Campaign to benefit Ronald McDonald expansion

Northwestern Mutual and the Brewers Community Foundation are building community support around a collaborative campaign, “Stolen Bases, Happy Faces,” that aims to benefit families facing childhood cancer and other illnesses.

The campaign, launched at the start of the 2013 major league baseball season, will donate $1,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin each time the Milwaukee Brewers manage to steal a base during home games at Miller Park.

Funds will assist with expansion of services at the nonprofit organization, which provides housing and support services for families travelling to greater Milwaukee to access medical treatment for their children.

“With the help of the Brewers Community Foundation, Northwestern Mutual hopes to make our town as nurturing as possible for the children and families seeking medical care in the Milwaukee area,” said John Kordsmeier, president of Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “We’re pleased ‘Stolen Bases, Happy Faces’ will help support our local home away from home for families who need it.”

The campaign aligns with Northwestern Mutual’s Childhood Cancer Program, established last year as a vehicle to drive awareness around childhood cancer and increase funding for the fight against it. The campaign also falls in line with the Brewers Community Foundation’s emphasis on programming for kids and families.

This particular campaign is the third team effort between Northwestern Mutual and the Brewers Community Foundation.

“My teammates and I are thrilled to rally around this program and help support children and families who are going through a tough time,” said Carlos Gomez, centerfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. “Working together, we can raise awareness of the fight against pediatric cancer and offer hope for a cancer-free future.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin, located at 8948 Watertown Plank Rd. in Wauwatosa, currently has 38 guest rooms for families and often must create waiting lists for families it cannot immediately accommodate.

“Last year we turned away over 600 families because of space constraints,” said Ann Petrie, chief executive officer of the nonprofit. “These funds will support our expansion with a new study room, enabling us to realize our goal of not having to turn away families in need.”

A broader expansion initiative at Ronald McDonald House will nearly double the size of the current building. The $10 million construction project will likely be completed in summer 2014.

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