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Warming up inside

Posted on Jan 7, 2014, by

red kettle

While we’re all coping with the frigid cold, I thought I’d share a few stories about caring people in our community that will warm your heart.

Music to their ears
Twice late last year, groups of local musicians took it upon themselves to organize fundraising concerts to help where they knew help was needed.  One was a combination toy drive and fundraiser, benefiting those served by the Salvation Army and Harbor House.  Hundreds of toys and thousands of dollars were raised.

The other was a two-day benefit concert to raise money to defray medical bills for a long-time friend, Jon Weiss, the man who had once given so many of them their first chance to perform their craft.  The benefit raised money, celebrated their good friend’s birthday and served as the perfect farewell tribute to their friend, who died only days later.

Blog art Jan 2014Putting food on the tables
After starting with $120,000 in matching donations from the J. J. Keller Foundation, Express Convenience Centers, Fox Cities Chapter of Credit Unions and Kimberly-Clark Cares, Post-Crescent Media’s Stock the Shelves campaign generated a record $288,494 for 25 area food programs. The Community Foundation’s role in this partnership was to collect the contributions (672 in all), including $697 from a local dairy farm with a note that said:

“Greetings: This is our donation for the value of one acre of our corn crop,
170 bushels at $4.10 per bushel. God bless.”

Match day sparks giving
The Salvation Army-Fox Cities has come to depend on match days during its annual red kettle fundraising campaign. A group of 12 donor funds within the Community Foundation came together to offer a $50,000 match on December 23rd, which sparked donations of $76,221 at the red kettles. The $126,221 total was the second highest match day of the year and the second highest in the history of the match program. Kudos to everyone who gave, including the match contributors:

  • Col. Harold L. & Esther Graef Hamilton Fund
  • DeKeyser Family Fund
  • George & Jessie Rushton Charitable Fund
  • Joseph & Phyllis Linder Family Fund
  • Hugo F. and Vera M. Wimmer Family Fund
  • Phyllis I. Wormwood Fund
  • Helen and John Streur Fund
  • Salmon Foundation Fund for Salvation Army of the Fox Cities
  • Fred & Theo Grupe Charitable Fund
  • Winton A. and Ruth M. Schumacher Fund
  • Fox Cities Stadium Charitable Fund
  • Robert Dohr and Lilas Dohr Current Community Needs Fund

Ours is a community where people care about one another.  The feelings of compassion and love show itself over and over again.  I know there’s a lot more where that came from, and it will keep us warm inside, even during the coldest of days.

Curt Detjen is President and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. Email him at [email protected].

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