Community Impact Story – Brewers Community Foundation
When it comes to strong philanthropic partners, Brewers Community Foundation hits it out of the park. With a mission to “harness the pride, passion and commitment of Brewers fans, players and other supporters to positively impact the lives of children and their families in Greater Milwaukee and Wisconsin,” Brewers Community Foundation has made a “major league” impact on the JCC, our Albert & Ann Deshur JCC Rainbow Day Camp, and the hundreds of youth who have benefited from their generosity.
What started as a relationship through sponsoring JCC signature events Laugh It Up Milwaukee and KidShare grew into a true partnership during the 2015 JCC Maccabi Games. Recognizing the synergies in this Olympic-style athletic competition, Brewers Community Foundation and Debbie and Mark Attanasio stepped up to the plate as Presenting Sponsor of the Maccabi baseball tournament—which included a visit to the games by former Brewers owner and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.
The following summer, Brewers Wives worked through the foundation to fund a gift of 62 musical instruments for Rainbow Day Camp in Debbie Attanasio’s honor, Debbie being a product of Jewish camping herself. This donation added music to the enriching activities campers enjoy at Rainbow. These campers include nearly 400 children from the City of Milwaukee who attend Rainbow at no cost through our Road to Rainbow program (see story, facing page).
Road to Rainbow was a perfect match for Brewers Community Foundation’s funding priorities: recreation programming serving low-income youth. One year later, Road to Rainbow received a generous grant from the foundation.
One of Rainbow Day Camp’s special features is its large educational garden, where all campers spend time planting, harvesting, and learning about fresh produce and the growing process. Campers benefit from the literal fruits (and vegetables) of their labors, enjoying the crops as snacks and at a weekly camp salad bar. It was Debbie’s joy with the previous Brewers Wives gift that inspired foundation Executive Director Cecelia Gore to call JCC President & CEO Mark Shapiro for a second gift idea to honor Debbie. The garden resonated with Gore and the Wives, who dreamed up a “Brew Grew” garden at Rainbow.
This new garden is shaped like a baseball diamond, with plant beds running between the bases, and sunflowers surrounding the infield. Each summer will have its own Brew Grew theme; summer 2019 features pickling.
The Brewers Wives will visit Rainbow in June to help plant and tend their garden. Rainbow Day Camp Director Lenny Kass and his team are looking forward to working with Brewers Community Foundation and the Brewers Wives for many summers to come… this partnership is a home run!
For more stories of impact read our complete 2018 Community Impact Report.