Sauk Prairie Optimist Club
  Serving the Youth of the Sauk Prairie School District
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   April 2019   

About Our Club

The Sauk Prairie Optimist Club was formed in 1961 with 29 members. The club was the first Sauk Prairie service club. Prior service clubs were either Sauk City or Prairie du Sac. Two of those original members are still members of the club, Forrest Zantow and the first President, Denman Kramer. The club now has about 40 members. The Optimist Club of Sauk Prairie is a member of Optimist International, an association of over 3,000 Optimist Clubs worldwide.  Below are the Charter Members of the Sauk Prairie Optimist Club:

Owen Anderson
Floyd W. Harris
Sterling Westre
R.W. Bayley
Wayne L. Huehns
Gerald A. Young
Melvin Bickford
Dale Kelly
Forrest M. Zantow
Arthur Breunig
John Koch, Sr
Henry W. Thies
Dean Caflisch
Denman Kramer
George Wiedenfeld
Robert Curtin
Paul McFarlane
John Hammerli
Eldor Fruehling
Joseph L. Martin
Leonard Pulsfus
Gilbert Gasner
Allen Maruyama
Earl Hall
Russell Gattshall
Al P. Miller
Ken Poppy
Edward D. Gruber
Ronald Nichols

About Milly

Mildred (Milly) L. Zantow (1923-2014) became the first woman member of the Sauk Prairie Optimist Club in 1987.  Milly later became the first woman Optimist Club President when she became President of the Sauk Prairie Club in 1992.  In 1993, she became a life member of Optimist International and the first female Lt. Gov. (Zone 6) of SWIS District of Optimist International.  Milly was recognized as the 2005 Sauk Prairie Volunteer of the Year and she received the 2006 Hometown Hero Award with husband Forrest (Woody) Zantow.  Milly received many richly deserved awards for her service to the Optimist Club and other community charitable organizations.  From 1975 to 1979, Milly also was the first Volunteer Administrator of the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo and was the pioneer of the plastics recycling process that is used to this day.  Her work with cranes and recycling crossed paths in 1978.  During her tour of Japan to work with cranes, she saw first-hand recycling in action.  This convinced Milly, in spite of her many doubters, that recycling was possible here. 


Upon her graduation from High School, Milly won the I-Dare-You Honor Roll Award from the Danforth Foundation.  The Award came with the challenge to Dare-Greatly-Live Usefully and Share Freely all worthwhile things in Life.  Milly accepted this challenge and followed her sister Edith’s advice, “Always do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, just as long as you can”.  The Sauk Prairie Optimist Club acknowledges the contributions of Milly Zantow.

Thank you for looking into how Our Club helps the children of this community. Our Club was created by a group of thoughtful, hardworking men and women and their successors. They have met regularly to support and assist the youth of our community through a wide range of donations and charitable work.

If you would like to contact us, please email

us or write to:

Sauk Prairie Optimist Club
Box 522
Sauk City, WI 53583

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