The United Way of Greater Milwaukee announced this week a goal to raise $45 million to ensure support for the region’s safety net of urgent resources remains strong during the recession.
This year’s goal is approximately $700,000 more than the total dollars raised in 2008.
"We’ve all seen the impact of the economy. It has forced many of us to make difficult business decisions that impact families across the community," said Elizabeth "Betsy" Brenner, president and publisher Journal Sentinel Inc. and United Way Community Campaign co-chair. "Now is the time for those of us who have jobs and the ability to give a little more to step up. This year is United Way’s 100th anniversary. It is interesting to look back at its 1930 campaign during the Great Depression when the slogan was ‘Greater Need. Give More and Be Glad You Can.’ That rings true even today."
In celebration of United Way’s 100th anniversary, five funding partners also announced a joint $500,000 gift honoring Jane Bradley Pettit’s lifetime achievement of giving back to the community. The David and Julia Uihlein Charitable Foundation, The Brico Fund, The Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Allen-Bradley Company/Rockwell Automation each contributed a significant gift to commemorate Jane Bradley Pettit’s legacy.
United Way will dedicate its headquarters located in the historic Schlitz Brewery stables in Jane Bradley Pettit’s name, recognizing her as the largest individual donor in its 100-year history.
"Jane Bradley Pettit was truly one of Milwaukee’s greatest philanthropists," said Michael W. Grebe, president and chief executive officer, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. "We are pleased to be part of this tribute."
In addition to Brenner, the United Way Community Campaign co-chairs include: Keith Nosbusch, chairman and chief executive officer, Rockwell Automation Inc.; and Stephen Roell, chairman and chief executive officer, Johnson Controls Inc.
The co-chairs said gifts of every size will be imperative to this year’s fundraising success and United Way’s ability to maintain support of its 160-plus programs. United Way officials are hopeful that early generosity will inspire the community to rally to help those who have been most affected by the economic downturn.
United Way’s 100-day 2009 Community Campaign runs through Dec. 10.
To donate, visit www.reasonstogive.org.