November 2021 Optimizer

The Optimizer | November 2021 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club


— In this issue —

Weekly Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Upcoming Activities and Events


Volunteer Opportunities

Optimists After 5

Wobble Gobble

Christmas Parade

Holiday Drop ‘N Shop

Christmas Party

Patio Player Christmas Carol and Optimist donation presentation

Past Events

Packer Raffle

TriStar Soccer

Optimist Meetings

MFHS Boys Basketball

Meeting Set-up Thank You

Students of the Month

Membership and Executive Board Info

Board Meeting Minutes

This Month in Club History

How to Publish Optimist News

Grateful Patriots Recital


— Weekly Meeting Schedule —

Meetings are held at 7:15 a.m. at the Community Center unless otherwise noted.

We’ll hear from Peers 4 Peers, a group of students committed to making a better environment at MFHS.  Peers participate in summer training in order to address the myriad of problems and issues facing today’s high school students.

The meeting will be packed with parents for the trophy presentations to the Tristar Soccer Contest winners along with MKSC Regional Director Ed Eastman of Menomonee Falls.

In addition to meeting the Student of the Month, it’s always an added bonus to meet the teachers that nominated these incredible students.

Always a treat as we get into the Holiday Season, we’ll be joined by members of the Falls Patio Players.  Great start to the Thanksgiving weekend!

~Jerry Mislang

— President’s Message —

WOW! The first month of the New Year and my 2nd term as President has flown by.

We had great meetings and great speakers and donations as well.

Thank you to the club for a great first month and it feels good to be leading our club this year.

A few highlights from the first month:

Popcorn wagon ended with a great finish and record year. $23,000 is a great way to start being in the park in our new location. Thank you, Larry and Tim and all the members that worked the wagon.

Our Packer Crazr continues to have winners from our club.

Our club voted to donate $50,000 to the Park Project as part of the 2nd phase. Thanks again to Don Eisenhauer for your time and passion to review our financial position and strength. Thank you to all the members that attended our discussion meeting to listen, ask questions and voice your concerns.

The Board approved the following donation requests:

Approved $1500 for the MFHS Boys Basketball team to participate in invite tournament in MN with the top teams from the country.

Approved $3000 for Falls Patio Players for their youth camp programs.

Board voted to move the attendance pot back to the $5 a meeting. With that said the first winner was past President Rick Kohl.

The board approved to bring back a form of Zoom meetings utilizing Google meet and will working with the Community Center to see if the equipment they have will support that. If not, the board approved to spend up to $500 to purchase a laptop for the club to use to support Google meet.

Upcoming events that we have for the club are:

Leaf Raking Nov 6th – 20th please contact John Yusko

Gobble Wobble Nov 20th

Drop N Shop first Saturday in December

Chili Dinner January 28th

Thank you all for support this first month of my term as President for the 2nd time. I’m enjoying and look forward to getting our events back.


President Dan


— Upcoming Activities and Events —


Leaf Raking

Optimists After 5

Holiday Drop ‘N Shop volunteer meeting

Wobble Gobble fundraiser

Christmas Parade

deadline to register for Christmas Party

Holiday Drop ‘N Shop

Optimist Christmas Party

Chili Dinner


Volunteer Opportunities

Wobble Gobble fundraiser Saturday, November 20
Contact Marcia Hebbring

Christmas Parade Sunday, November 28
 Need help with Optimist float and marshalls along parade route (see article below)
Contact Larry Hebbring or Terry Fitzsimmons

Holiday Drop ‘N Shop Saturday, December 4
If you are interested in spending some time with other Optimist Club members than WE WANT YOU!  (see article below)
Contact Dawn Mariscal 262-442-4952

Distinguished Young Women Saturday, April 9
Judges Chairperson: Secure 5 judges for the program on Saturday, April 9, 2022; conduct participant interviews, and lead the final deliberation to select the next DYW of Menomonee Falls
Contact Cathy Sharkey  262-844-1538



Optimists After 5

Optimist After 5 will regroup on November 9!  They will meet at Water Street Pub with a start time of 5:45 for fellowship and 6:00 business meeting.  The meeting will focus on planning for 2022, the meat raffle on November 20 as well as the Ben Franklin Resource Room project.  Everyone is welcome to join.  Please RSVP to, to make sure we have enough space reserved!

~ Shannon Dederich

Wobble Gobble Fundraiser

It’s November and our infamous ‘Wobble Gobble’ is just around the corner.  What is a ‘Wobble Gobble’ you may ask.  In a nut shell:

10 meat raffles including lots of turkeys, other meats and fixings for your holiday celebrations

Secondary prizes of bottles of wine

A beef brisket dinner including dessert during our event for only $10.00.  Served up by our very own Master Chef Greg Mattson.

50/50 raffle

Finally, two Advent Calendar Boxes of Wine and/or Beer.  (24 bottles 350mL of misc. wines and 24 16oz cans of craft beers)

 Try your luck.  $5.00 per ticket.  Tickets will be sold at our weekly meetings, Players Pub, the day of the event, and from Dawn Mariscal, Shannon Dederich, and Marcia Hebbring.  You do not have to be present to win so a great way to support our quest to help out our kids if you cannot attend.

Other import facts.

Date of event:  Saturday November 20, 2021

Location:  Players Pub, Appleton Avenue in Menomonee Falls

Time of event:  1:00 – 4:00pm

If anyone is interested in helping out, please contact me, Marcia Hebbring at

Hope to see you there.

~ Marcia Hebbring


The Menomonee Falls Christmas Parade, organized by the Menomonee Falls Optimist Club, starts moving at 4:30 with staging starting at 3:00.  We have close to 50 units participating and could use some help with organizing the staging area and setting up the Optimist float.  Marshalls are also being organized by Terry Fitzsimmons to help with the flow and safety of the parade.  Please contact Larry Hebbring or Terry Fitzsimmons to help.  A sign-up sheet will also be at the Wednesday meeting.

~ Larry Hebbring



Holiday Drop ‘N Shop

As we turn the calendar to November that signifies, we are only weeks away from the 11th Annual Parent Holiday Drop & Shop.  If you are new to the club here’s a little summary.  On Saturday, December 4th from 10 am until 2 pm we will be face to face with approximately 125 – 150 children between the ages of 3 – 10 years old.  Parents are given a little break to take care of holiday tasks whether it be shopping, baking, wrapping presents or just need a little “ME” time away from the kiddos.  We entertain the children with making crafts, visiting with Santa, watching holiday movies, challenge their little minds in the I Spy Room, show off their creative talents with the Young Rembrandts Drawing Program and hands on demonstrations provided by the Art Guild of Menomonee Falls, burning off some energy running the obstacle course in the gym and have lunch.

We always need extra hands-on deck to help make this event a yearly success.  If you are interested in spending some time with other Optimist Club members than WE WANT YOU!  Please contact Dawn Mariscal directly by phone/text to (262)442-4952 or by sending an email to

There will be a volunteer briefing meeting on Tuesday, November 16th @ 6:30 pm at the American Legion Post located at N88W16652 Main St in the lower level.  Hope you can join us and find out more about how fun this event is.

~ Dawn Mariscal

Optimist Christmas Party

Are you ready for The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, presents under the tree, Ebeneezer and Tiny Tim and the Optimist Club Christmas Party!

Please plan to join us at this year’s party on Wednesday, December 8th at North Hills Country Club.

Price will be the same as the last one:  $37.50/person includes a buffet dinner of bacon-wrapped meatloaf, roasted pork loin & chicken a la king, along with entertainment.

Payment options:

Registration deadline: November 30.

We hope to see you there!

~ Carol Schulteis


Patio Players Christmas Carol and Optimist Donation Presentation

Falls Patio Players would like to thank The Optimist Club for their generous donation once again, to help us continue our offerings for youth in the community to not only enjoy live theater but participate and learn from it. Jack Strawbridge started our theater camp that continues still in the summer for kids to get a taste of performing. We have numerous stories of kids doing their first show with Patio Players and then going on to be in the Kids from Wisconsin, or performing on cruise ships or just coming out of their shell in general. You are a part of this success and we always appreciate it.  Come to see Dan Schwind present the donation to Patio Players at opening night of Christmas Carol on Friday, December 3, a way of promoting The Optimist Club to the community. Thank you!

~ Laura Ciletti



— Past Events 


It Happened Again for Many at the Packer Raffle

Wild screams of joy pierced the air at the Village Bowl when Shannon Dederich and her group won the Grand Prize at the 25th Annual Optimist Packer Raffle held on Monday, September 13 this year.  Shannon, who had won $250 in 2013, captured a trip to Lambeau Field to see the Green and Gold take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Nov. 28, a package valued at more than $5,000.

There were numerous other repeat winners including newly named “Optimist of the Year”, Larry Podolske, whose $250 prize marked the 4th time he and/or his wife hit paydirt in the event.  Linda garnered $250 last year and in 2008.  And Larry won $600 five years ago.

Another repeat cash-in was registered by Village Bowl employee Jeff Sonnemann whose $250 award matched what he won in 2012. But those earnings were surpassed by the $500 he tallied in 2011 and the $1,000 that he copped in 2019.

Former Optimist member Dave Meyer of Germantown also hit the trifecta adding a $400 win this year to the $250 in garnered last year and the $500 he picked up in 2008.

Also winning cash for the third time was Bruce LaPointe of Milwaukee who matched his $250 prize to that which he was awarded in 2017 and 2018.

Another club member getting in on the action again was another raffle captain Herb Gross who added $250 to the group win he was part of in 2011.  Herb’ son Adam of Germantown kept it in the family by taking home second prize of $1,000.

Other Optimist members sharing in the wealth were Fred Blanke ($600), Terra Chmielewski ($250) and Todd Paulus.

Todd, two-time club president, was involved in probably the most bizarre chain of events which started off last year when he won the free entry to this year’s contest (ticket #350).  But not being content with just one entry (and probably wanting to support the club as a whole) he proceeded to buy ticket #163 which won him one of this year’s $250 cash prizes.  Then his ticket #350 was drawn to again give him a free entry into the 2022 contest!!!

Other $250 winners this year included Carol Muenich and Keith Songstad both of Menomonee Falls, Renee Hitt of Waukesha, Carrie Bence of Hubertus and longtime Friend of Optimism Don Matovich, owner of DJ”s Goalpost in the Falls.

Chad and Laure Demmon in Elm Grove bought a ticket from their neighbor JJ Selland, former club president.  They also qualified for a $250 award, but generously decided to give it back to the club for our continued efforts as “Friends of Youth.”

Because Shannon and her gang are not going to Green Bay till November 28 (Shannon’s birthday by the way), final figures for the raffle are not complete currently.  But while hopefully exceeding $20,000 in profit, this year’s event will not match last year’s earnings of $22,900 nor will it come close to the record setting mark of $23,869.23 reached in 2019.  Never-the-less, once all the data is complete, the club will be pushing the $300,000.00 level in total take for the past 14 years of the raffle.

~ Ed Schlumpf


6th Annual TriStar Soccer

After a year’s hiatus, 76 kids competed in the 6TH ANNUAL TRISTAR SOCCER SKILLS CONTEST and it was better than ever!  With perfect weather conditions, under the lights and on the new turf pitch, it appeared everyone from players to parents to volunteers has a great time.

As always, we can’t run any event successfully without volunteer support from our club members.  This year’s team did an outstanding job working with all the kids, making the event extra special for them.  Heartfelt thanks to Meg Latus, Larry Newman, Kim Wenzel, Fred Blanke Todd Paulus, Rick Kohl, Ann Freudenthal, Tom Ciskoski, Don Eisenhauer, Carol Schulteis, Bob Wenzel and Scott Dreier for your time and talents, you epitomized what our Optimist Club is all about…THE KIDS!

Special thanks for the large turnout to MFHS Soccer Head Coach Scott Stein and Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club Falls Regional Director Ed Eastman, their extra efforts were greatly appreciated. They will also be joining us for the awards presentation at our meeting on November 10.

~ Jerry Mislang



— Optimist Meetings 

MFHS Boys Basketball

Members of the MFHS varsity baseball team that went to State stopped by our October 6th meeting.

~ photo by Jon Cline







Meeting Set-up Thank You

Dewey Wunschel was recognized for always getting our room ready for Wednesday morning meetings.

~ photo by Jon Cline







October Students of the Month

Students of the month, Gabe Xiong (MFHS), Noah Goss (NMS), Alec Johnson (NMS), Victoria Woelfel (St. Mary School), Katie Lockwood (MFHS)were recognized at our October 20th meeting.

~ photo by Jon Cline


— Membership and Executive Board Info

October 19, 2021 Board Minutes

Unapproved: to be approved at the next board meeting.

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

  1. The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:00 am.

2. Dan welcomed the new board members, Mike and Scott.

3. The meeting agenda and September meeting minutes were approved by consensus.

4. Donation Requests

MFHS Basketball—Coach Chris Wentworth and team members

      1. Team has been invited to an out-of-state tournament
      2. Request is for a contribution of $1,000 to help cover an estimated $6,000 of expenses
      3. Last donation was in 2015
      4. Jerry moved to approve a donation of $1,500; Rick seconded. Motion carried.

Falls Patio Players—Laura Ciletti

      1. Donation request for kids’ summer camp
      2. Patio Players expects lower ticket sales for 2021-2022 season as we move on from the pandemic
      3. Last donation was in 2020
      4. Jen moved to approve a donation of $3,000; John seconded. Motion carried.

As an aside, Jen encouraged us to continue to support more of the “arts” as much as possible. Putting on shows results in significant expense for rights and other expenses.

5. Budget Approvals

Chili Dinner—Kirsten Sperl

      1. Chili Dinner is planned for Friday, January 28, 2022
      2. Kirsten is planning for an event much like previous events but is budgeting for contingencies like extra staffing, extra rental expense, and increased food expense
      3. Budget calls for expenses of $2,987, with a projected profit of $2,188
      4. Rick moved to approve the budget as presented. Kim seconded.  Motion carried.

Wobble Gobble—Shannon Dederich

      1. Event is planned for November 20, 2021 at Players Pub
      2. Marcia Hebbring’s budget calls for about $600 of expenses and an anticipated profit of around $1,600.
      3. Kim moved to approve the budget as presented. Mike seconded.  Motion carried.

6. 501(c)(3) update—Don Eisenhauer

An EIN has been assigned to the Foundation

Kevin Pollard has submitted the application

7. Treasurer’s Report—Jerry Mislang

Total assets are at almost $132,000

$43,000 is in an Optimist International account.

      1. Rick asked if we get statements for that money.
      2. Jerry believes we get a quarterly statement.

Rick moved to approve the Treasurer’s report; Kim seconded. Motion carried.

8. Anything else for the good of the club

Resumption of online meetings

      1. We agreed it makes sense to offer an online option for those who want to participate but cannot make the in-person meetings.
      2. We will double-check with the Rec Center to be sure that we can use their equipment to implement the meetings.
      3. Shannon reported we can use existing arrangements with Google Meet instead of Zoom, but we do have an offer from a club member to underwrite any monthly expenses related to an ongoing solution.
      4. Dan moved to approve a budget of up to $500 for the purchase of a computer, if necessary. Scott seconded.  Motion carried.

Attendance pot

      1. Jerry suggested that we re-implement a $5 weekly increase when no one collects on the weekly attendance jackpot.
      2. We agreed that the attendance jackpot would continue to apply to both in-person and online attendance.
      3. John moved to re-implement the increase and application to both online and in-person. Jerry seconded.  Motion carried.

Toy Drive

      1. Shannon has been contacted by a Falls resident who is looking for us to help publicize his toy drive project.
      2. We agreed that we would get information, bring it up at the general meeting, and publish information in our newsletter.


      1. Jerry will be submitting a revised approach and budget to keep the Post-prom activity going.
      2. Assuming his new approach is acceptable, he is willing to continue to chair the event.
      3. Stay tuned!

9. Adjournment

    1. Kim moved to adjourn; Fred seconded.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:00 am.

~ John Yusko



— This Month in Club History — 5, 1994 (27 years ago)

A Cleanup Day for Senior citizens is coordinated by John Stacy with the help of the MFHS Student Council. The Board approves a $200 donation to the Student Council as a token of appreciation.

~ 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 –


Grateful Patriots Recital

You’re invited to celebrate Veterans and hear the next generation share their patriotic songs as Wendysue Fluegge and her students present their annual “Grateful Patriots” recital at the American Legion (Post 382) Monday, November 15th @ 6pm.  The event is short, a sweet connection for families and servicemen / women in our community, and will conclude by 7pm.



Post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.