Optimist, Week 28

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Greetings Optimists,

April showers bring May flowers. We are hopeful that May will bring some Spring-like experiences, including warmth!

There is a Club meeting on Tuesday, 5/2/2017 at 12:00 PM in UC 259A. It is with great excitement that will induct both Robin Fox and Lori Heidenreich as new members. Let’s have a terrific turnout and demonstrate that “Optimism” is alive and well. Also, Dave has lined up Kristine Wallace of the Rock River Free Clinic as our guest speaker. It is always good to hear about community-based services.

At our Wednesday evening meeting this past week our two interns shared their goals and the progress they made in their personal learning as well as highlights from their experience as Optimist interns. Thank you Anne and Kayla for your great work! Announcements about summer and fall interns will be made later this week. At our Wednesday meeting, we discussed at least five other topics—the Fishing Derby, the Gyro Stand, Baseball Playoffs, Jefferson County Fair, and upcoming Optimist scholarships/awards.

Al is requesting help from our membership for the Fishing Derby. Shopping for hot dogs, chips and soda as well as staffing the event are among the tasks. Please check in with Al and let him know how you would like to be involved. (I, Angie, have signed up to grill the hot dogs and to make sure participants get fed. Rick has contacted the DNR for fishing pamphlets, etc. Mike will assemble our participant “Goody bags.” Our intern Anne designed our flyer. Thanks one and all!).

The Gyro Stand will be staffed by our Club at the Fourth of July community celebration. Thank you Duane, Rick and Dave for launching the ordering, sign-ups, etc. We now have the dates and hours for the event. Please watch for details soon. It’s not too early to check your schedules! Thank you to Jan and Jeanine for working on a news release about our Club and the Gyro Stand.

We have been asked to staff the Baseball Playoffs held at UW-Whitewater in May. Signup sheets will be made available soon. Mark your calendars for May 17-21. This is an unexpected opportunity to raise funds to assist with our youth programming. “Take me out to the ballgame . . . “ See you there! Therese is also asking for Optimist Award/Scholarship presenters for May 15 at 8:25am (at WHS) and May 23 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm (also at WHS). Can anyone help out?

Our Club has agreed to staff the Jefferson County Fair on Wednesday, July 12 for “Kids’ Day.” Watch emails for further details—and again, make your calendars.

One other item of discussion this past Wednesday was Club officers. Are you willing to serve in a leadership role? Who could you invite to join our Club—or to take a leadership role in the Club? In the film “The American President,” the character Lewis says to his president: “People want leadership . . . They’re so thirsty for it, they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.” It is a strong statement about what happens in the absence of leadership. Would you consider taking a role in our Club leadership? We are still looking for a president for 2017-18. That said, we are very excited that Janay Alston has agreed to serve as President Elect in 2017-18! Thank you, Janay!

That is “This week in Optimism.”

Angie & Kim 🙂

Optimist, Week 26 (Revised)

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Happy Sunday, Optimists,

Thank you to all Club members, Student Optimists, Kayla (our intern), and other community volunteers who helped to facilitate our Annual Optimist Easter Egg Hunt yesterday at the Middle School. A special thank you to Connie Murray for chairing the event and to her stepson for serving as our Easter Bunny. We had beautiful weather, a record turn out, and three news photographers there to cover the event. Watch for a story on the Whitewater Banner and in local papers. In the meantime, enjoy the group photo I have attached.

We do not have a Club meeting this week. Rather, we have a Board Meeting on Tuesday, April 11 at 12pm in UC 268. I will send an agenda by tomorrow evening. Please let me know if you can not participate (in person or via phone). Right now, I know of only one member who can not be there.

Angie and I are starting to work on the slate of officers for next year. Thank you to those who have said YES so far and to those who are considering a position on the Board!

In addition, thank you to those who contributed to the Birthday Box Project for the Whitewater Food Pantry. If anyone is interested in helping to stuff and label the boxes, we will be working with the Service Learning and Leadership students tomorrow from 8:30am – 10:00am in UC 259A&B. Many hands make light work–so please know we would gladly take any member’s assistance.

Another volunteer opportunity for Community Optimists, Student Optimists and Service Learning students will be to help with landscaping work sessions at Lakeview Elementary on April 25 and April 27, May 2 and May 4 from 4pm to 8pm. More information to come soon. In the meantime, feel free to contact Angie or me if you are interested in helping.

Our meeting schedule for the next few weeks is as follows:
Tuesday, April 11–Board Meeting, UC 268
Tuesday, April 18–Cub Meeting, 12pm, UC 259A (Guest Speaker: Courtney Nelson, Discover Whitewater; Youth of the Month)
Wednesday, April 25–Club Meeting, 5pm, Jessica’s Restaurant (Guest Speakers: Anne and Kayla on their work as Optimist Interns)
Tuesday, May 2–Club Meeting, 12pm, UC 259A (Induction of New Members; Guest Speaker TBD)

Angie and I will share key points from our Board meeting within the next week. There are a few important decisions that the Board will need to make this week.

Lastly, please note that our Club is the featured business for the Whitewater Chamber this week. Check out the Chamber’s web site for more details! They promoted our Easter Egg Hunt and offered to feature several Club photos.

Thank you for your commitment to being Optimists, and as always–“Just keep smiling!”

Kim and Angie 🙂

Optimist, Week 24

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Greetings, Optimists,

We hope you have had a relaxing spring break.

Here are a few tidbits related to upcoming Optimist activities:

1) We have a noon meeting this week (March 28). We will be featuring three “Youths of the Month!” We will also have a guest speaker–to be announced!

2) On Tuesday, April 4, we will stuff goodie bags for the Easter Egg Hunt, as well as host guest speaker Mike Flanagan, from the Crossman Art Gallery. Our meeting will be in our usual location–UC 259A.

3 Our Easter Egg Hunt will be Saturday, April 8, starting at 11:00am and set up begin an hour or so before the Easter Bunny arrives. Thank you to Connie for organizing this event. Sign up info will be coming out very soon!

4) The Board will meet on Tuesday, April 11 in UC 268. There will not be a Club meeting on that day. We have many topics to address at this meeting. Board members, please let Kim know if you can not attend.

5) Therese has indicated that the NCAA Division III Regional Baseball Tournament will be hosted by UW-Whitewater and that they are hoping the Optimist Club would be willing to take tickets. This would be an additional fund raising project for our club, in addition to being a nice service for us to offer. The dates of the tournament are May17-21, and times are yet to be determined. We will start a sign up sheet on this project very soon, as well.

6) Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 3 for the Optimist Fishing Derby. Thank you to Al Hutchison for leading this project. The event will likely take place at Tripp Lake. A flyer and other promos are being signed by our interns.

That’s it for now. Enjoy the rest of your day–and “just keep smiling!”

Kim 🙂

February 28th Evening Meeting Highlights

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At our February 28th Community Optimist Club evening meeting, we were fortunate enough to have Jeremy Lade and Christina Schwab speak about the famous wheelchair basketball program on the UW-Whitewater campus. Jeremy, nicknamed “Opi” from having red hair, is a 2005 graduate of University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and has competed in 3 Paralympic games. He is currently the head coach of the UW-W Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team. Christina, nicknamed “Barney” for her purple wheelchair at a youth camp, is a 2005 graduate of the University of Illinois, and is the head coach of the UW-W Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team. She has participated in 5 Paralympic games, and has even won gold metals in Athens and London. Thank you for sharing your optimistic outlooks on life and inspiring dedication to UW-W, Jeremy and Christina; we will be cheering on your teams!

Don’t miss the Men and Women’s Wheelchair Basketball National Championship on March 9th on the Whitewater campus! Come watch and support women play at 4pm, and men play at 6pm.

*Photos viewable in our photo gallery, above. 🙂

Optimist, Week 20

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Happy Sunday, Optimists,

This will be a very short note.

Thank you again to all those you helped to contribute to our Optimist Trivia Night.  We are pleased to say that we met our financial goal—raising (gross proceeds) just over $11,000.  A full report will be shared with the board on March 14, and then will be given to the full membership.  In the meantime, the Student Interns and Student Optimists will continue to work on thank you notes.

Our intern Anne is working hard at posting photos and information on FaceBook and on the web site on a regular basis.

Our intern Kayla is almost done designing the Easter Egg Hunt flyer and those will be distributed to the elementary schools in the near future.

This week’s meeting will be held on Tuesday evening from 5:00pm-6:00pm at Jessica’s.  Dave will be leading the meeting, and our guest speakers will be UW-W Wheelchair basketball coaches Jeremy “Opie” Lade and Christina Schwab.


“Just keep smiling,” everyone!

With Optimism,

Kim and Angie 🙂

Optimist, Week 19

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Good Evening Optimists,

Here are some very brief updates:

We do not have a Club meeting this week.  The Board will meet this Wednesday (Feb. 15) from 5-6pm at Jessica’s.  Please let me know if you can not be there.  We have a couple of important items to discuss, including the requests for the City-Wide Rummage Sale and a proposal for help with the Gyro Stand.

Here are our speakers for upcoming meetings:

February 21–Brenda O’Beirne, Counselor Ed Dept. Award

February 28–Jeremy Lade & Christina Schwab, Wheelchair Basketball

March 7–Jan Bilgen, Campus Memory Garden


The Club clothing order is in.  Thank you to Jenny for organizing it so quickly.  Please make sure you get your money to Jenny or me.  Right now, I have the running list.

Lastly, it looks like we are going to have a beautiful day for the 4th Annual Optimist Trivia Night this Friday.  Thank you to all who are contributing to the efforts.  We are very pleased to have 30 teams signed up for the event.  If you are willing to help set up for the event or to volunteer a few hours during the evening, it’s not too late to sign up.  Please contact Lanora or me.

Thanks so much–ad see many of you soon,


Just Keep Smiling!

Kim and Angie 🙂

Optimist Week 18, February 6, 2017

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Happy Monday, Optimists!

I know this note is reaching you later than usual.  I hope many of you enjoyed the exciting events of Super Bowl LI.

Here are some Optimist updates for this week:

Our Club meeting is tomorrow at 12:00pm in UC 266 with Josh Duesterbeck from Thrivent Financial serving as our guest speaker.  He has some interesting information regarding ways of partnering with community organizations.

Please see the list of speakers that Dave has shared for the next month:

February 7, 2017, Josh Deusterbach, Thrivent

February 21, 2017, Brenda O’Beirne, Counselor Ed Dept award

February 28, 2017, Jeremy Lade & Christina Schwab, Wheelchair basketball

March 7, 2017, Jan Bilgen, Campus Memory Garden


Jenny is trying to finalize a first-round clothing order for Club members.  She has 13 folks on the list and is planning to place the order very soon so that we have the items here in time for Trivia Night.  If you ordered an item, please bing your money to the Club meeting, or get it to Jenny, Kate or Kim within the next 10 days.

Next week, we do not have a Club meeting.  The board will meet from 5:00pm – 6:00pm at Jessica’s on Wednesday, February 15.  Brandon and Kim will share updates regarding where we are at with the Club Policies project (3 sections will be shared).  It will also be good to touch base on the Easter Egg Hunt, Fishing Derby and the Gyro Stand.  Also, we have had some folks in the community asking about the Optimist/City-Wide Rummage Sale.  We will add this item to agenda to confirm our decision.

Lastly, we could still use some help with Optimist Trivia Night on Friday, February 17.  Please email Lanora or Kim if you are able to volunteer a few hours during the evening.  We have 30 teams signed up and lots of great Silent Auction items.  Our goal is to raise $11,000–and it seems reasonable to reach our goal (based on number of participants and items available).  Now, we just need the helpers!  Please double-check your availability.  Thanks so much!

Late last week was International Optimist Day.  Thank you for all the ways you serve our community as Optimists and engaged citizens.  Your commitment to serving our youth and local/regional community is greatly appreciated.

See many of your soon!

Kim and Angie 🙂

Optimist, Week 17, January 29, 2017

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Happy Sunday, Optimists,

Here is our Optimist news for this week:

1)  We will meet this Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 12:00pm in UC 259B (next to where we usually meet).  Frank Bartlett (Optimist member and Director of University Housing) will be our guest speaker.  We will also recognize Youths of the Month from the Middle School.

2)  Please contact Lanora or sign up on line to help out with Trivia Night if you are able.  Last Friday, Lanora indicated that we only have 27% of the slots filled.  We are now less than three weeks away from hosting the event.  Please remember that we would welcome gift cards, homemade items and other donations for the silent auction.  We also could use extra clothes baskets/wicker baskets for the silent and bucket auctions for the event.  Please contact Kim if you are able to assist.  Jan has sent out a note to team captains for Trivia Night.  We welcome your assistance in helping to recruit teams for the event.  We are nearing 20 teams, but would still like to recruit 10 more teams.  Last Friday, Kim was interviewed on WFAW regarding Trivia Night, and a story appeared on the Whitewater Banner.  Many news outlets have been contacted.  We are grateful for all of the support.

3)  We will be organizing the Optimist Storage Room this Tuesday, Jan. 31 from 4:30pm – 6:00pm in Starin Hall.  If you are able to help out, please contact Kim (we will need to let people into the hallway area).  Kim’s cell is 608-201-2151.

4)  Thank you for participating in the Optimist meeting survey that Brandon Lindhom sent out.  We discussed the results at last Tuesday’s evening meeting, and will be making some decisions at our next board meeting on Feb. 15.

5)  Thank you to Wes Therrian who has already built one buddy bench for the Lakeview Elementary School Landscaping Project.  More news to come on that project in the coming months.

6)  Watch for more FaceBook posts by our Optimist Interns.  Also, our most recent Club calendar is updated on our Club website.  More updates will be added regarding guest speakers as Dave works on his list.

We are grateful for your Optimism!  As always– “just keep smiling!”


Kim & Angie 🙂

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