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Stories of Giving

People making a difference in the lives of others today and for generations to come. What will be your story?

Jesse Pickett’s work carried on

Everyone is willing to help because that’s who Jesse was.

Brad Pickett describes his little brother Jesse as the guy always willing to help. Jesse was a firefighter, fire prevention specialist and spokesman for the Grand Chute Fire Department.

Many have attested to his helping nature since Jesse died in a traffic accident Dec. 8, 2013, at age 29. His wife, Misty, and two daughters survived the crash.

“He was passionate about everything he did in the fire service,” Brad said in an interview in 2015. “It was just really important for me to carry on the work Jesse was doing.”

The family chose to accomplish that with a charitable fund within the Community Foundation. They see the Pickett Fire Safety and Community Fund doing things like providing equipment fire departments in northeast Wisconsin need, distributing smoke detectors or helping out in a disaster.

They were able to establish the future fund for $1,000. When it reached $10,000, the fund was able to award grants under the family’s guidance. They plan to use concerts, raffles, volleyball or bowling tournaments and private donations to continue to build the fund.

“Everyone is willing to help because that’s who Jesse was,” Brad said.

He said he was happy to learn the region had an organization that people can go to support charitable causes important to them.

“The Community Foundation has been great. We know (raising the money) could potentially be a long process, but it was important enough for us that we wanted to do it.”