Nonprofit spotlight: GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee

Last updated on March 12th, 2021 at 09:19 am

8685 N. Port Washington Road, Fox Point
414-797-0522  |
Instagram: @GiGisPlayhouseMKE 

Year founded: GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee opened on World Down Syndrome Day, March 21, 2015.

Mission statement: The mission of GiGi’s Playhouse is to change the way the world views Down syndrome and to send a global message of acceptance for all. 

Primary focus of your nonprofit organization: We change lives through the consistent delivery of free educational, therapeutic-based and career development programs for individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community, through a replicable playhouse model. Our promise is a lifelong commitment to families.

Number of employees at this location: 3 (one full-time, two part-time)

Key donors: Bader Philanthropies, Harri Hoffman Family Foundation, Anon Charitable Trust, Stackner Family Foundation, Bank Five Nine and a growing number of other contributors.

Executive leadership: Sue Schrader, executive director; Sara Van Deurzen, site coordinator; Heather Minsky, program coordinator

Board of directors: Susanne Griscom Pelikan, president; Barry Goldman, vice president; Mike Wachter, treasurer; Erin Anderson, Grant/Fundraising Committee chair and secretary; Ann Jasen, Donor Relations chair; Kari Dyer, Donor Relations Committee member; Griffin Gross, Board Development chair

Is your organization actively seeking board members for the upcoming term? Yes. We are looking for people with backgrounds in education, health care, marketing and events. We are also looking for a volunteer coordinator.

Ways the business community can help your nonprofit: Spread the word. Visit our Playhouse and take a tour. A sponsorship or donation is always appreciated. Volunteer as a board member or committee person. Program volunteer opportunities are also available. 

Key fundraising events:

  • GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge 
  • Brew Ha Ha
  • Wisconsin Arm Wrestlers State Tournament
  • 3-21 Campaign 

Other focuses of your nonprofit organization: GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee is part of a national network whose vision is to see a world where individuals with Down syndrome are accepted and embraced in their families, schools and communities.

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