October 2020 Optimizer

The Optimizer | October 2020 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

— In this issue —

Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Todd Paulus

Rick Kohl

Upcoming Activities and Events


Leaf Raking

Past Events

Popcorn Wagon

Green and Gold Raffle

Scholarship Golf Outing

Optimist Meetings

MFHS Athletic Fields

Distinguished Young Women

Veronica Goveas

Class of 2022

Getting to Know You – Dawn Mariscal

Board Meeting Minutes

Thank You Notes

This Month in Club History

How to Publish Optimist News


— Meeting Schedule —

It’s doubleheader time. First, MFHS Head Coach Lutz and members of the MFHS Football team will update us on their season. They’ll be followed by Head Coach Tony Pritchard and the MFHS Girls Golf Team. Their season is over, but they’ll talk about their experiences, including a historic a FIRST in the MFHS golf program.

If he’s not busy putting our fires that morning, we’ll have new Menomonee Falls Fire Chief Gerard Washington joining us. With this being the first time he’s been to one of our meetings, please try to make an extra effort to be there.

We’re hoping to welcome back the Students of the Month, one our favorite meetings throughout the year.

Want the inside scoop on what’s going on in our Village? Director of Community Development Matt Carran will give us his annual update, including a few “teasers” about future development.

~Jerry Mislang

— President’s Message October 2020 —

Final President’s Message from Todd

First, let me start by thanking committee chairs and members that helped to recently complete 2 of our 3 biggest fundraisers for the club. We will start with the Popcorn Wagon and Tim Newman and Larry Podolske. Thank you for heading up the wagon for our Club during the summer. This is our longest running event that requires the help of all members normally once and many members more than once. With all your help we sold over $15,000 and netted just over $11,900 for the year. I guess people were looking for something to do after being holed up for the pandemic. Thank you to all the workers that wore masks and took the proper precautions. I know it can be hot and uncomfortable wearing them, but obviously it paid off for us. People trusted how we were doing business to sell that much popcorn.

Next a big thank you to Ed Schlumpf and Dan Schwind and their committee/captains for another successful Green & Gold Cash Raffle (normally known as the Packer Raffle, except for this year). Although final figures are not in, we should be over $20,000 in profit. Stay tuned for the exact figure. Thank you to all the captains for convincing Ed to sell 350 tickets. We did not leave $15,000 in profit on the table. A special thank you to Chris Forstan and Falls Cable Access for televising the drawing live on YouTube for our club. Thank you to all the members that sold and/or bought tickets to support the event. Eleven of the eighteen winning spots went to Optimists. Either luck was on our side or we bought a lot of tickets.

It is hard to believe this is my final message as President. What a year it has been. When I was asked by Jeanine and Lynette over a year ago to come back on board to be President, I thought, sure, it will be much easier second time around, knowing what to expect. Little did I know that was far from the truth. The first 5 – ó months went as expected, but then the rug was pulled out from underneath all of our feet. Early on, as things were getting cancelled and not knowing how long our state would be shut down, things started to look bleak. A few months earlier we agreed to grant $21,000 in scholarships to high school seniors, up from $15000 the year before. We also pledged $20000 to the Capital Improvement Campaign for the Soccer turf project. We were also involved with the Village and the restructuring of Village Park and the phase 2 play area, that we will have to support graciously monetarily in the near future. We had to cancel the golf outing due to this pandemic. How would we pull off the Packer raffle? How would the popcorn wagon be affected? Our 3 biggest fundraisers were at risk, with big cash payouts coming. Then the Optimist spirit kicked in. We found a way to reschedule the golf outing. With careful planning and safety of all those involved as our guiding parameter, it went off without a hitch in July. The popcorn wagon opened a week later than normal, with changes and modifications as to how we sold the popcorn. People were waiting to buy. Records fell twice within the first week, along with our biggest week of the season at just over $1800. This support continued all Summer long. The Packer raffle shifted gears to an all cash raffle. The captains convinced Ed we could sell all 350 tickets, and not just the 200 he proposed. We found a way to hold the drawing without a huge crowd in attendance for the tailgate party, while televising it live on You Tube. Creativity and determination were showing all over the place. We did it, because our club and members would not be denied. We found a way to do it. When the state started opening up, we found alternative spots for our weekly meetings, as the school district had not opened up the Community Center yet for us. Once they did, we followed their requirements so we could continue to safely meet in our normal spot. As upcoming events started to plan their events, this creativity continued to show. The leaf raking for seniors event, that involves a lot of kids, has gotten creative so a big group of kids and adults were not gathering at the Community Center on the morning of the event. Instead, we have stretched it out to 3 weekends in November. The Drop and Shop figured a way to pull off their event without having the whole day event at the Community Center. The important thing is we found a way to keep the energy flowing for next year’s events and for years to come. This creativity and ideas helped make my job much easier to help navigate this club during this pandemic, and for that I just want to say “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You” to all members. I hope I was able to keep people in the loop and energized as we went through the year. I would not wish this type of year on anyone now that we have gone through it. In hearing that some clubs have not met since this pandemic hit, really makes me appreciate the dedication of all our members to continue to help the kids and our community. Let’s get behind Rick as his year starts and rally around him to keep the good vibes going.

~Todd Paulus


Message from 2020-2021 President Rick

I would like to say thanks to Todd for his leadership and guidance this past year. I look forward to working with our board and a year of fun, fellowship and doing good in the community.

~Rick Kohl


— Upcoming Activities and Events —

Leaf Raking

Christmas Parade

Holiday Shop N Drop

OA5 Service Project



Senior Leaf Raking is November 7 – 22!

Just a reminder that our annual Leaf Raking for Seniors event is scheduled for Saturday, November 7 through Sunday, November 22. We could still use volunteers with trucks/trailers to help haul leaves to Shady Lane Nursery. Note that the leaf hauling is planned only for weekends, not during the week.

If you can help, please contact Jason Husslein (414-852-9634, hussjas@sdmfschools.org) or John Yusko (414-339-2637,  jyusko505@twc.com).

And…if you are in the market for fall or winter plants or garden supplies, please consider patronizing Shady Lane Nursery. Karl Hornung has again agreed to allow us to dump leaves at his nursery, saving the Optimist Club the expense of using the Orchard Ridge landfill and freeing up more of our funds to donate to kids.

~ Thanks for helping! John Yusko


— Past Events —

Popcorn Wagon 2020

As April rolled around it is normally time to begin planning for the popcorn wagon for me. This year I thought about it, but aside from consulting with President Todd, did nothing. Then the parade got cancelled and May rolled around. It was time for action. The season would begin a week later as at that time the Governor’s lockdown extended through Memorial Day. So, the season began a week late and since I was short a couple of captains, decided to end it a week earlier as who knew how it would go. The week at the end was added back however given how successful we had been.

Well go it did. Linda Tetting volunteered to captain week #1, and even worked opening night, Sunday, May 31st herself along with husband Bill. They did $312 that night. People were anxious for this normal activity in the midst of virus chaos. Night #2 was Larry Newman and Jon Cline, they did $352. Later that week Fred Blanke & Ann Freudenthal did $310 and Jenn Dedrick and friend did $300. It was an amazing $1848 in the first week. Sales continued throughout the summer well above prior years with some other noteworthy ones being perennial stars Tom Ciskoski & Greg Mattson doing $1500, another big hitter, Carl Trapp and the Sussex group did $1304, Meg Latus, $1282 and the Kernel himself did $1206.

A few other noteworthy nights from the summer included Ciskoski/Mattson with $536 and $393 (corn roast, a new event), Dawn Mariscal & Jimmy $428, Tom & Kathy Walkner $310 (on July 3rd, parade night), Terra & Steve Chmielewski $314 (rookies of the year) and Carl Trapp & company had $297 and $255 on the last night of the year by new member Annie Jurczyk, Jenn Dedrick and the Kernel.

The average was $1131/week and the total was $15,840. A week of $850 which used to be routine in recent years was exceed in all but 3 weeks. Weather played a role in some of the lesser weeks.

There were downsides however. The Memorial Fest was cancelled, usually a $900 event and the high flying “schools group” led by Jason Hussein and Kirk Woosencraft was slowed by not being able to notify the families this year to avoid big crowds of eager children. And we lost the first week. But in the end, it was a super year, easily the best by far typical nightly sales ever.

Next year we look forward to probably finding a new home in the new park (Optimist Park?). If that isn’t ready, we’ll return where we are. A huge thank you to all the captains that keep things running throughout the summer and all the great workers. We didn’t let the Coronavirus bother us at all.

~ Larry Podolske, The Kernel


Green and Gold Raffle

Another Flash from Above

Sometimes lightening does indeed strike twice in the same place. But three times? Or four?

Way back in 1998, during the third year of our Annual Packer Raffle, Jim and Sue Jeskewitz won the Grand Prize and were flown to San Francisco to see the Packers take on the 49’ers. A couple of years later in 2001, they won $250.

Then in 2009, they again copped the top prize (in the first year of expanded sales up to 320 tickets), and were sent to Lambeau Field.

And amazingly Sue (Jim passed away in 2013), again won the Grand Prize of $5,000 in this year’s “Green & Gold” cash raffle which was held in place of the usual Packer Raffle because of the Covid outbreak.

In the absence of the usual Tailgate Party and drawing at Village Bowl, this year’s winners were announced on local cable access TV with the drawing originating at DJ”s Goalpost in the Falls on Monday, September 14. Seven of the 18 prizes went to Optimist members, though ex-members and a spouse won another three.

Bob Wenzel of the Falls, who captured the $1,000 third prize, donated $500 of it back to the club, which allowed for a profit of $22,900, third best in club history trailing only the record-breaking $23,869.23 of last year and the previous record of $23,803.71 the year before. The last 13 years of the raffle have netted $263,526.75 for the youth of the community!

Second prize of $2,000 went to member Carl Trapp. Brent Morris of the Falls took fourth place worth $750 and Steven Sadowski of Muskego garnered $500 for fifth prize.

Those winning $250 included club members Dick Woosencraft, Dr. Brian Stark, Kathy Ciskoski and Larry Hebbring. Former members Jack Pitroff and Jim Newman also won that amount. The others getting $250 were Jane Galien of Milwaukee, Amy Manion from Fitchburg, Liz Roberts of New Berlin, David Meyer of Germantown and Rebecca Hulce and Tricia Kohl (Rick’s wife) from the Falls. Earning a free entry for next year’s event was club president Todd Paulus.

Many doubts surfaced early on about whether the new format would work, but a great deal effort on the part of numerous people paid off.

At the top of the list would be the team captains – Tim Newman, Jerry Mislang, Donna Bosch, Meg Latus, Terry Fitzsimmons, Chad DeLuka, Herb Gross, Carl Trapp, Del Kreuser, Tom Ciskoski, Larry and Marcia Hebbring, Lenny and Debbie Kimmel, Dan Schwind, Mary Schlumpf and newcomer Shannon Diedrich. Besides captaining, Dan collected all stubs and money and ran the audit as in the past. Marcia and Mary provided invaluable help the night of the drawing in the distribution of prizes. And a special note of thanks needs to go to Deb Kimmel, who kept track of all the tickets that changed hands between different teams and members over the course of two months.

Once again Rog Rogers’ State Farm Insurance and Terry Marcou of Schmidt & Bartelt paid for the printing of the tickets. Barry Landowski’ s Minute Man Press in Germantown covered the cost of printing the flyers. New member Chris Forston coordinated the televising of the drawing. Don Matovich, graciously offered space at DJ’s for the event.

Despite a considerable dropoff in total club membership, many, many Optimists stepped up and made it happen….again.

~ Ed Schlumpf, Raffle Chairperson


http://images.clipartpanda.com/scholarship-clipart-Scholarships.pngScholarship Golf Outing Final Report

I do not like reporting profit for this event until everything is finished. We finally have all outstanding funds in and all expenses paid. With that said, the final profit for this event was $14,762.17. This was about $2000 better than last year. Thank you to my committee for help making this event work, considering the times we were operating in. We were able to keep all guests safe, have a lot of fun, and raise money for our Seniors. Thank you to all those that donated items or approached businesses for donations to make this profitable. And finally, thank you to all the golfers and volunteers that showed up that day. Without you, all this planning would go to waste. Looking forward to 2021, however a date has not been set. Stay tuned.

~ Todd Paulus




— Optimist Meetings—

MFHS Athletic Fields

On September 23 Brian Heimark, the Falls Athletic Director, lead a tour of the football stadium and soccer field. He discussed the upgrades of the stands and facilities at the football field, and included a tour of the team rooms underneath the stands. Our club has donated over $50K to these upgrades, so it is something to be proud of from our club’s perspective.

(Photo by Chris Forston)



— Distinguished Young Women —

Veronica Goveas

About one year ago, I embarked on a remarkable journey that has changed my life — a unique experience that has allowed me to learn and grow immensely as well as create memories and friendships that will surely last a lifetime. On the day of the 2021 Distinguished Young Women (DYW) Competition, I remember standing on stage under the limelight alongside 9 terrifically talented, smart, and successful young women, excited to showcase the product of our hard work and tireless dedication. I am incredibly humbled and honored to have the opportunity to represent the wonderful community of Menomonee Falls as the Distinguished Young Woman of 2021.

In addition to the honor and privilege of serving as the Distinguished Young Woman of Menomonee Falls, I am also very active in HOSA – Future Health Professionals. HOSA is an international student organization that empowers students to become leaders in the global health community through education, collaboration, and experience. I am the current Wisconsin HOSA State Secretary, and I have had the valuable opportunity to compete at the International Leadership Conference for the past three years in the Medical Spelling Event. I was blessed to be named the International Medical Spelling Champion this year. I also work at the Lincoln Lab at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where I am involved in pediatric cardiology research. I am also a pharmacy assistant and receptionist at the Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital Community Outreach Health Clinic. The Community Outreach Health Clinic serves the uninsured and underinsured residents of Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital’s service area. My volunteering experiences at the clinic have been vital in solidifying my future aspirations of becoming a medical doctor. In college, I hope to major in biology on the pre-med track.

I would like to thank everyone who helped and supported me thus far in this unforgettable journey. A special thank you to the Optimist Club, especially Ms. Sharkey, Ms. Leon, and Ms. Shull, who pour their hearts into this program and work tirelessly to make it an exceptional one. Thank you to my phenomenal dance teacher, Guru Smitha Nandakumar, for helping me with my DYW talent semi-classical dance performance, and to my adorable Little Miss, Isabel Sharon, for her super sweet smile and the calming aura that accompanies her. Above all, thank you to my beautiful family for their love, support, and belief in all of my dreams and endeavors. My Amma, Appa, and two younger brothers are my biggest support system, and I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for them. The DYW scholarship program has helped boost my self-esteem and confidence, and being the Distinguished Young Woman has been one of the highlights of my high school life.


Class of 2022

The Distinguished Young Women Scholarship Program for the Class of 2022 is scheduled for Saturday, March 6, 2021. Due to the situation with Covid we will be unable to hold the live program as we have for the past 56 years. As the situation is constantly changing, the final decision on how much of the judging will be in-person and how much will be virtual won’t be made for a few months. The good news is we already have Junior girls asking about the program. I have promised them that I will do my best to give them the DYW experience other participants had in past years.

The 2021 Wisconsin DYW program is also on hold temporarily. Veronica Goveas, our current representative, is waiting for her chance to compete at state and hopefully nationals next June. Stay tuned for updates.

Follow Menomonee Falls Distinguished Young Women on Facebook and Instagram.

~Cathy Sharkey



— Getting to Know You —

Dawn Mariscal

What is there to know about Dawn Mariscal? Well here it goes. Hi everyone, my name is Dawn Mariscal, I’m just a small-town girl living in a not so lonely world. Born and raised in Menomonee Falls, and alumni of the MFHS Class of 1985 under the leadership of Mr. Woosencraft & Mr. Truckenbrod. I am the proud mother of Montana, who is an Art Teacher at North Middle School and has two wonderful puppy dogs, Nobel & Ginger. This summer I became a firsttime mother in Law to Jimmy Walsh (poor kid). I reside in the same house I grew up in with my 86-year-old full time working mother, Gloria who has taught me many tough lessons in the journey of life. I also am the little sister to Marty. I earn my bread and butter as a self-employed insurance agent and have an office on Main St in beautiful Downtown Menomonee Falls since 2008. I am a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 449 in Brookfield and recently became their membership chairperson and newest volunteer bartender.

My spare time is mostly occupied by volunteer service to my community, being a fill in bartender at Player’s Pub for Marcia Hebbring, following my karaoke singing friend, Jimmy D to all his performances, spending time with Jim’s super cute grandchildren, laughing till my sides ache with wonderful friends, and enjoying the serene views of Lake Winnebago while sitting on the deck at the Dieter Family Inn relaxing.

I have recently completed my third year as committee member for the Angels of the Road Ride for Veterans fundraiser which has raised and donated $42,000 over 3 years to help change the lives of Veterans in need.

I have been a proud member of the Optimist Club since 2008 which has proven to be an extremely rewarding experience, tiring but still rewarding. Club activities I have been involved with in the past were the Oratorical & Essay Contests and Distinguished Young Woman Program. Always look forward to Popcorn Night at the wagon every year. I also fill in whenever Marcia Hebbring says so. My biggest contribution to the club is the annual Parent Holiday Drop and Shop which started in 2010 under the suggestion of Ed Schlumpf. Although I am sad that this year’s event will not be face to face with the children, I am excited to take on the challenge of making this a fun event for children and their families this holiday season. My committee is the hardest working dedicated group of club members any chairperson could ever want.

Final words of wisdom – “The most difficult challenges in life will become your greatest accomplishments.”


Board Meeting Minutes from September 15, 2020 —

Todd Paulus, Rick Kohl, Ann Freudenthal, Marcia Hebbring, Greg Mattson, Carol Schulteis, Jeanine Dederich, Lenny Kimmel, Steve Fleming, Shannon Dederich and Don Eisenhauer. Also present were incoming Board Members Jenn Dedrick, John Yusko, Jerry Mislang, Dan Schwind, Kim Wenzel and Fred Blanke.

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 AM by President Todd Paulus. The approval of the agenda was motioned by Greg, seconded by Marcia and approved by all.

A motion was made by Jeanine, seconded by Carol and approved by all to accept the minutes.

A motion was made by Ann, seconded by Shannon and approved by all to accept the treasurer’s report.

There were no requests this month.

Shannon presented the budget for the Brewers and Bags tournament on September 26. A motion was made by Marcia, seconded by Steve and approved by all to approve this budget.

Vicki Boelter who was sponsored by Greg Mattson and Blake Ream sponsored by Jerry Mislang requested to join our club. A motion was made by Steve, seconded by Carol and approved by all to approve their memberships.  

Todd reported on the Park Project. The grand opening will be in spring of 2021. A committee is being organized to handle the programs and entertainment at the park. Because of Covid 19 and the current economy, the construction of Phase 2 will start in 2022. Fundraising for this part of the project will start in 2021.

The newsletter articles are due by Thursday, October 1.

Todd thanked the board for all their help this past year. He mentioned all the board members who were leaving their position and welcomed the new board members. Despite all the challenges this year, 3 of our biggest fundraisers took place. The board thanked Todd for his leadership over the past year.

Tuesday October 20

A motion was made by Ann, seconded by Lenny and approved by all to adjourn the meeting at 7:18 AM.

~ Ann Freudenthal


— October Thank Yous (excerpts) —

MFHS SOCCER PROGRAM (Scott Stein, Head Coach)
“Your VERY generous donation took us over the top on Phase I of the soccer complex. Thanks again.”

“…thank you for giving our club the opportunity to work the popcorn wagon… Stay healthy, be safe everyone.”

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS’ LETTERS (Grace Fox, Jack Lynch, Colin Hall, Moira Paulus, Ethan Pogorzelski, Hannah Xiong, Robyn George)
“Thank you… I’m honored… I appreciate your support… I am very grateful… I can’t thank the Optimist Club enough. As Co-President of the JOI Club… has been an important part of my life… your organization has helped make me the person I am today… shown me the value of being a volunteer… Roll Tide!”

~ Submitted by Jerry Mislang



— This Month in Club History —

https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.lxN0iE3C_1LkAo5Y6y8Z3wAAAA&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300October 25, 1987 – (33 years ago)

Club members run a Halloween Party sponsored by the Rec Department and donate $80 to pay for a magician.

~ 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 – jerry.mislang@prodigy.net or schmitbarb@gmail.com

NEWSPAPERS  Shannon Dederich three or more weeks prior to your event, as quickly as possible after an event shannon.dederich@gmail.com

FACEBOOK  Cathy Sharkey, Dawn Mariscal or Lynette Shepherd – csharkey224@yahoo.comdmariscal@wi.rr.com, llshep4ma@gmail.com

WEBSITE  Beth Saunders –  bethjsaunders@gmail.com

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