Miss Wisconsin Speaks to Christian High School

May 19, 2015

Miss Wisconsin 2014, Raeanna Johnson, recently spoke to a general assembly of students and staff at Sheboygan Christian High School. Her message is to persevere through hardships by seeking positive outlets.
She spoke of her older brother Tyler who took his own life while on methamphetamine. After his death the family learned that he was addicted to the drug, but failed to see the signs. She said Tyler received a distressful call concerning his girlfriend from a friend. His friend told Tyler his girlfriend was going to take her life over a dispute she and Tyler had. In his view, which was distorted by the drug, the only way he know how to cope with this hardship was to commit suicide.

Raeanna said, “My grief turned to hatred. Hatred for Tyler and why he would cause so much pain for his family.” She went on to say, “I have battled my feelings ever since Tyler’s death. I have learned to find positive activities such as dance, college and my tenure as Miss Wisconsin as positive ways to cope with my emotions.”
As Miss Wisconsin she established as her personal platform, “Tyler’s Legacy: The impact of Substance Abuse on the Family”. She reaches out to school age youth to tell her story, and make others aware of her struggles. She sends the message of perseverance and positive activities. She experienced it first hand when Tyler in his last note said, “don’t miss me”. She misses him everyday and has learned to direct her emotional energy to spreading her story.

In addition to her appearance at Sheboygan Christian School, she also spoke to elementary age students at Oostburg Christian School. There she spoke to both a middle school and elementary age students.
Raeanna’s appearances were co-sponsored by CITGO Petroleum and the Sheboygan Optimist Club.

Leadership July 2015

President’s Message
By Scott Stangel, President Sheboygan Optimist Club


You all know the kid’s game called, “Telephone”. You know the game where the first kid whispers a message in another kid’s ear, then that kid passes the message to the next, and so on. Finally the last kid receiving the message tells everyone out loud what they heard. The result is a message that is typically completely different than one the first kid passed along.

This is not effective communication.

In today’s world we have many different ways to communicate. This is required because of the fast paced lives we lead. We are interacting with different people, on different levels, and in different capacities. We need to have the ability to reach out to a group at a single time. This allows us to be effective and efficient communicators.

As you know our club has evolved from “snail” mail to e-mail. From phone calls to Facebook, and now from sign ups and sharing to the web.


Soon the new website will be “turned on” and it will become our most important communication tool. It will give the club an opportunity to not only share the many great things we do as a club to the membership, but also to the entire community.

As president, one of my major goals was to improve the club’s communication. To accomplish this goal I presented to the board, and the membership as a whole, the need to develop a new and more robust website. This site will accomplish the goal.

The board recognizing the flaws of the previous website, approved an expenditure of close to $1000 to develop the new site. As a club we have a lot of money involved, but our overall investment is only beginning. We need to make the website an effective and efficient form of communication. This is where the real investment lies.

Remember the saying, when discussing computers, “garbage in, garbage out”? This statement has never been clearer when it comes to communication. If the objective is to communicate information that is both timely and pertinent, then timely and pertinent information must be inputted into the website. This is our responsibility and the investment we must all make.

As leaders in the community and the club, we are all involved projects and events that “Bring the Best out of Kids”. It is imperative this work his shared with the club and the community. To do this we must all become stewards of the website, and see that its content is current and exciting. We all must take the responsibility to tell our Optimist story.

Shortly the website will be launched. The committee who worked with the selected contractor has asked the membership for content. If you have pictures of club events, sign ups, club information you want to share, recap of projects, or anything you think is important about the club that it must be shared, pass it along to Dana Dunton. She will work to see that it is posted.

As we continue to develop the website, Dana has agreed to host a club website tutorial. She will present the site and show everyone how it works during the club meeting September 23. Please be in attendance, as this tutorial will give you the ability to communicate by not whispering in the next person’s ear.

I want to thank the many club members who had a hand in developing the website, including Dana, Mark J, Laurel, Dean, and Pam.

Maybe you are on the site now reading this, the first president’s “Leader Ship” blog. How cool is that!