Green Bay Packers president and chief executive officer Mark Murphy and his wife Laurie are donating $100,000 toward the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation, Inc. $1 million fundraising campaign to provide internet access for students and their families.
The couple’s donation brings the #ConnectMilwaukee fundraising campaign total to $800,000. The Zilber Family Foundation and Burke Foundation also recently issued a $200,000 matching gift challenge for the campaign.
The MPS Foundation is seeking to raise $1 million as phase one of the campaign, which will match MPS’s $1 million investment in the effort. In total, the foundation and district plan to allocate $2 million to provide mobile internet access for more than 5,000 students for a year. The first phase of the campaign will focus on MPS’s homeless student population and other families that do not have access to the internet.
“Every gift to the MPS Foundation is meaningful. However, let’s be honest, this is Wisconsin – there’s something extraordinary about receiving a donation from the CEO of the Green Bay Packers,” said Wendell Willis, executive director of the MPS Foundation. “Mark and Laurie Murphy have a big megaphone and I think this says loud and clear to the business community and people all over the state that this campaign matters. That our kids matter. We’re going to get this fully funded and solved here in Milwaukee thanks to leaders like Mark and Laurie.”
In response to the protests following the death of George Floyd, Murphy pledged in early June to donate $250,000 to causes in Wisconsin that support social justice and racial equality. In addition to the MPS Foundation, Mark and Laurie Murphy donated $50,000 each to We All Rise Green Bay, Urban Triage in Madison and Maroon Calabash in Milwaukee. Packers players chose to make donations to the Boys & Girls Club of Milwaukee and Sherman Phoenix.
“We have much work ahead as we move toward a more just society,” said Mark Murphy. “The Green Bay Packers organization is pleased to support our players’ desire to help their chosen organizations as they work for meaningful change. I’m very proud of our players – they are committed to making a difference in the state through their support of these great organizations. My wife, Laurie, and I are also honored to support a number of Black-led organizations that focus on changing long-standing racial inequalities in a variety of areas including education, internet access, housing and maternal and infant mortality.”