‘Milwaukee’s Finest’ seeking nominations for 2015 campaign

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-Wisconsin Chapter is eying a $60,000 fundraising goal as it enters the fourth year of its Milwaukee’s Finest Campaign.

 

The nonprofit organization has opened up the nomination process for the 2015 campaign and is encouraging southeastern Wisconsin’s business community to nominate young professionals deemed promising future leaders.

Through the Milwaukee’s Finest Campaign, a lineup of the region’s most accomplished young professionals compete to raise as much money as possible for CFF in whatever ways they find most effective.

Funds collected benefit the organization’s mission to raise awareness of cystic fibrosis and raise money toward a cure of the chronic disease, which causes mucus to accumulate in the lungs and digestive tract among other areas in the body.

Along with fundraising for 10 weeks, honorees are paired with a family impacted by cystic fibrosis so that they can learn about the effects of the disease firsthand. Honorees also get an opportunity to tour the cystic fibrosis care center and research lab at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and attend professional coaching sessions to gain insight on viable fundraising strategies.

At the end of the 10-week stretch, from March through May, the honoree who has raised the most money will be named “Milwaukee’s Finest” and will receive the “Breath of Life” award.

The campaign is “a great entry for emerging leaders in the Milwaukee area” to become part of a large-scale philanthropic effort, said Jon Donahue, vice president, private banking, at Johnson Bank and a member of the Milwaukee’s Finest committee.

While the fundraising initiative collects proceeds for CFF, it also engages greater Milwaukee’s young professionals in the community and opens up a new networking outlet.

“You will walk away from the experience as I have…feeling good about yourself, feeling good about you’re doing something for somebody else, and you’re going to meet some great people along the way who will be, as I’ve found in my own personal life, great friends who will be with you for a long time,” Stew Brase told perspective honorees at a kick-off event CFF hosted at Evolution Milwaukee last week.

Brase is a director at Ernst & Young and also serves as a corporate recruitment chairperson for the campaign.

On the corporate side, the campaign benefits participating companies with “visibility” and “recognition,” as it reinforces corporate responsibility, Brase said.

“And there’s a corporate responsibility that goes along with being part of the community, which is ‘you should want your people to want to make the environment around them better,’” he said.

Last year’s fundraiser, which BizTimes Media sponsored, generated $48,000 among 11 honorees, surpassing the campaign’s $45,000 goal. Honorees included employees from OS Inc., Robert W. Baird & Co., Rockwell Automation, Johnson Bank, Johnson Controls, and Ernst & Young.

Nominations from companies of all sizes and industries are encouraged for the 2015 initiative. Nominations are submitted through a form and are typically authored by supervisors or peers of young professionals. The campaign will also accept applications from young professionals who have not been nominated by a colleague or employer.

Nomination forms are due Thursday, Feb. 5. Individuals nominated are then required to send CFF an application detailing their professional and civic achievements by Thursday, Feb. 12.

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