November 2017 Optimizer

The Optimizer     

November 2017

Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

—- November Meeting schedule —-

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

  • November 1 @ 6:15 pm: meeting at the Community Center. Barb Watters (Village Centre BID Director). Social at American Legion hall after meeting.
  • November 8: Nisha Pandya, Indian Dance Troupe
  • November 15: Students of the Month and MFHS Girl’s Golf Team
  • November 22: Matt Curran, status of Menomonee Falls
  • November 29 SITE VISIT@ 7:15 am: North Middle School Auditorium – Referendum upgrades featuring the Patio Players. See article about Newly Renovated Theater at North Middle School for details.


—- President’s Thoughts —-

The first thing I would like to say, as President of this amazing club, is that I know that really, I just run the meetings.  It’s the Board, Committee Chairs and the members that run this club!!  And I would like to say THANK YOU in advance for that!!  I’d also like to acknowledge and thank a few specific people!!

  • the board for serving the next year with me-especially Jeanine who always has my back!!
  • our new board members, who weren’t introduced at their installation, who I would formally like to introduce and welcome to the board – Dave Curran, Kathryn Hoff and Barb Schmit.  And thanks to Larry Podolske, Chris O’Reilly, Sue Carney and Tom Dueppen for serving their second year!!
  • Sal Zizzo from the Trysting place for the wonderful facility and food for our Banquet
  • Kristy Grunewald from Kristy’s Kreative Art & Floral for the beautiful centerpieces
  • and our speakers committee(s) for making sure we have exciting meetings for our members by scheduling interesting speakers and venues!!

Congratulations to Kathy Matthiessen, Kathie Jensen, Joanne Wanner and Rose Schwartz for winning the Presidents Awards from Don Gorzek (Patio Players tickets) for being the best Optimists last year!!

“It takes a village to raise a child” ~ Ancient Proverb

I’m so happy every one of you are part of this “village”, the club that really takes that proverb to heart!!

If you are one of our members that doesn’t get an opportunity to come to meetings, I would like to invite you to schedule one in & get an insiders glimpse into everything we do to Bring Out the Best in Kids, & see firsthand, how much fun we have!!  You will want to come back!!  And maybe even volunteer for something!!

Your friend in Optimism,


—- Upcoming Events —-

  • Wed. Nov. 29: Christmas party reservations due. See article in this newsletter for details.
  • Fri. Dec. 1: Optimist Night at Falls Patio Players. See article about Newly Renovated Theater at North Middle School for details.
  • Sat. Dec. 2: Holiday Drop and Shop
  • Tue. Dec. 5: Optimist Christmas Party at North Hills Country Club. Caroling at Linden Grove at 5:15. Cocktails: 6:15 pm. Dinner: 7:00 pm. Comedy Sportz: 8:00 pm. See article in this newsletter for details.
  • Fri. Jan. 12: Chili Dinner


November 1st Night Meeting—Changes

Cailyn Kison, the owner of Marigold Marketplace, has a great opportunity to publicize her business with the Fox 6 morning show and will not be able to participate as planned on November 1st.  Good news for her, not so good for us. But, we are flexible and optimistic!

The new location will be at the Community Center and Barb Watters will still be talking about the success of the Fall beer garden on the 4 Corners, plans for continuing that into next year, and also other new and exciting upcoming events in the Falls!

We’ll start at 6:15 and, afterward, we’ll continue the socializing at the American Legion hall.  Hope to see you all there!

Carol Schulteis


Newly Renovated Theater at North Middle School

There will be 2 great opportunities for Optimist Club members to see the newly renovated theater at the North Middle School.

The morning meeting on November 29th will be held at the theater.  Be one of the first people to see the renovations. The set for Christmas Carol will be on the stage so you can walk around the London of Dickens time.  Also feel free to tour the backstage area, prop room and costume shop. We will meet at the theater at 7:15 where Falls Patio Players personnel will be on hand to answer questions as you take a tour.  After members and their guests have seen the stage and backstage area, there will be a short business meeting in the theater. Enjoy sitting in the brand new seats.

Opening Night for Christmas Carol is Friday, December 1.  This will be Optimist Club Night at Falls Patio Players.  Great seats have been reserved for Optimist Club members, their families and guests.  Please see Ann Freudenthal to order your tickets. ( or 262-255-1946) Tickets are $10 each for adults and seniors and $8 for students. Tickets for these seats are not available for online sales.

So feel free to bring family members and guests to see the remodeling that has been done on Wednesday morning, November 29. And bring them back to see the show at 7:00 on December 1st.

What a great way to start the Christmas holiday season.

Ann Freudenthal


Optimist Club Christmas Party

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

5:15 Caroling with Santa at Linden Grove

North Hills Country Club

Cocktails: 6:15 pm

Dinner: 7:00 pm

Comedy Sportz: 8:00 pm

This is improv and the show is all about the Optimist Club…no roasting!

Menu: Italian or Caesar Salad, Chef attended buffet, Variety of meats, vegetables and spices, Marinara and Alfred, Sauces, Two choices of pasta, Garlic Bread Sticks, Christmas Coffee and Decaffeinated Coffee

Cost: $37.50/person $75/couple

Mail your check (payable to Menomonee Falls Optimist Club), by Wednesday, November 29

Kristy Gruenwald

Optimist Club Christmas Party

4419 96th Street

Franksville, WI 53126

Please email any good stories of our club and our members that may be used in the show to Kristy Gruenwald at


—- Executive Board —-


Just a reminder that you CAN pay your dues online –CLICK HERE   and scroll down to the Pay Membership Dues Online link or you can give a check to Larry Podolske at any meeting.

$90 individual – $160 couple

We can’t imagine that anyone would NOT want to renew their membership with the BEST club in Menomonee Falls, but in the event, that circumstances prevent you from doing so, please let us know.

Lynette Shepherd


Board Meeting Minutes

Board Briefings – October 17, 2017

President Lynette Shepherd led the Board meeting on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017.  Meeting synopsis is as follows:

Donation requests:

  1. Bob Kraemer with Cops & Kids Foundation – Approved $750 donation
  2. Lyle Friesenhahn with BSA Venture Crew 109 – Approved $500 donation
  3. Bret Warner with Menomonee Falls High School First Robotics – Approved $2500 donation

Treasurer’s report:

Larry Podolske discussed funds currently held at Optimist International, including what it is currently earning and how it is readily available if needed.   

Committee Reports and Budgets:

  1. Senior Leaf Raking – John Yusko provided an update on the event and budget was approved
  2. Christmas Party – Larry Podolske discussed budget for event and down payment for Comedy Sportz
  3. New Members Social – Reviewed final numbers for event
  4. Installation Banquet – Reviewed final numbers for event
  5. Chili Dinner – Kristen Sperl presented budget for event and it was approved
  6. Holiday Drop ‘n Shop – Budget was reviewed by board and board is re-discussing after more communication with committee chair

Unfinished Business:

  1. Independence Day Parade – Steve Fleming and Larry Hebbring clarified community parade committee, Optimist role, and tax write off for donor/sponsor if going through community parade committee
  2. Rose Schwartz completed the installation of Barb Schmit
  3. Per Don Gorzek, we tabled discussion of WIAA

New Business:

  1. Young Member Social – Due to time constraints, this was tabled
  2. Kohl’s Volunteers – Due to time constraints, this was tabled
  3. Sponsoring the Sussex Club – Due to time constraints, this was tabled

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

  • President Lynette Shepherd
  • 1st Vice President Jeanine Dederich
  • 2nd Vice President Dustin Koehler
  • Treasurer Larry Podolske
  • Past President Don Gorzek
  • Past Presidents Council Dan Schwind
  • Board Members: Sue Carney, Tom Dueppen, Chris O’Reilly, Barb Schmit, Kathryn Hoff, Dave Curran

—- Past Events —-

Installation Banquet Photos

Photos by Danny Shepherd

SWIS District Governor Gary Engelke and outgoing president Don Gorzek.

New members (left-to-right) Steffen McCullough, Liz Streuble and Ed Veth

Packer Raffle Sets Yet another Record

Once again the Packer Raffle reached new heights setting a record of $22,341.23 in profits compared to last year’s record high of $21,659.16.  That is $847.37 more than the projected return and $682.07 more than earned in 2016.

The achievement was bolstered by the $500 donated by the Kohl’s Corporation which sent eight volunteers to help out at the September Tailgate Party.  This effort was arranged by Optimist member Steve Luehring, along with his wife Maribel, another club member who joined in the volunteer effort that night.

Contrasted to last year when 10 of the 18 prizes went to club members, only three Optimists shared in this year’s winnings.  A Larry Hebbring group, John Yusko and Becky Shull each won $250.  Otherwise, all the other prizes went to non-club members with many of the winners not even living in Menomonee Falls.  In fact, one winner resides in Texas!

The Grand Prize went to Greg Buck of Muskego who chose the Saints-Packer game on Oct. 22 for his trip.  Because of Aaron Rodgers’ injury and the forecasted rain, demand for tickets was down, so Ticket Connections, the broker annually used by the Optimists was able to move Buck and his gang into indoor club seats for the game.

Dorothy Kohn of Elkhorn took home the $1,000 runner up prize, Sal Zizzo of the Falls won the $600 third place award and Richard Steggeman of Brookfield copped the $400 fourth place money.  Other $250 winners were Peter Bartos, Hal Rosene (former Optimist club president), Rich Latus and Robert Tack of the Falls: Chuck Van Horne and Bruce LaPointe of Milwaukee; Jesse Leonhardt of Oconomowoc, Maripat Blankenheim of Hartford, Lane Whipp of Luxemburg, and  Bev Rodrigues of Cibolo, Texas.  Alan Sommers of Brookfield won a free entry to next year’s event.

Nearly 50 more people than last year attended the Tailgate Party.  But a check of the records showed that only 93 club members either sold or bought a ticket.  That compares to 130 who did so just two years ago!

Special thanks go to many people including…..

Pete Riopel and the Village Bowl staff for the facilities, meal and door prize donation.

Donors of In-House Raffle prizes:  Malkins Flooring, Joe Ludan and Broadway Limo and Coach Services, the Milwaukee Admirals, Terry Marcou/Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral Services and Rog Rogers’ State Farm Insurance.

In addition to the gift certificate from Village Bowl, other door prizes were donated by Paul Dross Insurance of Merton, Main Street Framing in Lannon and Dennis Steinle.

Matt Hakes’ VFI firm covered the cost of the winners’ tailgate party at Lambeau Field.  Dan Schwind and Town Bank donated funds to pay for the food and drinks on the winners’ limo trip to Green Bay.  Barry Landowski’s Minute Man Press printed the flyers at no cost to the club.  Rog Rogers’ State Farm Insurance and Terry Marcou/Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral Services paid for the printing of the tickets.

Volunteering as auditors, ticket-takers, raffle sellers and door prize coordinators at the Tailgate/Drawing were Herb Gross, Mary Schlumpf, Meg Latus, Dan Schwind, Diane Matuszak, Tim Newman, Ed Veck, Tom Ciskoski, Greg Mattson, Tex Reiter, Tom Dueppen and Carl Trapp.

Those who helped from Kohl’s in addition the Luehrings were Rochelle Behling, Barb Brooks, Bobby Halliburton, Mike Kampschroer, Sara Goeser and Mike Kruztcki.

Team captains again this year were Tim Newman, Jerry Mislang, Donna Bosch, Dan Schwind, Terry Fitzsimmons, Larry Hebbring, Chad DeLuka, Meg Latus, Del Kreuser,, Herb Gross, Carl Trapp, Diane Matuszak, Steve Fleming, Mary Schumpf, Joe Ludan, Tom Ciskoski and me.

A big “thank you” to Brenda Foote, a non-club member who sold 16 tickets again at her Water Street Pub in the Falls.

Finally without the tireless efforts of co-chair Dan Schwind who coordinated advance ticket sales, this huge undertaking would never have been the success that it was.

As per usual, suggestions for improving next year’s event can be voiced to any of the captains listed above.

Ed Schlumpf


Optimist Club Meeting Photos

Photos by Don Gorzek

On Wednesday October 25, 2017, we had current UWM soccer captain and MFHS graduate Anna Smalley as our guest speaker.








In addition to hearing from Anna, she presented the trophies to this year’s Tri-star Soccer winners.







At our October 18, 2017 meeting Rose Schwartz swore Diane Matuszak in as a Lieutenant Governor of the SWIS District Zone 2.





Ryan Anderson, MFHS AD and Paul Lessila from the Booster Club Capital Campaign (CIC) gave us a brief update on the artificial turf initiative and future improvements.





On October 11, 2017, we welcomed Ralph Krueger who talked to us about his traveling bowling program.  This is a program that he has presented to literally hundreds of thousands of school kids.





Suzanne Carney demonstrates her skill on the “Bowling in Education” alley.








The Menomonee Falls Optimist Club Students of the Month for October 2017 include from left, North Middle School Kate Lockwood and Will Toth, both seventh graders and from MFHS seniors Tamia Powell and Scott Weiland.




A representative from Costco spoke at the October 4 meeting.

—- JOOI Club —

The Junior Optimist Club has built a strong membership base this year.  We’re excited to have ordered our t-shirts and gotten a few meetings under our belts.  We will be participating in the Optimist Club’s annual leaf raking event in a couple weeks and have quite a few members signed up to help.  We are also sending several students to Ben Franklin Elementary each week to work with students one-on-one in a new mentorship program.  It’s fun to see so many of our members getting involved right away this year!

Alison Leon


—- This Month in Club History —

November, 1993 (24 years ago) – Club member Robyn Shirley-Turtenwald is named “Citizen of the Year” by the Menomonee Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Submitted by Jerry Mislang from the 40 Year History Program – courtesy of Ed Schlumpf


— Thank You Notes —-

The club received thank you notes from the following:

  • Menomonee Falls Food Pantry


—- 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 to the people listed below:

NEWSLETTER – Jerry Mislang via email no later than the 25th of each month –

NEWSPAPERS – Kim Wenzel via email three or more weeks prior to your event, as quickly as possible after an event –

FACEBOOK – Cathy Sharkey, Dawn Mariscal or Lynette Shepherd via email –

WEBSITE – Beth Saunders via email –

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