September 2022 Optimizer

The Optimizer | September 2022 | Menomonee Falls Optimist Club


— In this issue —

Weekly Meeting Schedule

President’s Message

Upcoming Activities and Events


Club Picnic

Packer Raffle

Bags Tournament and Meat Raffle

Installation Banquet

Past Events

Cathy Sharkey Honored at DYW State Program

Optimist Meetings

MFHS Boys Tennis Team

A Tribute to JJ Selland

Executive Board

Club Dues

Meeting Minutes

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.

No Meeting – There will be great weather, picnic food, beverages and lots of fellowship for members and their guests at the annual Optimist Club Picnic at Shepherd’s Waters. Details are included in a separate article in this newsletter.

Two for the price of one! Larry Hanson, Vice President of the Menomonee Falls Little League reached out and asked to speak to our club about several opportunities supporting the MFLL.  We also hear from Fall’s resident Dawn Hinton of the ERAS Senior Network. Dawn has several topics she wants to cover, such as potential Pen Pal volunteers and volunteer drivers.

STUDENTS OF THE MONTH are back from MFHS and NMS! The first meeting of the year will give us an opportunity to not only to honor these students but to meet the new principals from both schools.

No Meeting – We will be celebrating both the past and the future at the Annual Installation Banquet at the American Legion. Details are included in a separate article in this newsletter.

** Do you have ideas for future guest speakers?
Contact the Speakers Committee –
Jerry Mislang, Jeanine Dederich, Beth Saunders, Larry Barbera. **

~ Jerry Mislang


— President’s Message —

Well, the summer is starting to wind down and the kids are heading back to school. There is a small hint of fall in the air!!

August has come and is almost gone.

We continue to pop corn at the wagon as we feed all that stop by Village Park to watch one of the many concerts that have been there this summer. Thank you to all the club members that continue to help at the wagon and help the club raise money for the kids in the community.

I know that the Kernel is looking for a few more people to help at the wagon for the last few nights. He would appreciate anyone willing to lend a hand on any of the open nights. If you can help out, please let Larry know.

Events on the horizon are:

Packer Raffle

Club Picnic

Installation Banquet

Welcome Chad Helminak to the club.  Chad will be sworn in as a new member at an upcoming meeting yet to be determined. Welcome Chad.

As all the longtime members know and to the new members that have recently joined we have kicked off one of our long standing fund raisers for our club. Our Packer Raffle is off and running and we are out to sell 360 tickets this year. We are coming up to the first turn in your tickets deadline for the Raffle. I’m sure Ed will have a say in the newsletter this month, but please check with your team captain to get some tickets to sell or buy. If you are looking for tickets please reach out to a captain if you need a ticket to sell. The money raised goes towards many of the programs and organizations we support. Let’s sell, sell, sell…….

If you have not had the chance to stop up at Village Park in the last few weeks, please do. The play area and splash pad are taking shape and it is going to be a great addition to the park. The hope is to have it completed by mid-October. Who knows, there might still be some warm weather for the kids to use the splash pad or play area.

Until next month, enjoy the sunshine, warm weather and summer!!!

~President Dan




— Upcoming Activities and Events —


Club Picnic

Packer Raffle Tailgate at Village Bowl

Bags Tournament and Meat Raffle

Installation Banquet


Club Picnic

Our club picnic is right around the corner.  Wednesday, September 7th is the date.  Shepherd’s Landing (Dan and Lynette Shepherd) is the spot.  Starting time is 4:30 with appetizers and fellowship; dinner being served between 5:30 and 6:00pm.  Many of you have been there in the past and it is a WONDERFUL venue for a picnic, about 7 minutes outside of Menomonee Falls.

We have many new people with many different sponsors, and I’d like to encourage all of the sponsors to bring these new members.  It’s a great place to meet and socialize with everyone, along with celebrating our past year and all of our accomplishments as a club.  All members, along with their significant others are invited.  We also encourage you to bring a friend or family member that may be interested in joining the club. Please no children as alcohol will be provided.  Of course, we also provide a vast array of picnic food, dessert, and cold beverages.  So, bring nothing but your smiling faces.  To help with the planning, we would like an approximate count on the number of people attending.

Please email Marcia Hebbring at with the number of people attending with you.  Watch for updates and directions in Dan’s weekly emails. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.  Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Directions from the village center (aka the four corners) in downtown Menomonee Falls.

  • Head west on Appleton Avenue. 
  • At the traffic circle (Lannon Road and Appleton Avenue), continue straight through on Appleton Avenue. 
  • Turn left just after traffic circle onto Willow Creek Road. 
  • As you are going up the second hill, the address will be on your left:  N104 W21677 Willow Creek Road  Germantown, WI  53022.
  • Go down the long driveway until you get to the opening for parking. 
  • It’s about 4 miles (8 minutes) from downtown Menomonee Falls to Shepherds Landing.

~ Marcia Hebbring


Packer Raffle

The Aug. 31 deadline for turning in Packer Raffle stubs and money has come and gone.  Unfortunately, there are still some unsold tickets.  If any member knows of a potential buyer (including themselves), please contact Dan Schwind at Town Bank as he has those that did not get sold.

A reminder to those planning on attending the Raffle Tailgate Party at Village Bowl on Monday, Sept. 12.  The event does not begin until 5:15. We usually have people lining up one half hour before then, but its printed clearly on the tickets that the starting time is 5:15.  The drawing itself will be at 7:30.

Included in this year’s In-House raffle is an autographed LeRoy Butler Packer jersey.  The famed defensive back was voted into the NFL Hall of Fame this year.

For those who may have avoided this gala the past several years because of fear of over crowdedness, be aware that our attendance has gone down for three consecutive years.  There should be plenty of room of all who are interested in taking part in the fun this year.

~ Ed Schlumpf


“Mini” Bags Tournament & Meat Raffle

oming up, the team will be hosting a “mini” bags tournament and meat raffle on September 17th at Players Pub. The tournament will be a 16-team, random partner draw match up starting at 1 pm. Registration can be done either at Players starting at 11:30 a.m. or through Shannon Dederich. All players must be registered by 12:30 p.m. Entry is $20 per person with a 50% payout and the other half going to the club.

If you’re interested in selling raffle tickets, helping with registration or being a Vanna with the awesome meat baskets, please let Shannon or Marcia know.

If you have not been to one before, this is a great chance to see what all the magic is about!  Club members can pre-buy tickets for $3 each at the September 7 and 14 meetings.


2023 Installation Banquet

All members are welcome and encouraged to join in the fun at our 2023 Installation Banquet the evening of September 28th at the American Legion Hall, catered by Alioto’s.

N88W16652 Main St., Menomonee Falls
(parking in public lot off Appleton Ave., on Main St.)

      • 5:30 p.m. Cocktails
      • 6:00 p.m. Dinner
      • 6:45 p.m. Installation presentation

Cost: $20/person, can be paid to Shannon Dederich at any meeting, mailed or the night of.

Please RSVP to Shannon via email or in person.



— Past Events —

Cathy Sharkey Honored at DYW State Program

Cathy Sharkey was honored for her years of service for the Distinguished Young Women program. Thank you, Cathy, for all you have done for DYW and the young women who participated in the program. (photos by Jon Cline)




— Optimist Meetings 

MFHS Boys Tennis Team

Players and coaches from the MFHS Tennis team, who competed at state, visited our Optimist meeting on August 10, 2022.

We presented a plaque and recognized the ‘first time in MFHS history’ Boy’s State Tennis Team and their Head Coach Matt Andreshak.  They recapped their outstanding season and we congratulated Matt for being named Division 1 WIAA Coach of the Year by the Wisconsin High School Tennis Coaches Association.







— A Tribute to JJ Selland —

I sponsored JJ into the Optimist Club in September of 1981.  After leaving the community to pursue graduate studies that ultimately led to principalship positions in Minnesota and Wisconsin, John returned to the Falls and rejoined the club becoming President in 2008-2009.  Thus, his on-again, off-again tours of duty with us spanned nearly 40 years.

His presidency was marked by a huge increase in our membership.  Shortly after he stepped down from leading our club, we reached a membership of 200+which made us the third largest Optimist Club out of 3,000+ clubs in the world!   JJ was named the 2009 Optimist of the Year by the SWIS district, which covers the southern half of Wisconsin and included 58 clubs at the time.

Several other accomplishments on his part stand out to me.  When the Optimist International Convention was held in Milwaukee, JJ with the able help of Carl Trapp hosted the Hospitality Room for every day of the event.  Nobody went home thirsty.

I remember vividly the times that JJ and I were called upon to help with a number of the annual Club Christmas Parties.  I, as many of you know, have played Santa for 60 years, but having JJ dressed up in an elf costume and sitting on my lap was a spectacle to remember.  I’ll never forget our giving the Rev. Russ Knoth a copy of Playboy magazine as his Christmas present.  But we had cut out all the pictures first!  Speaking of Christmas Parties, I think the one he hosted at Silver Spring Country Club when he was President set an all-time record for attendance.

John, of course was a speech teacher at Falls East, and it was he who rejuvenated our club’s Oratorical Contest for High School students.  He also brought back the Essay Contest which had lacked participation for some time.

And when it came time to celebrate our 40th Anniversary in 2014, JJ combined with Sue Jeskewitz and Robyn Turtenwald to put on a Gala celebration at the Raddison Hotel that was a party like only JJ could head up.

But one of his most important contributions was raising money for our many youth activities.  When our annual Packer Raffle set up teams with a dozen or so members, JJ insisted on being a team all by himself.  And he sold more tickets than some teams of 12 people!   And when we had the Bucket Brigade during the Independence Day Parade to raise money to finance it, JJ was always the leader in funds collected.  He just wouldn’t take “no” for an answer from the hundreds of parade-watchers that he knew personally or was just meeting for the first time.

I could go on endlessly but let me conclude by just saying that the incomparable JJ was a “Friend of the youth” of our community, long after he left the classroom.  His involvement in the Menomonee Falls Optimist Club left an indelible mark on all with whom he came in contact.  Thanks JJ.  You inspired lots of us to “Bring out the Best in Kids.”

~ Ed Schlumpf


— Membership and Executive Board Info —

2022-23 Membership Dues

It is time to renew your membership in the Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls.  Invoices were emailed in August. Please pay your dues by September 15. If you decide that you will not be renewing your membership, please contact Cathy Sharkey at

PAY YOUR DUES ONLINE WITH A CREDIT CARD!! Visit the club website here: Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link that takes you to a secure pay site.

Remit checks to:

P.O. Box 671
Menomonee Falls, WI 53052-0671




August 16, 2022 Board Minutes


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

Purpose: Regular monthly meeting

  1. The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:00 am.
  2.  The meeting agenda and June meeting minutes were approved; motion by Rick, second by Jerry; motion carried.
  3. Budget Requests
    a. Club Picnic—Marcia Hebbring
    i. $500-$600 for member picnic
    ii. motion by Scott, second by Jenn; motion carried
  4. Donation Requests
    a. Menomonee Falls Police DARE Program—Jay Weber
    i. Request for $3500 to cover production of workbooks, safety manuals, classroom materials and t-shirts
    ii. Program covers around 1,000 kids at both public and parochial schools
    iii. Last request was in 2019; we approved a donation for $1,700
    iv. motion by Rick to approve $3,000, second by Kim
    1. During the discussion, the Board agreed that an investment of $3.50/kid seems like a good use of funds
    2. The motion was rejected
    v. motion by Jerry to approve the requested amount of $3,500, second by Jenn; motion carried
    1. Dan will provide notice to the membership that a vote is needed because the amount exceeds our $3,000 threshold
    2. Vote will be scheduled for August 31
  5. Foundation Update—Don Eisenhauer
    a. Don reported that the Village is looking to obtain some of the pledged funds from the Foundation
    b. Don asked what process should be followed to obtain the Optimist Club donation
    i. Jerry requested a letter requesting the funds (1/3 of $50,000) from the Foundation
    ii. The Foundation Board will submit a donation request to be considered at the September Board meeting
  6. Treasurer’s Report—Jerry Mislang
    a. Jerry reported that Optimist International raised dues by $15/person
    i. The increase was received after Cathy had sent out dues invoices to our membership
    ii. We will have a shortfall in our revenue
    iii. The Board agreed that we should obtain an explanation for the increase and an itemization of what the dues are  used for and should attempt to negotiate lower fees
    iv. Dan will work with Cathy to contact OI to get answers
    b. Jerry provided an opinion that we should reconsider our approach to scholarships so that we impact more kids. The Board generally agreed that we should review our fundraisers and our donations to make sure we are making prudent use of our funds.
    c. motion by Rick to accept the Treasurer’s Report, second by Scott; motion carried
  7. New Member
    a. Chad Helminiak, applied online
    i. motion by Jenn to accept Chad’s application, second by Jerry; motion carried
    ii. Jerry will become Chad’s sponsor
  8. Anything else for the good of the club
    a. Kim reported that a woman was injured after tripping on candy during the Independence Day Parade
    i. Dan Shepherd is taking up the issue with Larry Hebbring—there appears to be no major injury, but there is concern over how we prevent incidents like this in the future.
  9. The next meeting is scheduled for September 20, 2022.
  10. Motion to adjourn by Rick, second by Kim. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:05 a.m.

~ John Yusko



— This Month in Club History — 16, 1987 –

All reference to gender is removed from the club’s bylaws.

~ 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 or Dawn Mariscal –

WEBSITE  Beth Saunders –



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