College Possible annual fundraiser generates almost $190,000

Proceeds will fund college admission services for underserved Milwaukee high school students

Susan and Robert Mikulay

The College Possible Milwaukee Dream Big Dinner last week brought in a fundraising total of $186,000.

The fifth annual event, held at the UW-Milwaukee Student Union, honored past and present board members, donors, AmeriCorps volunteers who serve College Possible, and college graduates who have benefitted from its services.

Founded in 2008, College Possible Milwaukee is a nonprofit AmeriCorps organization that helps low-income high school students prepare for college and earn degrees through one-on-one coaching and support. The organization currently partners with 15 Milwaukee-area high schools, including Hamilton High School, Pulaski High School, St. Anthony High School, and Hmong American Peace Academy.

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Executive director Edie Turnbull said the fundraiser’s proceeds will allow the organization to expand into another area high school.

Former College Possible board chair Susan Mikulay and her husband Robert were awarded the Pat Wilmeth Most Likely to Succeed Award, the organization’s highest honor. Mikulay, an independent communications consultant, engineered and executed the first annual Dream Big Dinner in 2014, and the fundraiser has continued to grow each year. During her time as board chair, she helped College Possible raise $1 million in donations from local corporations and foundations. Mikulay continues to serve as a College Possible board member.

“I couldn’t imagine College Possible without Susan,” Turnbull said.

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College Possible also honored Milwaukee-based Physicians Realty Trust with the Corporate Partner of the Year award, and the Milwaukee-based Gene and Ruth Posner Foundation with the Foundation Friend award.

College Possible Milwaukee is part of a national cohort of College Possible organizations, founded by CEO Jim McCorkell, located in Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Omaha, Philadelphia, and Portland. McCorkell attended last week’s dinner, and joined Turnbull in presenting the Most Likely to Succeed Award to the Mikulays.

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