October 2021 Newsletter

The Optimizer | September 2021 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club


— In this issue —

Weekly Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Rick Kohl 2020-2021

Dan Schwind 2021-2022

Upcoming Activities and Events


Volunteer Opportunities

Leaf Raking

Christmas Parade

Christmas Party

Past Events

Popcorn Wagon season

Packer Raffle Tailgate

Bags Tournament

Installation Banquet

Optimist Meetings

US Marshal

Students of the Month

MFHS Football Team

Membership and Executive Board Info

2021-22 Optimist Club Dues

This Month in Club History

How to Publish Optimist News

— Weekly Meeting Schedule —

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

For President Dan’s first meeting, we’ve scheduled a Double Header!  Leading off, we have the MFHS Boys’ Baseball Team with Head Coach Tim Gotzler recapping last season that culminated with a state tournament playoff appearance. That will be followed by the latest and greatest Village Park updates from Tyler Zwagerman and James Hamilton.

Do you want to know what’s going on the Menomonee Falls School District? There’s no better source than Superintendent Corey Golla and his ‘State of the Schools’ presentation.  Always a great Q&A Meeting.

Easiest to schedule and our most rewarding meetings every year, our Student of the Month recognition meeting.

One of the most important meetings in the long 49-year history of our club!  We’ll have the presumably the last discussion on the Park Project, final Questions & Answers followed by thevote of all the members who are in attendance! What a way for Dan to finish up his first month as President!

~Jerry Mislang

— President’s Messages —

from 2020-2021 President Rick Kohl

Dear Fellow Optimists;

I would like to thank the membership for your support and involvement this past year.

I see amongst us a spirit of teamwork.

Thanks go out to departing board members Greg Mattson and Carol Schulteis and to those board members staying on. I truly appreciated the efforts and sacrifices made on behalf of the club. I also extend a warm welcome to new board members Michael Russell, Tom Ciskoski and Scott Dreier.

Throughout the year we made adjustments and members stepped up and contributed. Our meetings were always held in person but we tried to have them on Zoom for those you could not make the meetings. Once the masks were lifted (June) we stopped Zooming our meetings. Thanks to Shannon Dederich for doing this.

I want to thank all the committee chairs, co-chairs and all the members who volunteered their time. It is through your efforts that make this club special. You are the most important asset.

I feel this is going to be an exciting year for our club so throw your support behind Dan.

I wish good health and happiness to everyone going forward. See you at the meeting!

~ Optimistically speaking, Rick


from 2021-2022 President Dan Schwind

First of all, I would like to thank Past President Rick Kohl for a great year and he has stated many times “the club is in great financial shape” Thanks Rick!!

I would also like to thank our board for a great year and especially to Greg Mattson and Carol Schulteis for your service to the board. Thanks Greg and Carol!!

I would also like to welcome the new board members to this year’s Optimist board. Michael Russell, Scott Dreier, and Tom Ciskoski. Welcome and I look forward to working with you all.

Lastly, I would like to say thank you to our great club for having the faith and trust to elect as President again. As some of you may recall, the last time I was President was back in 2004-2005. I know a lot has changed in 17 years but one thing still remains strong and that is our club’s willingness and passion to help the kids of Menomonee Falls.

You should all be proud of the many great things you as members of this great service organization have accomplished and done for the youth of Menomonee Falls and surrounding communities. I look forward to continuing that in this term as President of the Menomonee Falls Optimist Club.

Thanks, and look forward to a great year.

President Dan


— Upcoming Activities and Events —


Leaf Raking

Christmas Parade

Optimist Christmas Party


Volunteer Opportunities

Leaf Raking Weekends, November 5 to 21
 Need trucks or trailers to haul leaves (see article below)
Contact Jason Husslein 414-852-9634 or John Yusko 414-339-2637

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


Help Wanted: No Raking Required!

Our annual leaf-raking event is sneaking up faster than we’d like to admit.  We’re scheduled to start the process on Saturday, November 6th and end by Sunday, November 21st.

How can you help?

We would like to have a group of Optimist members available to help with trucks or trailers to haul leaves to our drop-off point at Shady Lane Greenhouse if or when necessary.  You don’t have to rake!  Note that the teams last year did not need our help.

But…if you have access to a pick-up truck or trailer and can be available at times during the leaf-raking period, please let us know so we can add you to the list.  There are no dedicated dates; you will be contacted if necessary to coordinate available dates with the leaf-raking teams.

Please contact John or Jason if you can help!

Got leaves?

And, if you are a senior homeowner and would like your yard raked, sign up by calling the CE & Rec Office at (262) 255-8460 by Friday, October 29. They will get you on the list to be contacted by one of the youth groups.


Contact Jason Husslein (414-852-9634) or John Yusko (414-339-2637).

~ John Yusko


The Menomonee Falls Christmas Parade organized by the Menomonee Falls Optimist Club is Sunday November 28th.  This is a night parade starting at 4:30. Help is needed in the staging area, Marshalls along the parade route and creating a parade float.  We have a truck with trailer along with an idea for the float.  Please sign up if you are interested in helping.  Let’s promote and get the streets lined with kids to kick off the Holiday Season.  Contact Larry Hebbring for more information.

~ Larry Hebbring


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 our last party: $37.50/person.

More info and sign-up sheets will be coming in November. We hope to see you there!


— Past Events 

2021 Popcorn Wagon Season

The 2021 Popcorn season was one of extreme transition.  Ultimately it was a transition to what portends to be some incredibly successful future years in the newly revised Village Park.  However, some good things were left behind the Piggly Wiggly parking lot as well.

First the numbers for the almost the full year (3 more nights with the beer garden remain).

2021 2020
Total sales: $23,900 $17,000
Total cost of sales: $4,900 $3,000
Net revenue: $18,980 $14,000

The 2020 expenses weren’t readily available and hence an estimate was done.  In 2021 the kettle corn sales vastly increased and hence the cost of sales was much higher this year. Kettle corn has a cost of $3.50 for each $6.00 bag, so costs are higher in 2021 proportionately.

Getting into the weekly totals, one week was way ahead of the rest.  Kathy Matthiessen was lucky enough to select the week of July 11th for her week.  It included the Love Monkey’s concert ($1024), Lavender Fest ($1250) and 5 Card Stud concert ($550) all in the same week. Kathy’s total was about $3200 for the week, an all time record.  While the sales sort of fell in her lap, she (and Al) worked incredibly hard at some of those events.  The top sales totals were as follows:

Kathy Matthiessen $3,200 see details above
Barb Schmit $2,770 Milw Symphony, Patio Players patriotic review
Jason Husslein $2,203 Schools week
Linda Tetting $1,919 2 concerts plus Art in the Park
Meg Latus $1,715 Milw Tool concert
Terry Fitzsimmons $1,505 Kids from Wisc, Sat afternoon event in the park


Other weeks ranged from $483 (things were slow in the middle of Aug plus rain) to $1250, with all but two being in the $950 – $1250 range.

Another shout out that is notable as it was due to the individual’s effort, not a big event in the park, Scott Walter, principal of Riverside School.  During “schools week” he sold $654 in one night, a record for the schools week which has a lot of great history.

As far as the move to the park, the numbers speak for themselves.  However, it wasn’t as simple as it seems.  The first 3 weeks the wagon was located in the corner of the parking lot next to Appleton Avenue so people would see us there.  Sales during those initial 2 weeks (the 3rd week was schools which isn’t comparable) were actually considerably better than non-event weeks after the wagon was moved up in the park.  And the prior year sales were also considerably better than weeks that had no special events in them.  Typical daily sales were often well under $100 compared to $120 – $140 at the Pig.  Many long-time dedicated customers fell by the wayside.  That was a likely outcome however, and the upside in the park is incredible.  We made some new regular customers, and also have the future of the park to look forward to.  As the features, specifically the children’s area that our club is helping to make possible, come into use, many more people will be routinely visiting the park and stopping for popcorn.  And as new events get added, that too will enhance sales opportunities.

A huge thank you goes out the popcorn captains that organize and schedule the teams. Some in particular got a real baptism this year with the special event nights, with the popper going full speed for the entire night and extra staff needed (them).   Also, a special thanks to the people that worked the most nights, far and away that was Ann Freudenthal and Fred Blanke, but also kudos to John Yusko and Carol Schulties who volunteered for Memorial Fest, Lavender Fest and took on the team captain duties for the final week of the season.  One other noteworthy worker, someone I hadn’t seen in the wagon this much before, but he was really hard at it this year, Rick Kohl, and he has one more night coming up in Oct.  Not to mention all the support for the wagon that he gave all summer as we searched for helpers, etc.  A super leader.  And thanks to everyone that worked.

The numbers say it all.

~ Larry Podolske


Packer Raffle Tailgate

Monday, September 13, 2021 at Village Bowl

photos by Jon Cline



Bags Tournament

Saturday, September 25, 2021 at Knights of Columbus Hall

photos by Jon Cline


Installation Banquet

Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at the Hot House Tavern

photos by Jon Cline



— Optimist Meetings 

MFHS Varsity Football

We met this year’s coach and members of the high school football team at the September 1st meeting.

~ photo by Jon Cline






September Students of the Month

Students of the month from North Middle School, Weston Kreuziger and Elise Meissner, were recognized at our September 15th meeting.

~ photo by Jon Cline






US Marshal

On September 22nd, Anna Ruzinski, former Police Chief of Menomonee Falls, shared interesting information about her job as US Marshal for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

~ photo by Jon Cline





— Membership and Executive Board Info

September 2021 Board Minutes

Unapproved: to be approved at the next board meeting.

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

Moved to approve by John, seconded by Greg, approved

Moved to approve by John, seconded by Greg, approved

Moved to approve by Todd, seconded by Fred, approved


Falls Phoenix Pride: $1500
Moved to approve by Jerry, seconded by Jenn, approved

Menomonee Falls Angels: $1500
Moved to approve by Dan, seconded by Jerry, approved

Old Falls Village: $200
Moved to approve by Jerry, seconded by Dan, approved


Speakers Committee
Moved to approve by Kim, seconded by Todd, approved

Parade Committee
Moved to approve by Greg, seconded by Carol, approved

Installation Banquet
Moved to approve by John, seconded by Kim, approved



Don Eisenhower, presentation regarding new foundation for charitable donations

Name: Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls Foundation, Inc.
Established PO Box, shared articles of incorporation
Board Members: Don Eisenhower, Ann Fruedenthal, John Yusko, Jeanine Dederich, Fred Blanke
To vote post October 6th meeting, all questions to Don for KP by 9/28


State Farm Fidelity Bond, Honesty Bond: protects against monetary fraud.
Moved to approve by Todd, seconded by Dan, approved 9/1.


October 19, 7:00 am, Menomonee Falls CEREC building

Moved to adjourn by Todd, seconded by Dan, approved

~ Shannon Dederich



— This Month in Club History —

https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.lxN0iE3C_1LkAo5Y6y8Z3wAAAA&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300October 19, 1987 (24 years ago)

A club member is asked to resign for “conduct unbecoming an Optimist.”

~ 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

Post a comment

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