April 2018 Optimizer

The Optimizer
April 2018
Menomonee Falls Optimist Club

—- April Meeting schedule —-

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

  • Apr. 4 Night meeting: We’re all familiar with the landmark St. Anthony’s Church on Appleton Avenue. But, how many of us know about its origins in the small farming community of Fussville? Join us at the Community Center at 6:15 pm to hear about Fussville from Carole McGibany, historian for St. Anthony’s Parish and author of “Glimpses: Memories of St. Anthony the Hermit Parish and the Lost Community of Fussville, Wisconsin.” Following the meeting, we hope you can join us to continue the conversation at Main Mill on Main Street.
  • Apr. 11 The Robotics Team will join us and give an update on what they’ve up to this year.
  • Apr. 18 A meeting favorite, STUDENTS OF THE MONTH from MFHS, NMS and St. Mary’s will be presented by Principal’s Bob Vitale, Lynn Grimm and Linda Joyner along with their nominators.
  • Apr. 25 Since it’s baseball season, let’s have a Double Header! The NMS FBLA Team, which placed first recently at the FBLA Regional Leadership Conference, will join us along with advisors Jim Nitz and Shelia Frafjord. Also, cast members and choreographer Melissa Bloch Meyer of the Patio Players musical “Anything Goes” will talk and perform a few numbers from their upcoming show.


—- President’s Thoughts —-

Happy Spring my fellow Optimists!!

We have a couple busy months coming up with lots of events and fundraisers!!  They are all included in this newsletter!!!

I’d like to encourage every Optimist member, all 180 of you, to take advantage of these FUN opportunities to support your club, serve the youth of our community and Bring Out the Best in OUR Kids by volunteering or just as important, participating, in SOMETHING we have going on this month!!  Everything is so FUN and when you EXPERIENCE the fun and the impact we make you are FED!!!  You are reminded WHY you joined this awesome club!!  Remind yourself this month or next, WHY you are a member of the Menomonee Falls Optimist Club, the best club in the Falls!!

I promise, when you engage, and the more you engage, at whatever level is realistic for you at this time in your life (but who can’t fit in some FUN at a family friend Bags tourney with the family or an adult night out at the Trivia Contest?) you will feel that YOU are the one being BLESSED vs being a blessing to the community, although you are that, too!!  It’s crazy how this works!!

And while you are adding events to your calendar, invite people to join you!!  Family, friends, neighbors you know who like to have a good time and make a difference while they are having FUN!!

Like our events on Facebook and share them to your personal page!  get the word out!!  and if that’s all you can do right now, that’s great!!  It’s something and we appreciate it!!

Looking forward to seeing more and more of you wonderful members at the events!!

Have a Happy & Blessed Easter!!

Your committed friend in Optimism, 
Lynette Shepherd


We need you….

Are you interested in getting more involved in the Optimist Club? This of the time of year when we start to look for members who would like to join the Board. There are several positions that open up each year and they have different levels of commitment. While we won’t hesitate to ask potential candidates if they are interested, it would be great if you look at what the open positions are, ask a few questions from current or past Board members about those positions, and let any us know that you’re interested in being a candidate.

We meet on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 a.m. We need 1st and 2nd VP candidates (one year term) and three Board members willing to serve a two-year term. This is a great opportunity to learn more about our Club from the inside and to continue to steer our team in the right direction. The Board wants and needs you to take that next step in keeping our Club fresh and vibrant. So please take some time, get feedback from other members and let us know that you want to step up your commitment to be a “Friend of Youth”.

Elections will be held in May so please let me know your interests by April 20. THANK YOU for your consideration. Contact me at jeanine.dederich@gmail.com.

Jeanine Dederich,
1st Vice President


—– Optimists After Five ——

Optimists After Five is recruiting! They are a new branch of the Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls and are looking for new members in their 20s, 30s, and 40s to join them in supporting the mission of the Optimist Club. As our community grows with younger generations of adults, they hope to bring fresh, innovative ideas to the table to raise funds for our youth.

Optimists After Five meets on weeknights around 5:30 or 6:00 (Happy Hour, anyone?) and have been working diligently on their first event—“Bags, Brewers, Brats, (and Beer!).” On Sunday, April 29 they will host a Bags Tournament featuring the Brewers at Cubs game on TV. The kid-friendly event will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Water Street in Menomonee Falls. An entry fee of $15 will enter one person into the bags tournament; brats, hot dogs, and a full bar will be available during down time! Entry into the tournament is not required to attend, but there is a cash prize for the top three finishers! The rest of the proceeds will go to the Optimist Club. Registration begins at 11:30am, and the tournament begins at noon! The fun lasts until 6:00pm! Be sure to ask about their member recruiting meeting coming up in May.

In addition to volunteers (members and family), they are graciously seeking donations from members for raffles and prizes for the event. Whether you have a business that would be interested in donating or if you would like to make a personal contribution, some items they are seeking are: Gift cards; raffle basket item(s); event tickets; coupons for goods or services; and items needed for the event (i.e. food vessels, kids’ game prizes, etc.).

If you are interested in volunteering or donating, please email optimistsafterfive@gmail.com and someone will reach out with more information.

Erin Dederich


—- Upcoming Events —-

  • Saturday April 21 Tri-Star Baseball Contest. See article below.
  • Saturday April 21 Trivia Contest. See article below.
  • Sunday April 29 Bags, Brewers, Brats and Beer. See Optimist After Five article above.
  • Saturday May 12 Kids’ Fishing Contest. See article below.
  • Saturday May 12 Post Prom
  • Wednesday May 16 Scholarship Golf Outing. See article below.
  • Friday June 15 Junior Golf Qualifier at Brown Deer Golf Course. See article below.


Tri-Star Baseball 2018

First off, I’m happy to announce we have a new Co-Chairman for Tri-Star Baseball, Shannon Dederich, who knows more about baseball and softball than I’ll ever know! The annual contest will be held on Saturday, April 21, at the Ben Franklin Softball Field (South Parking lot) from 8:30 am until Noon….and we’re way overdue for nice weather!

The signup sheet was first routed at the March 14th morning meeting but we still need about six more volunteers. Duties include registration tables, scorekeepers for the hitting, throwing (radar gun) and base running stations. If you can’t work a full shift, we’re grateful for any time you can give us.

The Falls Little League is back to having Picture Day and Opening Day on that same Saturday, so that should help us get more kids! We’ll also will be inviting all area select teams to participate again this year.

Please email me at jerry.mislang@prodigy.net if you can help or call 262-352-2571 if you have any questions.

Thanks, “Babe” Mislang and former MFHS Softball catcher Shannon “Lucroy”


Trivia Night

Get your teams together for a fun time at Trivia Night
Saturday, April 21, 2018
St. Agnes School
12800 Fairmont Ave., Butler, WI

BYO Adult Drinks/Soda/Snacks
Doors Open – 6:00 PM
Contest – 7:00 Sharp
Tables of 10 people-$150.00. Per Person- $15.00
Form a team and pick a team name. Be creative, wear costumes and have table decorations. Remember- This is not designed for “Trivia Buffs”. It is only for fun!

For more info, contact Sue Jeskewitz at 251-9595 or 414-659-3037. Send a check made out to M.F. Optimist Club, to Sue Jeskewitz , N80W17429 Robin Circle Menomonee Falls, 53051 by April 14, 2018


Kids’ Fishing Contest

The Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls will host the 2018 Kids Catch and Release Fishing Derby on Saturday May 12th, 2018 at the Mill Pond in downtown Menomonee Falls. The contest is free and is open to all boys and girls age three through 16 that reside or attend school in the Menomonee Falls area. All participants will receive a t-shirt and a chance to win a door prize. Trophies will be awarded to boys and girls in five age divisions for the longest fish and most fish caught during the contest.

Registration for the event will be from 9:00 am to 10:00 am at the Mill Pond Shelter. The fishing contest will be from 10:00 am to Noon followed immediately by the presentation of trophies and door prizes. Bring your own fishing equipment. A limited supply of bait will be provided. Children under nine years old must be accompanied by an adult. 16 year olds must have a fishing license. Food will be sold during the event by the Menomonee Falls Neighborhood Watch.

Sponsors/Supporters include the Menomonee Falls Police Department, the Menomonee Falls Neighborhood Watch, the Village of Menomonee Falls, RB Enterprises, Pops Frozen Custard, Krueger’s Recreation Center, YoCool Frozen Yogurt, Sandy Spring Farm, Kwik Trip and the Optimist Club of Menomonee Falls.

Note: Because of a major construction project in the area parking may be restricted or limited. Please plan accordingly.

Tom Walkner


28th Annual Scholarship Golf Outing

Mark your calendars for Wednesday May 16, 2018 for the 28th Annual Optimist Club Scholarship Golf Outing at Ironwood Golf Course in Sussex, WI. Planning for the event is now underway. We are looking to make this a record year as we have earmarked $16000 in scholarships this year for High School Seniors. We will need golfers, voice auction items, silent auction items, raffle basket items, and golf balls to make this event a success. Please start asking your family, friends, neighbors, or contacts for help with our event. Please look for a flyer coming out soon from our President Lynette Shepherd. We have made some minor changes to the format to try to speed up the after golf event. Also, look for a new wrinkle at the “Famed” Liquor Basket hole. The price had remained the same for many years. After increases in some expenses, our committee decided to increase the price $5.00 per golf to $135.00 (Still a great bargain for all you get). If you are not a golfer but would like to join us for the fun after golf, which entails heavy hors d’oeuvres, please let me know. We can accommodate you. We would like to have you there to participate in the auction items as well as the opportunity raffle and the gift card raffle. If you care to join our planning committee, please contact me to include you in on future meetings. If you have been to any outings that have done things during the day that would add something to our event, please let me know. We are always open to new ideas. We hope to see you on May 16, 2018 at Ironwood.

Todd Paulus


OI Junior Golf Qualifier

The Optimist International Junior Golf qualifier is finally set for Friday, June 15, at Brown Deer Golf Course. Tee times will begin at 11:00 am. The cost is $75.00 per golfer. Golfers can go to our website to register electronically.

This event is open for boys and girls ages 10-18 to qualify for the Optimist International golf event in West Palm Beach, FL in late July. Golfers must shoot a qualifying score given to us by OI within their respective age and gender divisions. The number of golfers allowed to advance is predicated on the number of spots given to us by OI in each age group. This is a fun event to be a part of as I am truly amazed by the play of these young golfers. As the event gets closer, I will be looking for volunteers at the registration table, scorers to walk with a few groups, and Marshalls on the course. Knowledge of the rules of golf is not necessary as the golf pro is available that day for any rulings that are necessary. You will only need to have a cell phone along in case needed to call the pro shop for a ruling. Please mark your calendars.

Todd Paulus


—– Executive Board —–

March Board Meeting Minutes

Board Briefings – March 20, 2018

President Lynette Shepherd led the Board meeting on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Meeting synopsis is as follows:

Donation requests:

  1. MFHS Debate Team – $1000 donation request – $500 donation approved
  2. Junior Achievement – $500 to $1000 donation request – $500 donation approved
  3. Knights of Columbus – $150 donation request approved
  4. CE & Rec – $1000 donation request for lock-in at middle school approved and $250 donation request for safety town program approved

Treasurer’s report:

Report requested that will separate out merchant services fees and bank fees. Treasurer report was approved.

Committee Reports and Budgets:

  • Tri-Star Baseball – Budget approved
  • Oratorical Contest – Budget approved
  • Club Essay – Budget approved
  • Optimists After Five – verbal budget presented; written budget approved after the meeting

Unfinished Business – Informational Items:

  • Police Chief Anna Ruzinski communicating with club member regarding poker tournament
  • Was approved that popcorn wagon will again attend Wheeling for Healing event this year

New Business:

  • Discussed fundraiser for boy names Austin who has Leukemia. Event is April 19th from 4-9. Board decided club will advertise event within club and dedicate a night at the popcorn wagon for this cause
  • Recommendation made that club adopt a formal policy for checks written to the club that are returned for whatever reason. $20 service fee was decided on and this was approved

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, Dave Curran, Tom Dueppen, Kathryn Hoff, Chris O’Reilly, Barb Schmit

Dustin Koehler


—-Junior Optimist International at MFHS—–

Last month the Junior Optimist Club was excited to be able to volunteer with the Optimist sponsored Distinguished Young Women program. Several JOI members were participants in the program, and our very own member, Kailee Doherty, was selected as the representative, so it was exciting to have JOI members in the crowd and back stage. We always enjoy helping with the Little Misses before they go on stage. We are looking forward to helping out at the Menomonee Falls River Clean Up in April, and are in the works of planning a few other new events for the spring!

Alison Leon


—- Past Events —-

Distinguished Young Women















Photos by Don Gorzek

Fifteen Menomonee Falls High School Juniors participated in the 54th Annual Distinguished Young Women Program on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the North Middle School Auditorium. The Optimist Club has sponsored and organized the program since 1986. The participants will be attending the Optimist Club meeting on May 30th.

Kailee Doherty was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Menomonee Falls for 2019. She will represent Menomonee Falls at the Wisconsin State Program to be held in Franklin, WI this summer. Kailee is the daughter of Linda and Bryan Doherty. She performed a vocal performance to Giacomo Puccini’s aria, Nessun Dorma, for her talent.

Jackie Plantier was named 1st Alternate. Jackie will receive a $750 scholarship from the Optimist Club and $300 cash award from Community League of Menomonee Falls. Jackie was also the winner of the Interview and Self-Expression Awards.

Rohitha Punathil was named 2nd Alternate. She will receive a $250 scholarship from the Optimist Club.

Becky Perez was awarded the Scholastic Award. Monica Repinski won the Fitness Award. The Be Your Best Self Essay Award went to Brinda Patel. Tia Hebbring was voted the Spirit of Distinguished Young Women winner by her fellow contestants. Each category winner will receive a $100 cash award.

Also participating were Kayla Francis, Shivani Ganesh, Madeline Labott, Hannah Lucht, Kelly Maloney, Cosette Schefelker, Megan Schmeling, and Isabella Volk.

Our program is so wonderfully successful because of the great team I have working with me. Ali Leon did the fitness choreography, is a co-host and is a contact at school for the girls. Becky Shull co-hosts and works with the girls on interview skills. Dawn Mariscal puts together the beautiful program book and Good Luck Wishes. Susan Steliga coordinates the Little Miss program. Jeanine Dederich helps with the Little Misses and the Be Your Best Self Essay. Steve Fleming is the tabulator and arranges for gifts for the contestants. Kathryn Hoff was the Scholastic Judge Chairperson. Linda Zylka is the Program Judges Chairperson. Lynette Shepherd opened the show with a joke and enthusiastic welcome.

New member Shannon Dederich was huge asset to the committee by helping us secure a program judge, scholastic judge, light technician, several little misses, and Kohl’s volunteers to take tickets at the door.

Dave Curran and Rose Schwartz were invaluable backstage. Bob and Lynn Radnar, John Seymour and Greg Mattson assisted them as stage crew. Montana Mariscal ran the spotlight. Kathie Jensen, Gerilyn Yanke, and Kathryn Hoff sold tickets and programs. Students from the Jr. Optimist Club helped with little misses. Kristy Gruenwald provided the contestants with beautiful floral arrangements. Jon Cline photographed the girls for the program book.

Danny Shepherd provided the sound system for the program. He put in many hours learning the new sound system in the auditorium. Thank you for putting so much thought and effort into creating the best sound experience we have ever had!

Kirsten Sperl assisted Steve with tabulating results. Lynette had the important job of running ballots to the tabulators. Kim Wenzel supervised the dressing room.

Thanks to Harry Stoetzel and his team at Falls Cable Access for videotaping the program. You will be able to watch it soon on Channel 14 or online at http://www.fallscableaccess.com.

And finally, our program is so blessed to have photographer Don Gorzek who put in endless hours to capture all the events, rehearsals and fun moments of the girls over the months of preparation. Thank you doesn’t seem adequate to express our gratitude.

We will be meeting with the sophomore girls who are interested in participating next year at the end of the school year. The Class of 2020 program will take place in March of 2019.

Cathy Sharkey


Oratorical Contest

2018 Oratorical Contest finalists (left to right): 2nd Place – Beth Katzmann, Optimist Club Oratorical Contest Chair Dawn Mariscal, 1st Place Rohitha Punathil and 3rd Place Raghav Pandya.

The annual club Oratorical Contest was held on Wednesday, March 21st at North Middle School.  Seven students participated.  Speeches between 4 to 5 minutes were given on the topic “Where are My Roots of Optimism” and were scored based on Poise, Content of Speech, Delivery & Presentation, and Overall Effectiveness.   The student achieving the highest score was Rohitha Punathil, followed by Beth Katzman and Raghav Pandya.  Rohitha will advance to the Zone contest being held on Saturday, April 7th at Sussex Public Library.  We wish all much success.  Rohitha, Beth, and Raghav will be attending a future club meeting to receive their cash award and present their speeches to the membership.

Thank you to club members Laura Ciletti, Steve Fleming, Marcia Hebbring, Cory Kleeba, Greg Mattson, Deb Mattson, Chris O’Reilly, Corrine Reiter, Joe Reiter, Beth Saunders, Linda Zylka, and also our Friends of Optimist Jim Dieter, Nancy Kane, Brittany Moen, Jenny O’Keefe for taking time out of their schedules to selflessly volunteer for this event.

Dawn Marsical


Students of the Month

Photo by Don Gorzek

The Optimist Club Students for the Month of March include from the left, Griffin Hood, Senior, Claire Brennan, junior from MFHS, Ella Koch and Jared Cernickan both eight graders from North Middle School, and Mike Kelly an eighth grader from St. Mary Parish School




Optimist Club Meeting Photos

Photos by Don Gorzek

Mary Claire Paulus, a senior member of the MFHS Dance team talked about their adventures at the WIAA State Dance Competition during our February 28, 2018 meeting.





Denise Killian-Janicek, club adviser, of the new activity, “Educators Rising”, at MFHS presents information about the Club at our February 28, 2018 meeting. Nathan Russell, a freshman, talked about his hopes for the group as a student member.





Don Eisenhauer, a Past President of the Menomonee Falls Optimist Club, presents Athletic Director Ryan Anderson and community support organizer Paul Lessila a check for $25,000 dollars to be used for the improvements of the MFHS Football Complex. (Pictured right to left)





North Middle School Students Grace Booher and Luke Booher talk about the new NMS Student Leaders Club at our March 14, 2018 meeting. The Club Advisers Tracy Seymour & Kristin Janssen, are pictured in the background.





The Frisk Family describes living with Type 1 Diabetes at our March 14, 2018 meeting. Adam Frisk, a senior and athlete at MFHS has been living with T1D since the age of 3-1/2, along with his parents, Terry and Debbie, answered questions and share their journey to help others understand and raise awareness.





Teri Lux, President of Community Memorial Hospital, told our members her journey in patient health care and the history of Community Memorial Hospital. CMH has been part of the Menomonee Falls community since 1964.  Now a part of Froedtert, it has a national reputation for excellence while serving Waukesha and surrounding counties. Teri described what we could continue to expect as CMH strives to combine technology and personal care to serve our communities’ needs.





At our March 21, 2018 meeting, Molly Janssen, Carrie Rebro, 8th grade counselor, and Aidian Martin shared how our donation to the “Your Choice” program impacted the students at North Middle School. The students are both eight graders.





—- This Month in Club History —

April 16, 1996 ( 22 years ago) – The Club accepts Assured Mortgage’s (Del Kreuser) offer of a $5,000, 18 month interest free loan to help finance the purchase of a popcorn wagon. The Club authorizes up to$2,500 in additional expenditures and solicits members for donations.

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


—- 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 via email to the people listed below:

  • NEWSLETTER Jerry Mislang no later than the 25th of each month – jerry.mislang@prodigy.net
  • NEWSPAPERS Kim Wenzel three or more weeks prior to your event, as quickly as possible after an event – kfwenzel87@gmail.com
  • FACEBOOK Cathy Sharkey, Dawn Mariscal or Lynette Shepherd – csharkey224@yahoo.com, dmariscal@wi.rr.com, llshep4ma@gmail.com
  • WEBSITE Beth Saunders –  bethjsaunders@gmail.com –


— Patio Players – Anything Goes —-

Music, dance, laughs, and the age-old tale of boy meets girl…Anything Goes is a hilarious shipboard romp, wrapped around one of Cole Porter’s most magical scores. IT’S DELIGHTFUL, DELICIOUS, AND DE-LOVELY. Tickets can be purchased online on their website, by calling the Falls Patio Players 24-hour Information Line (262) 255-8372, or stopping at the box office. See website for box office hours. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more.

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