Haribo to support UW-Parkside athletics venue renovation, scholarship fund

Candy maker commits $300,000 to school over 10 years

Wes Saber, Haribo of America chief financial officer.
Wes Saber, Haribo of America chief financial officer.

Last updated on November 21st, 2019 at 11:15 am

Haribo of America, Inc. will provide funding for the renovation of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s athletics venue and a new needs-based scholarship program at the school.

Haribo representatives announced the company’s 10-year, $300,000 commitment to UW-Parkside at the school’s campus on Tuesday.

“We believe everyone should have access to affordable education,” said Wes Saber, Haribo of America chief financial officer. “Haribo of America has been warmly welcomed to the communities of southeastern Wisconsin and our new partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Parkside is an opportunity to give back to our new neighbors and invest in the future.”

Haribo of America, the U.S. subsidiary of the German candy maker, plans to break ground on its Pleasant Prairie manufacturing campus, in spring 2020. The 137-acre campus will be built in the Prairie Highlands Corporate Park, located west of I-94 and north of Highway 165. The project is eligible for $21 million in state tax credits. 

The company’s partnership with UW-Parkside will jump-start a fundraising campaign to enhance the university’s Sports & Activity Center, including a complete seating reconstruction in the Alfred and Bernice De Simone Gymnasium. The athletics venue is home to UW-Parkside men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, and wrestling teams, and also hosts three UW-Parkside commencement ceremonies, the Gateway Technical College commencement, and camps, clinics, sporting events and community activities.

“The De Simone Gymnasium has been an asset to this university for nearly half a century,” said Andrew Gavin, UW-Parkside director of athletics. “We thank Haribo for embracing and supporting our vision to return this historic venue to a place that energizes our campus community, enhances recruiting efforts and our student-athlete experience, and welcomes our community and visitors to a state-of-the-art facility.”

Haribo will also support a new initiative of the UW-Parkside Foundation to provide need-based support to students, called the UW-Parkside Future Focus Scholarship. To date, the foundation has raised about $400,000 for the scholarship fund. About 65% of UW-Parkside students are eligible for federal Pell grants, meaning they come from low-income households.

“The goals of the scholarship program are to reduce student loan debt and help UW-Parkside seniors reach their goal of graduating with a university degree,” said Emily Lawrence, president of the UW-Parkside Foundation board of directors.

Haribo representatives said the company’s commitment over the next decade will exceed $300,000.

“This exciting, new relationship with Haribo of America provides additional financial and educational support for current and future UW-Parkside students,” said Debbie Ford, chancellor of UW-Parkside. “The majority of our students are the first in their families to attend college. Thanks to this new partnership with Haribo of America, our Future Focus Scholarship will provide more opportunities for students to achieve their education goals. It also provides the start to an important capital-improvement campaign.”

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