The donation will cover about 25 percent of the total cost of the restoration project and the Basilica Foundation is seeking an additional $150,000 in contributions to complete the work.
“The Basilica is an important monument of Polish American culture in the Milwaukee area, and Polanki is happy to be able to support the Capital Campaign,” Polanki representatives wrote in a statement announcing the donation.
The stained glass window restoration project is part of the first phase of a capital campaign launched 18 months ago to raise money for critical repairs to the 115-year-old Basilica. The Basilica Foundation aims to raise $2.5 million for repairs during Phase I and $7.5 million total.
The Polish Women’s Cultural Club’s contribution brings the total amount raised for Phase I thus far to $1,313,746, according to Basilica Foundation president and chief executive officer Susan Rabe.
The Basilica is considered one of Milwaukee’s most significant cultural assets. The Basilica Foundation said structural deterioration at the church has reached “epic proportions,” and needs to be addressed immediately to preserve its legacy and protect its historic designation. The basilica is listed as both a local and national historic landmark.
According to the Basilica Foundation, around 50,000 visitors come to St. Josaphat each year, some from places around the world such as Turkey, Australia, Brazil, India, Korea, France and Chile.