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.

Back to school time brings out the Optimist Club

For sixteen years, the Sheboygan Noon Optimist Club has helped students go back to school. And over the years, the school supply drive has grown to serving 800 students to more than 1700 at last count. It's a family tradition for some. Having received the supplies when they were a student, they now return to volunteer in the program.

Approximately 100 volunteers, Optimist Club members and others, volunteer the day of the event. According to program co-chair Linda Machtig, families begin to line up as early as 3:00 in the morning. It's like Best Buy after Thanksgiving Day, she explains.

She also explained that the need is so great that next year they will begin to advertise earlier for donations. More than 15,000 products were purchased this year, totally depleting their funds. The Optimistic way though is not to complain, but instead, find a way to do more. The Sheboygan Noon Optimist Club promises to do just that.

Watch a clip of the Sheboygan Noon Optimist Club’s Back to School Basics School Supply Giveaway.