Brewers’ success provides windfall for local charities

The Brewers Community Foundation recently announced that its 50/50 Raffle for the 2011 season has surpassed $1 million in gross revenue.

The foundation donates half of the proceeds from the raffle to fund grants for nonprofit organizations in the area.

The Brewers playoff run has the potential for more home games to not only raise more money through the raffle, but also to raise more awareness and visibility for the Brewers Community Foundation and the causes it supports.

“It’s very exciting,” said Cecilia Gore, executive director of the Brewers Community Foundation. “(Team owner) Mark and Debbie Attanasio’s commitment for the club to play a significant role in the philanthropic community here in the area was the starting point. As the team has become more successful, it has only increased our opportunities to engage our fans.”

According to Gore, the 50/50 raffle will continue through all Brewers home games. Currently, other charitable causes, including Foley and Lardner’s “K’s for a Cause” campaign and Northwestern Mutual’s “Stealing for Miracles” are scheduled to end at the completion of regular season play, Gore said.

“We don’t have a definitive answer on whether the other campaigns will continue through post season,” Gore said. “They were designed to go through the end of regular season play, but people might be interested in continuing them just because we are here and still playing. We do not, however, have any formal commitments that they will continue right now.”

The Brewers Community Foundation provides grant dollars for organizations focused on health, education, recreation and basic needs in the community.

Some of the nonprofit programs previously supported by the foundation include: Arts at Large, Beckum Stapleton Little League, Boys & Girls Club, COA, Felix Mantilla Little League, Girl Scouts of Milwaukee, Hunger Task Force, Habitat for Humanity, Make-a-Wish, Sojourner Truth House, Susan G. Komen Foundation, UPAF, United Way, YMCA and YWCA.

The Milwaukee Brewers and the Brewers Community Foundation have had a long-standing relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, said Jacqueline Zeledon, spokeswoman for The Boys & Girls Club.

According to Zeledon, both organizations support the Little Brewers Baseball Program as well as its RBI Program which is dedicated to riving baseball in inner cities.

The Milwaukee Brewers and the Brewers Community Foundation most recently teamed up to help more than 200 Boys & Girls Club members receive dental health care.

“This really meant a lot to our families, many of whom do not have dental insurance or any access to treatment,” Zeledon said. “The players are great. Over the years a number of them have given their personal support through visits to (Boys & Girls) clubs and hanging out with members or personally supporting programs that impact a child’s growth. We are definitely cheering for the Brewers.”

The Brewers have sold more than 3 million tickets this season for only the third time in franchise history. That increased interest in the team helps the Brewers organization in its nonprofit endeavors.

“There are so many quality nonprofit organizations in the area that do a great job in the community,” Gore said. “We can feel good about the money that we generate and the grants that we make because the programs available here are impeccable. If you don’t have quality programs, it doesn’t matter how much money we can raise or how much awareness we can bring, regular season or post season. We have really good nonprofit organizations here that are focused on trying to make a difference in our community.”

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