Breakfast with Santa 2017

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F2017 Breakfast With Santa

Whitewater Leads Has Optimism About Dolly Parton Imagination Library

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On Wednesday, October 18, the UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club heard from our guest speaker Larry Kachel regarding the “Whitewater Leads” program. Larry discussed the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. The goal of the organization is to help children around the nation receive books in the mail and help to improve children’s learning and reading skills.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library gives out 1.2 billion books per month, and works with about 16,000 communities. The program begins as soon as a child is born, and goes until their 5th birthday. During these years, each child who is enrolled in the program gets their own book in the mail every month. The books that are sent to the children are free, as this organization runs on donations and funds that are provided by the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Whitewater Leads’ goal is to get about $25 per year, per child (through donations from various organizations). Whitewater Leads has already seen just how great this program is by looking at students test results and seeing how children have been placed in reading levels.

The goal for Whitewater is to greatly increase literacy and get everyone reading books, and the organization hopes that there will be a great improvement in this in about two years of running this book service. To learn more or to donate, check out their website at

Optimist Club Meeting with Guest Speaker Erica Schepp

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October 4. 2017 Meeting Picture (3)

October 4. 2017, Optimist Club Meeting, Guest Speaker: Erica Schepp

Erica Schepp, Director of UW-Whitewater Children’s Center, was the guest speaker for our Club meeting on Wednesday, October 4.  Erica explained that the center is the only childcare provider in Whitewater accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  The center serves children of faculty, staff, students, and community members.  She discussed a new program on campus where students can earn 1-3 college credits by working with children at the center, based upon the hours worked per week.  Erica and her staff are planning to improve the center’s “Sensory Room,” which provides a safe and therapeutic place for the children to learn calming skills. Some of the proceeds from the 2018 Trivia Night will be used to update the room with swings that hang from the ceiling as individual pods for children needing a quiet space to relax, and installing both a light lab and a large magnetic wall with ramps and pathways, to help improve a variety of motor skills.  This is your proceeds at work!

Optimist Club meeting Guest speaker Choton Basu

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Choton Basu (from the UW-W College of Business and Economics) was the guest speaker for our Club meeting on September 19, 2017, he discussed his innovative app called “Strive On”. The Strive On app was developed 3 years ago by Choton and his colleagues, and since then has been growing rapidly. It is an interactive app that gets people involved and learning about the community. There are beacons and/or geofences placed around a location that bring up a notification on a person’s mobile device that offer a “story” about the specific location to enrich the user’s experience. The app has even more opportunities in the near future, as there is development on a hands-free mode, and a setting to track business operations, and user involvement. We look forward to working with Choton in the future by adding Optimist Club information on to the app.

New Optimist year, new board

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In the board meeting held on September 13, 2017 a new slate of officers was approved. The incoming Co-Presidents are Dave Halbach and Janay Alston. There is no President Elect at this time. The Immediate Past President is Kim Adams. Vice President is another open position. Olson will continue to serve as Secretary, and Kate and Ken Ksobiech will return as Co-Treasurers. Susan Hiscox, Joyce Hutchinson, and Linda Kinson are the at-large board members. Any club members interested in stepping into the role of President Elect for or Vice President should contact Dave Halbach immediately ( The new optimist year begins on October 1, 2017.

Welcome our new presidents!

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As elected at the board meeting on September 13, 2017 the Optimist club has two new presidents, Dave Halbach and Janay Alston, also known as DJ! The new Optimist year beings on October 1, with the first meeting of the new season being on Oct. 4 at noon in UC 259A. New/potential members are always welcome! There will be an installation party for the new board and club members on September 27, 2017. Check out the installation flyer for more information. Dave and Janay will be working together soon to bring some new and fun ideas to the Club. Congrats and thanks, Dave and Janay!

Installation Flyer

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Check out our installation flyer to find details about the installation celebration on September 27, 2017!

Tuesday September 5, 2017 Meeting

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Brienne Diebolt-Brown (Left) and Lacey  Reichwald  (Right), members of the  Executive Board of the Whitewater Grocery Company gave a presentation about goals for a new Grocery in Whitewater


It was a beautiful Tuesday for Optimists who attended the Noon meeting on September 5, 2017.  Not only were three potential new members in attendance, but every seat in the room was filled.  Guest speakers Lacey Reichwald and Brienne Diebolt-Brown, members of the Executive Board of the Whitewater Grocery Company, gave a brief presentation about prospects for a new grocery in Whitewater.  Their plan is to fill gaps in the grocery needs of the community and not directly compete with Walmart.  For further details, or to become one of many owners of the Whitewater Grocery Company, visit

For more information about the UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club, contact co-president, Kim Adams, at or (608) 201-2151.

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