May 2020 Optimizer

The Optimizer | May 2020 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

— In this issue —

Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Congrats to Our Club!

Upcoming Activities and Events


July 3 Parade CANCELLED

Scholarship Golf Outing RESCHEDULED

Past Events

Easter Baskets

Optimist Meetings

April 24th Meeting via Zoom

Optimists After 5

Getting to Know You – Rick Kohl

New Temporary Creed Additions

Food Panty

Donations Needed

Wendysue Fluegge Holds Pantry Benefit Concert

May Thank You

This Month in Club History

How to Publish Optimist News


—- Meeting Schedule —-

Watch Todd’s weekly emails for zoom meeting details. He will schedule some for the morning, some for happy hour.

WEDNESDAY MAY 6TH Giving a humble presentation on all his Lifetime Accomplishments, Tim Newman plans on completing Part #1 by noon.

WEDNESDAY MAY 13TH Telling every ‘good’ joke he has in his repertoire, Jim “The Jokester” Foster should be done in less than three minutes.

WEDNESDAY MAY 20TH Taking up an entire meeting, Packer Raffle Chairman Ed Schlumpf will explain the selling process and use the word “gang” at least once during his talk.  If you heard this talk more than 50 times before and can recite it in your sleep, you’re excused from this meeting.

WEDNESDAY MAY 27TH Several ALL TIME FIRSTS!  Rick Kohl will ask a good question, Jerry Mislang won’t ask any questions, Larry Hebbring won’t sell any Optimist Beanies and Dick Woosencraft will get there before the meeting starts!


—- President’s Message May 2020 —-

First off, I hope all our members and their families and friends have been able to stay safe and healthy during this time.  I certainly did not expect this to be the way my term as President of this great club to go.  As this has forced us to think outside the box, just last week we held our first zoom meeting in the morning.  I was joined by 9 smiling faces.  I am planning on doing one again tomorrow morning and then my plan is to host a Zoom Happy Hour meeting the following week, so if getting up is not you cup of tea, stay tuned to my weekly message for when the Happy Hour meeting will take place.  Not much new to report so until next month, stay safe and healthy.  I cannot wait to get back together on a Wednesday morning with everyone.

~Todd Paulus


—- Upcoming Activities and Events—-

July 3rd Parade


We’re sorry to say the July 3 Parade has been cancelled. This wonderful community event will be missed this year, but it will be back in 2021.



See the source imageScholarship Golf Outing


As previously communicated, our annual Scholarship Golf outing was postponed until July 22nd.  At this time the event is still on, however we will monitor things as the time gets closer as to whether or not the event will be held.  In the meantime, talk to family, friends, and neighbors to gauge their interest if they would be interested in joining us.  Even though school has been cancelled and scholarship night is not happening, the Scholarship Foundation is still handing out scholarships to Seniors, so we will have $20,000 in scholarships being awarded at the end of the school year.  Keep your fingers crossed we can host this event yet.

~ Todd Paulus, Golf Outing Chair


—- Past Events—-

Easter Baskets

With the Safer at Home mandate, many find themselves out of work and Vickie Dederich concerned herself that their children might not have an Easter Basket to look forward to because of it.  She posted in one of the Menomonee Falls Facebook groups, looking for people that might be in this situation and received an overwhelming response.

While discussing the situation with a few Optimist members, the suggestion was made to ask the group for a donation to make sure that none of the requests went unfilled.  The board agreed to a $500 donation towards the cause.

This along with individual donations from Greg Mattson, Marcia and Larry Hebbring, Steve Fleming and Dawn Mariscal and several people that saw the post and wanted to help, made the creation of 54 baskets to 25 different families not only possible, but beyond Vickie’s wildest imagination.  They were filled with candy, play dough, activity books, crayons, and each child received an individually picked, age appropriate game or toy.

The baskets were set up and wrapped by Vickie’s family and made sure to be as germ free as they could be!  Families picked them up on Holy Saturday, and shared many stories of the impact the baskets made.  One family has recently adopted a fifth child and both parents were left without work.  The requests came mostly from Menomonee Falls, but also included families from Milwaukee, Waukesha, West Bend and Port Washington.  Vickie received a voice message from one of the families where all the kids thanked the “Easter Bunny” and the mother followed up with a tearful message saying they were either having Easter Baskets or food that week.

Thank you to all of the Optimist members for participating directly or indirectly in both making this happen for the families in need, but also support the idea of a non-member to help make this time a little more special for our youth.

~ Shannon Dederich


— Optimist Meetings —

April 29th Zoom Meeting

Since we cannot meet in person at this time, President Todd has scheduled meetings via zoom. We hope you can join us.





— Optimists After 5 —

As with all of the events in this April/May time frame, the OA5 group was forced to cancel the annual Brewers, Beer, Brats and Bags tournament.  There has not been a reschedule date, or decision if that will happen in 2020.  The group will continue to follow the large group meeting guidelines.

~ Shannon Dederich


— Getting to Know You: Rick Kohl —

Rick grew up with three brothers and two sisters. He graduated from Menomonee Falls North High School. He has been married to Tricia for 35 years. Their son Kevin lives in Portland, Oregon and is a chef at a restaurant called Relish. Their daughter Rebecca lives in Waukesha and is going to school to become a nurse. Rebecca’s husband Joe is a chef at The Wisconsin Club.

Rick graduated from UWM and Keller Graduate School of Management, and is a CPA. He has been active in the Menomonee Falls community, serving on the Recreation Commission, MF Chamber Board of Directors, MF Scholarship & Education Board, and Greater Menomonee Falls Committee. He has been member of the Optimist Club since 1991. He has been active on multiple committees and helps out at many events. He is currently co-chair of Do the Right Thing. He is a past-president of the Optimist Club and will be our president again for the 2020-2021 year.

In his spare time, Rick has two yellow labs that keep him very busy. He also likes doing crossword puzzles and Sudoku. And, he attempts to play golf.


— New (*Temporary*) Creed Additions—

Promise Yourself…

To make a list this month (May) of all the folks you want to ask to join our club once we return to our regular meeting schedule.

To forward those names to Cathy ( or Jerry ( so they can be added to a  list of potential members.

See the source imageWe’ve been given a great opportunity to grow our Optimist Club with quality new members and share the Spirit of Optimism. Now more than ever, there’s no doubt that ‘optimism and hope are essential’ to overcoming this historic lockdown.

But soon this will pass and we’ll continue to support our youth in more ways than ever, but we’ll need more volunteers to accomplish those activities and requests. From our families, co-workers, former members, friends from our neighborhoods and churches, it’s a perfect chance to ask them to join the Optimist Club.

Please send Cathy or me the names of potential new Optimist members that you’re willing to contact next month. Todd will send out the names and potential sponsors in his weekly email at the end of May.  Starting with this month, let’s all work together to make the next two months “historic” in our Club history!

Please stay safe, healthy and most of all, OPTIMISTIC!

~ submitted by Jerry Mislang


— Food Pantry —

Donations Needed

With the economic hardships caused by the current pandemic, the Food Pantry is serving more people than ever.  Please consider providing the Pantry with whatever support you can.  Details on how to donate are on the website at Select the Give Help tab to find out what items are needed most or to donate money.

~ John Yusko

Wendysue Fluegge Hosts a Pantry Benefit Concert

Optimist member Wendysue Fluegge hosted a benefit concert for the Menomonee Falls Food Pantry on April 22. She was joined by Ryan Janscha and Mike McOlash (residents of Brookfield) who also do live music for other causes. The concert raised $170 and Wendysue used the proceeds to purchase much needed items for the food pantry. You can see the concert on her website,


— May Thank You (excerpt) —

See the source imageWisconsin Singers Donation – Signed by 42 MFHS Music Students: “Thank you for your generous donation that provided an awesome musical workshop…and helped to bring our ‘HOMETOWN SINGERS’ home.”

~submitted by Jerry Mislang

— This Month in Club History— 2, 1992 – (28 years ago) – The first (and last) Annual “Falls River Classic” canoe race takes place in the Menomonee River.  First place awards go to: Men, David Koehler and Robert Mood; Couples, Liz Abraham and Kirk Udovich; and Organizations: Partners of Community Memorial Hospital (Colleen Dougherty and Bill Sasky). The Optimist entry of John Stacy and Rick Kohl comes in third the organizations division.

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, Dawn Mariscal or Lynette Shepherd –,

WEBSITE  Beth Saunders –


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