May 2021 Optimizer

The Optimizer | May 2021 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club


— In this issue —

Weekly Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Upcoming Activities and Events


Fishing Derby

Scholarship Golf Outing

SWIS District OI Junior Golf Outing

Past Events

Students of the Month

Junior Optimists

Distinguished Young Women

Getting to Know You: Kathy Matthiessen

Trenary Field Banner

Executive Board

April Board Minutes

Thank You Notes

This Month in Club History

How to Publish Optimist News

Zoom Meeting Info


— Weekly Meeting Schedule —

The Boy’s and Girl’s Club Bowling Teams both made it to state, and they’ll be our guest on Cinco de Mayo! You’ll have to be the meeting to find out which one was the 2021 State Champion!

Please don’t be confused, but we moved the Students of the Month up a week due to the Scholarship Golf Outing.

No meeting due to the Club’s Annual Scholarship Golf Outing at Ironwood. Event Chairman Todd Paulus has room for more golfers, so please give him a call if you want to play or have a lead on potential golfers.

We purposely kept the date open to recognize student group(s) for any special ‘end of school year’ accomplishments. Keep an eye out for the President’s’ weekly email once we’ve decided who to bring in.

~Jerry Mislang

— President’s Message —

Fellow Optimists;

As the month of May arrives so do a number of Club activities. In May alone we have: The Fishing Derby on Saturday May 8th at Mill Pond, on Wednesday May 19th is our Optimist golf outing at Ironwood Golf Club and on Saturday May 29th is Memorial Fest Downtown.

Our Popcorn wagon will make its debut at Memorial Fest before it moves to Village Park for the rest of the season. If you would like to volunteer to work the wagon and are not on a team, feel free to contact myself or Larry Podolske.

Check out the speakers scheduled for May and remember we will not have a meeting on Wednesday May 19th due to the golf outing. We also will have plenty of volunteer opportunities this summer with all the activities in the park. Watch for future emails on this.

John Yusko has started an initiative to get the committee chairpeople to put down in writing information creating documentation for what is done for your event. This document should contain key tasks/dates, contacts with phone numbers/emails, annual budget and any other pertinent data a successor would need to know. I appreciate your due diligence to this task and thank you in advance. If you need help, please do not hesitate to ask. We are shooting to get this done by June 1st. John Yusko, Dan Schwind, Shannon Dederich and myself are willing to offer assistance.

We will continue to stream our weekly meetings on Zoom for those unable to attend in person. Look for Shannon’s weekly email regarding this.

~ Yours in optimism, President Rick


— Upcoming Activities and Events —

Fishing Derby

Scholarship Golf Outing

Memorial Fest — Opening Day for the Popcorn Wagon



Fishing Derby



See the source image31st Annual Scholarship Golf Outing

The 31st Annual Scholarship Golf outing is coming up on Wednesday May 19, 2021 at Ironwood Golf Course in Sussex. We are off to a great start with 26 foursomes signed up already. If you want to play and have not signed up yet, please contact me as soon as possible so we can get a foursome set aside for you. If you do not have group to play with and would like to join us as a single, please let me know and I’ll do my best to find a group for you to play with. We have many great prizes for opportunity basket raffles and are looking at doing a voice auction again this year. We are looking forward to another great outing.

We are still accepting donations to use for the outing, including opportunity baskets, auction items, golf balls and bottles of booze. If you are looking to volunteer for the event, please contact me as well. At this time, we are planning on doing our post-golf event in the party barn, so please dress accordingly. We will only be inside if there is a threat of the “R” word. I’m optimistic that we will be outside. With Trysting Place closing and Sal Zizzo retiring, we were forced to find a different cater for our event. Sal suggested Joe Hennes, a Falls graduate and owner of both Sloppy Joe’s in Hubertus and Smoke On The Water in Okauchee as his replacement. We are excited to see what Joe and his staff will bring to our event with lunch donated by Joe and heavy hors d’ oeuvres for dinner.

See you on the links on the 19th!

~ Todd Paulus



SWIS District Optimist International Junior Golf Outing

After cancelling this event last year for kids ages 10-18, Tom Carls and I are looking to bring back the event in late July. We are in talks with the course to secure a date for our event. Things are a little different this year, as any qualifiers from our event will actually qualify for the International Golf outing in 2022. The reason we could not hold it for this year’s event is that OI moved up the registration deadline for the event. This coupled with school ending and the boys’ golf season completing in mid-June, we did not have enough time to hold our event and allow qualifiers enough time to plan for a trip to Florida in less than a month. Qualifiers make an investment in going to the event between the entry fee ($750), hotels, and travel, that Tom and I felt it was not fair to ask a family to make that choice in a day or two before they had to register. We found a work around for it and will do this going forward. Watch the future newsletters and Rick’s emails for a call for volunteers for the event. We will need help at registration, marshals, and scorers.

~ Todd Paulus


— Past Events —

Students of the Month

April Students of the Month were recognized at our April 21st meeting. (L to R) Noelle Xiong and Chassidy Anderson (North Middle School), Cheyenne Lee and Julie Chu (Menomonee Falls High School)

~ photo by Jon Cline


Junior Optimists

Menomonee Falls High School’s Junior Optimist Club attended our April 28 meeting to update us on what they have been doing.

~ photo by Jon Cline


Distinguished Young Women 2022

Five Menomonee Falls High School Juniors participated in the virtual 57th Annual Distinguished Young Women Program this past weekend. It may not have been the full, live showcase we have had in the past but we were able to put together a very nice two-day filming event that came close to the feel of the regular show. Participants from the Class of 2022 were Katelyn Amen, Morgan Becker, Kylie Kenny, Paige Lillegard, and Siya Mahajan.

On Wednesday, April 28 Falls Cable Access recorded the first half of the program which started with a welcome speech by President Rick Kohl. We then recorded competition categories of Self Expression, Talent, and Fitness. That video was sent to Judges’ Chairperson, Lynette Shepherd, for the judges to view after the interviews were conducted on Saturday, May 1. That evening we returned to the High School where participants and their families were able to view the video. We then recorded the final awards ceremony. Chris Forston from Falls Cable Access will add the second part of the show to the video and broadcast the entire showcase on Channel 14 or streamed online at

Siya Mahajan was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Menomonee Falls for 2022. She received a $2500 scholarship from the Optimist Club and will represent Menomonee Falls at the Wisconsin State Program to be held in Franklin, WI this summer. Siya is the daughter of Abhay and Nidhi Mahajan. Siya also won preliminary awards in Scholastics and Self Expression and was the winner of the Be Your Best Self Essay contest.

Morgan Becker was named 1st Alternate. Morgan will receive a $1000 scholarship from the Optimist Club and $300 cash award from Community League of Menomonee Falls. Morgan was also the winner of the Talent Award. Paige Lillegard was named 2nd Alternate. She will receive a $500 scholarship from the Optimist Club.

Kylie Kenny was awarded the Spirit and Interview Awards. Katelyn Amen won the Fitness Award. Each category winner will receive a $100 cash award.

2021 Distinguished Young Woman, Veronica Goveas, gave her farewell address as the Menomonee Falls representative. Veronica’s DYW journey continues as she will represent WI at the National Finals on June 24-26. Watch for more information on how you can follow Veronica on YouTube.

Kylie Kenny Paige Lillegard Morgan Becker Sija Mahajan Veronica Goveas Katelyn Amen

Our program is so successful because of the great team I have working with me. Ali Leon did the fitness choreography, emceed the program and is a contact at school for the girls. Jenn Dedrick, WendySue Fluegge, and Jerry Mislang were practice interview judges. Jeanine Dederich helped coordinate the Be Your Best Self Essay. Keri and Ryan Duce judged the essays. Rema Kunath was the Scholastic Judge Chairperson. Kathryn Hoff (former club member) was the Scholastic Judge. Lynette Shepherd was the Program Judges’ Chairperson. Kim Wenzel was our tabulator.

Danny Shepherd provided the sound for the program. Chris Forston and his team at Falls Cable recorded and edited the program. You will be able to watch it soon on Channel 14 or online at

The School District of Menomonee Falls and Jason Huesslein and his staff at Community Education & Recreation were so helpful with facility reservations. Special thanks to Auditorium Manager David Mahlum for assisting in so many ways to make our program a success.

And finally, our program is so blessed to have photographer Jon Cline photographing the two nights of the program. Thank you doesn’t seem adequate to express our gratitude.

It is my goal to return to a live program again next year.

~ Cathy Sharkey


— Getting to Know You 

Hi, my name is Kathy Matthiessen. I was volunteering for the Optimist Club since 2010 and was brought on board in 2012 by my good friend Kirsten Sperl. Helping with post prom, the fishing derby, Christmas party and many more projects I was glad to be an optimist. Still am.

I volunteer as a pen pal with kids from Riverside school……always liked working with them. I am a mother of two grown adult children and one stepson. Between them at last count I have thirteen grandkids and one great-grand son (19 months old). So I still get to babysit him! My interests lie in doing sudoku and regular puzzles along with picture puzzles. Now that it is warming up I like to bike and walk outside. I am a regular at the “Y” with family and friends. My husband and I like to go out for pizza, tacos and fish fries so now you understand my interest in the “Y” ! I amgreatful for our club and all that it stands for.



Trenary Field Banner

A special “Thank You” to Beth Saunders for her professional graphic design touch on our new Banner at Trenary Field. It looks great and they have it hanging right in center field!! Check it out next time you pass by!

And “Thank You” to Beth for keeping up our website. It’s a great tool to share information about our club. Check it out.


Executive Board

April 20, 2021 Board Minutes

Unapproved: to be approved at the next board meeting.

Jerry, Fred, Greg, Don, Jenn, Kim, John Carol, Todd, Dan, Rick, Shannon

Moved to approve by Dan, seconded by Carol, approved

Moved to approve by Jerry, seconded by John, approved

Moved to approve by Kim, seconded by Todd, approved
Moved to approve by Kim, seconded by Carol, approved


Dave Mahlum – Prom $2000 to offset cost for a safe and secure environment, this does not include Post Prom budget
moved to approve by Jerry, seconded by Carol, approved

Courtney O’Connell – Super Servos $1500 to build Robo-Patriot for First Tech Challenge
moved to approve by Jerry, seconded by Jenn, Approved

Knights of Columbus – Duck Derby $250 Sponsorship
moved to approve by Greg, seconded by Todd, approved


Distinguished Young Women – Cathy Sharkey
moved to approve by Jenn, seconded by Kim, approved (1 opposition)

Michael Fischer (to be approved at later date after call follow up from Rick)
John and Carrie Booher, paid, need application

No open business for April


Memorial Fest Popcorn wagon, and popcorn wagon going forward: The question of mask wearing has come up for volunteers. Board recommendation is masks must be worn inside the wagon, a follow up with Waukesha County Health Department

Village Park opportunities: July 10, Optimist Club will supply volunteers, funds going to Ronald McDonald House

Greg brought up need for sign at Popcorn Wagon displaying scholarship recipients, he will follow up

SWIS Zone Oratorical contest required $240 for staffing (club members not permitted to volunteer), paid out in April for judges and volunteers.

May 18, 7:00 am, Menomonee Falls CEREC building

Moved to adjourn by Jerry, seconded by Greg, approved


— Thank You Notes (excerpts) —

Barb Riehle, Food Pantry Assistant Director
“Thank you for your donation of $314…to purchase food for families in our community who need help.”


~ Jerry Mislang



— This Month in Club History —, 1983 (38 years ago)

Academic Scholarships are raised to $300 with Molly Heagney of North, Jeanne Zuelke of East, Shelley Schneider of Germantown and Susan Miller of Hamilton the winners.

~ 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 –


Zoom Meeting Info

Shannon has set up a zoom meeting for those who prefer to attend the weekly meetings remotely. Please contact her if you have questions about this.

To access these meetings please use the link, highlighted in red.  If the link does not bring up zoom, you can right click and follow the “Go to” menu pop up.  If these attempts don’t work, you can open your Zoom and enter the included meeting id and passcode, highlighted in orange.  If you would like to join the meeting with your telephone only, you can use the information highlighted in pink (not recommended).

This link will work for every meeting going forward. It is currently set up for every Wednesday through 2021.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 840 3817 7868
Passcode: 2Bsostrong

+1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 840 3817 7868
Passcode: 8438635390

~Shannon M. Dederich
(262) 844-9924



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