary School.  In May, we will hold our elections for next year’s board and will host our annual installation banquet at Oakwood Park on Thursday, May 25th at 5:00.  Any adult Optimists interested in joining in the fun and food, please feel free to stop by!  As always, we appreciate the support of the adult Optimist Club and all of its members.  We look forward to finishing off the year strong!

Alison Leon

—- Students of the Month —-

2017-04Ap4Apr-SOM1Photo by Don Gorzek

The Menomonee Falls Optimist Club Students of the Month for April 2017 include from left, eighth graders from North Middle School Joe Beining and Rylie Ceplina. From MFHS sophomore Tytiana Curtain and junior Olivia Eisenhauer.

Photo by Don Gorzek

2017-04Apr-SOM2The Menomonee Falls Optimist Club Students of the Month for April 2017 from St. Anthony Parish School is eighth grader Andrew Fox


—- Past Events —-

DYW Meeting

Night meeting at North Middle School on April 5, 2017, featuring the Distinguished Young Women.

Photos by Don Gorzek

Spamalot from Patio Players

2017-04Apr-SpamALotPatio Players entertained Optimist members at the April 12, 2017 meeting with a teaser of “Spamalot”.

Photo by Don Gorzek

Pictured left to right: Adam Qutaishat as Sir Galahad, Jerry Becker as King Arthur, Musical Director Julie Johnson at the keyboard.

German Exchange Student

2017-04Apr-JJanzJo Janz, an exchange student from Hamburg, Germany spoke at our April 19, 2017 meeting. She is spending the entire school year in Menomonee Falls attending MFHS as a Junior. Jo is staying the Eisenhauer family.


Photo by Don Gorzek

MK Protection Strategies

Malissa Misch of MK Protection Strategies spoke at the April 26, 2017 meeting.

2017-04Apr-MK1Photo by Don Gorzek                             

2017-04Apr-MK2Photo by Don Gorzek

Misch tests JJ Selland, Jim Foster, and Lynette Shepherd on their powers of observation.

Tri Star Baseball 2017

Mother Nature defeated Tri-Star Baseball 1-0 On Saturday, April 29.  With temps in the low forties and the wind chill never getting above 32, it was reluctantly cancelled for the second time in four years.  All the participating organizations were contacted and while disappointed, the ones I spoke to understood and agreed it was best for everyone involved.  No decision has been made about a makeup date.  I want to thank Rick Kohl, Larry Hebbring, Ann Freudenthal, Larry Podolske, Linda Christman, Carl Trapp, Jim Lowe, Faith VanderHorst, Greg Mattson and Tri-Star legend Tom Ciskoski for setting time aside that weekend to run this event.

Jerry Mislang

— Executive Board —-

Board Briefings – April 18, 2017

President Don Gorzek led the Board meeting on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.  Meeting synopsis is as follows:

Donation requests:

  1. Cops and Kids Foundation – approved $750
  2. Girl Scout Troop 4145 – not present; will be asked to present at May 16 Board meeting


Treasurer’s report:

Guest Jim Foster has updated all software to be current through 1/31/17 and will be entering February, March and April financials soon.  Many thanks to Jim for his knowledge of Quick Books software, his time and his expertise on financial recording.

Committee Reports and Budgets:

Approved committee budgets for Do the Right Thing, TriStar Baseball, Post Prom and New Member Social

Unfinished Business / Informational Items:

  • Magic Show – reviewing history of company that provides magic show; Sue Carney and Ross Sharkey are working to finalize this project
  • Sunshine Committee – Sue Carney and Dan Schwind will meet with Robyn Turtenwald and review guidelines for cards, memorials, etc.
  • Looking for volunteers to run the popcorn wagon in 2-hour shifts at Falls Memorial Fest on Saturday, May 27.  The wagon will be open for business from noon- 10:00 p.m on the 27th.
  • Please contact Larry Podolske or Jeanine Dederich if interested.

New Business:

Lynette Shepherd reported on the night meetings planned as a pilot program by Jan Barbera, Jeanine Dederich and Lynette.  While these meetings were successfully attended and had great speakers, they did not draw the younger demographic or potential new members as was the objective.  Lynette will be connecting with the speakers committee, letting them know that Jan, Jeanine and Lynette will no longer be planning night meetings.  It will be up to the speakers committee to determine next steps.  Stay tuned….

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

—- Thank You Notes —-

The club received a thank you note from the following:

  • Patio Players
  • DYW first alternate Basia Klos.  See note below.
  • Rec Department for Middle School Lock-in and Safety Town.
  • Menomonee Falls Food Pantry
  • Students who received the “Do the Right Thing” award. See notes below.

—- Next Newsletter Deadline —-

Articles for the June newsletter are due May 28. Please email your articles to Jerry Mislang.

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