Michael and Jeanne Schmitz, who lost their son Joey to suicide when he was a freshman in college, have given $500,000 to the Charles E. Kubly Foundation, a Mequon-based nonprofit that supports mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
The gift establishes the Joey Schmitz & Charlie Kubly Endowment Fund, a fund honoring the memory both of the Schmitzes’ son, as well as the son of Billie and the late Michael Kubly, whose son Charlie died by suicide in 2003.
The Kubly’s established the Charles E. Kubly Foundation, to increase awareness of depression and support suicide prevention, following Charlie’s death. Since its founding, it has granted more than $2.3 million to 273 community-based projects.
The friendship between the Schmitz and Kubly families traces back to their time at the University of Wisconsin.
The endowment gift was announced at the CEKF’s recent Beyond the Blues annual fundraiser.
The foundation’s board plans to leverage the gift to raise $1 million for the new endowment fund by the 2019 Beyond the Blues event. Since notification of the gift, the board has raised an additional $145,000 toward the endowment goal, bringing the total to $645,000.
In June, Billie Kubly gave $1 million to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to establish an endowment in honor of her late husband that will fund military and veteran mental health research, programming and service delivery at the university.