Successful Optimist Holiday Activities

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During our meeting on December 13, 2017, we discussed the successes of Breakfast with Santa–which included serving 760 participants, in addition to 40-50 volunteers. An anonymous donor paid for all of the children’s meals at the event, and additional donations were collected at the door.

The Mitten Tree was also presented to representatives from the Whitewater Unified School District. This year, the Mitten Tree had a special donation from an anonymous donor, who found out about the Mitten Tree a year ago. She made a commitment to carefully hand knit 38 unique items for children. She was determined to contribute to the community as a way of giving back from what she experienced as a child.  She was once a child who did not have a hat and mittens of her own.  The Mitten Tree also received 600 items from the UW-Whitewater University Center staff and students, as well as from local businesses, Club members, and participants at Breakfast with Santa.

Lastly, Club co-presidents Dave and Janay presented a $1,000 check to representatives of the Whitewater Unified School District (WUSD).  The donation was allocated for the WUSD Family Emergency Fund.  Pupil Services Coordinator Lanora Heim gave a brief recap of how some of the funds are used for families and how they work hard to stretch the money as far as they can. The need is great, and their team is grateful for the significant contribution.


Welcome new members Brian and Keith!

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The UW-Whitewater/Community Optimist Club would like to introduce our two new club members, Dr. Brian Huels, and Dr. Keith Zukas! Both are new faculty at UW-Whitewater and are eager to bring optimism to the Club, the campus, and the community.

Brain Huels is an Assistant Professor of Accounting and met Kim Adams 20 years ago when he was attending UW-Whitewater as an undergraduate student. Kim introduced the Club to Brian in August when he returned to campus as a faculty member. Brian is excited about joining the Club because he believes in optimism and is enjoying sharing that philosophy with his students.

Keith Zukas is journalism professor for the College of Arts and Communication. Kate Ksobiech persuaded Keith to join the Optimist Club because she wanted to introduce him to the community. Keith is excited about joining the Club because he wants to know more about UW-Whitewater and the community. We welcome our new club members and are very happy to have some new faculty join our organization!

Fall Intern Accomplishments

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As the fall semester wraps up, we spent a few minutes reflecting back on the achievements our fall interns completed during their time with us. Katie Gaulrapp and Olivia Woyak began their internships back in late August and since then have done many things to help out the Club. Both worked hard on blog posts, flyers, Facebook posts, going to meetings, assisting with events, etc. They have dedicated a lot of time and energy over the course of the semester. Katie will be graduating this December, and will be getting married this summer. Olivia is set to graduate in May and will also be getting married this summer! Thanks for all the hard work from our interns!