Milwaukee’s Finest smashes 2014 fundraising goal

After 10 weeks of creative fundraising, Milwaukee’s Finest honorees are contributing a collective $48,000 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Wisconsin Chapter to advance its fight against cystic fibrosis and its support of affected families.


The 2014 Milwaukee’s Finest Campaign, which exceeded its $45,000 goal, succeeded through the commitment of 11 honorees, each of whom were required to raise a minimum of $2,500 in whatever ways they could. The campaign wrapped up on Thursday evening with a special recognition event at Coast Restaurant to toast the accomplishments of all involved.

Following the tradition of the three-year-old campaign, all 2014 honorees were young professionals who were selected to participate for playing an active role in their communities and taking an ambitious approach to their careers.

By continuing to target young professionals, the campaign helps grow the next generation of nonprofit leaders as well as increase awareness of cystic fibrosis, a chronic disease that causes mucus to accumulate in the lungs and digestive tract among other areas in the body.

“This is really expanding the footprint to young professionals and families who don’t have a direct cystic fibrosis connection, and so it’s branding out to new communities, new people, new families and introducing them to the cause,” said Rick Verthein, chair of Milwaukee’s Finest and financial advisor at Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co.

“It’s finding new channels to introduce (cystic fibrosis) and to raise money,” Verthein said.

In addition to fundraising, Milwaukee’s Finest honorees took time to learn more about cystic fibrosis through personal interactions with families impacted by the disease as well as through a tour of the cystic fibrosis care center and research lab at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Prior to joining Milwaukee’s Finest, honoree Leah Barton, of Pewaukee-based OS inc., said she didn’t know very much about cystic fibrosis. Now she is committed to CFF for “a lifetime.”

“I’ve done things with fundraisers before – participated – but I’ve never really felt a connection to one or felt like I wanted to be a part of it ongoing,” said Barton, who received the Breath of Life Award for raising the most money, more than $7,600. “So I think (Milwaukee’s Finest has) changed my mindset on what it means to be part of a nonprofit foundation or to be connected to that.”

While the 2014 campaign built off the 2013 campaign, which raised about $30,000 through the work of seven honorees, Verthein said the foundation is eager to drive even more momentum into Milwaukee’s Finest next year and engage more young professionals.

The 2014 Milwaukee’s Finest initiative was supported by media sponsors BizTimes Media and FM102.1. Additional sponsors included Johnson Bank, American Appraisal, Ernst & Young, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Spaulding Clinical Research, BMO Harris Bank, Infinity Benefit Solutions, ActionCOACH of Elm Grove, White Dog Photography & Design, and Zilli Hospitality Group.

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