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September 21, 2023

Shawano Optimists Present Annual Awards

At the Shawano Optimist Club’s annual installation and awards banquet, held recently at Stubborn Brothers in Shawano, Lorine Raddant was named the club’s Optimist of the Year and officers and directors for 2023-2024 were installed.

In announcing the Optimist of the Year award recipient, Robyn Shingler said of Lorine Raddant, “Throughout the year, Lorine stepped in whenever there was a need, such as coordinating our basketball tournament concessions and food for our Respect for Law event. She stored our club ‘s supplies, lent us the use of her personal equipment and always answered the call for help with enthusiasm, willingness and solutions. All this while greeting you with ‘honey’ and a warm hug.”

WINUM Zone 4 Lieutenant Governor Dan O’Leary installed the officers and directors for the 2023-2024 year. O’Leary told the Shawano Optimists they should take pride in what they are doing for the youth in the Shawano community. He also reminded members to stay connected to all club members and to communicate with him about what the club is doing. “By doing so, you will have ‘peace of mind’ knowing you are providing great service to your youth,” O’Leary said.

New Officers and Directors

Installed as officers and directors for the 2023-2024 year were: President-Maddie Priest; Vice President-Fund Raising- Jim Liesner; Vice President-Youth Activities-Robyn Shingler; Secretary-Gail Moesch; Treasurer-Jim Black and immediate past president-Jen Schroeder.Directors installed were Dan Mauel, Greg Parker, Lorine Raddant, Sandra Carroll and Kristine Rankin.

Incoming president Maddie Priest said, “I am so thankful to have this opportunity to work with such an amazing group of people in our unified goal of bettering the lives of the youth in our community. This past year has been a year of growth, both in membership and fund-raising. An area I hope to focus on is getting more of our members involved in club service projects and fund-raising. I thank the board for the confidence you have shown in me and am open to all thoughts and ideas you have to make our Optimism Come True.”

Special recognition was given to outgoing president Jen Schroeder, who served as club president the past two years. In making the presentation, Troy Edwards said of Jen, “Your heart for children is evidenced by how you nurture and advocate for kids at every one of our events, including creating our first Family Night celebration at Franklin Park. Your leadership in making substantive changes that created efficiencies made running our events significantly easier. Your generosity, ideas and sharing of time, along with your humility and devotion, exemplify the very precepts of our creed.”

Perfect Attendance Awards

Each year, the Shawano Optimist members who achieve a certain level of attendance at club meetings, fund-raisers and service projects are given a perfect attendance award. Heading the list again this year is Jim Leuenberger, who has achieved 46 years of perfect attendance. Others receiving awards for perfect attendance were:Randi Anderson, Sandra Carroll, Madison Priest and Kristin Rankin – one year; Jeanne Cronce-4 years;Robyn Shingler-5 years; Jen Schroeder and Jim Liesner-6 years; Dan Mauel and Lorine Raddant-7 years;Troy Edwards-15years; Ryan Alexander-16 years; Michael Sleeper-23years; Gail Moesch-24 years and Jim Black-25 years.

James Leuenberger Lifetime Achievement Award

At the banquet, Gail Moesch announced that the board of directors voted to establish the James Leuenberger Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of longtime member Jim Leuenberger, with Leuenberger being its first recipient.

In making the presentation to Leuenberger, Moesch said, “Jim has made exemplary and outstanding contributions to the club which have meaningfully impacted the club’s mission and growth. He is always willing to work on club committees, attends nearly all member and board meetings, and can be seen at nearly all club service projects and fund-raising events. He is truly a role model for our club and has touched the lives of thousands of children’s lives in our community over the past 47 years.”

The Shawano Optimists meet the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 6:45 a.m. at Farm Inn’ On Main in downtown Shawano. Anyone wishing to learn about joining the club can contact President Maddie Priest 715-927-7111 or or any Optimist member.




The Shawano Optimist Club will also be busy throughout the summer for Thursdayz at Franklin come on out and support our efforts and enjoy the music in the park.


The Shawano Optimist Club is a member of the Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce

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