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Madison Club's gift of gold for area nonprofits

The 2016 Madison Club Charitable Foundation's Charity Gala, held Nov. 5, raised $154,000 for 100 Black Men of Madison. Pictured left to right: Tiffany Mack, Jeff Mack, Floyd Rose, and Mary Rose.

The 2016 Madison Club Charitable Foundation's Charity Gala, held Nov. 5, raised $154,000 for 100 Black Men of Madison. Pictured left to right: Tiffany Mack, Jeff Mack, Floyd Rose, and Mary Rose.

Photo by Paul McMahon, Heartland Images Photo

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It’s been described as one of Madison’s best-kept secrets, which seems strange considering the Madison Club Charitable Foundation, now in its 13th year, has raised more than $1 million for local nonprofits.

“I’m not sure that the public really understands the amazing impact that the Madison Club Charitable Foundation and its annual Charity Gala has provided,” says Floyd Rose, president of 100 Black Men of Madison, which is the most recent recipient of funds from the gala. “Not just for 100 Black Men but also if you go back and look at other past recipients. It says a lot about our community in a positive way.”

That’s been the point all along, notes Krista Laubmeier, director of marketing and membership for The Madison Club.

“The Madison Club established its foundation in 2005 as a way to rally our membership around important community projects that needed some extra help,” Laubmeier explains. “With the Madison Club’s strengths in food and events, a gala-style event was a natural extension of our resources and has been a very successful model for us.

“It is amazing how many interesting and important projects are happening in our area,” Laubmeier continues. “Most nonprofits have a relatively small staff and limited resources. When private organizations and businesses can come alongside a nonprofit and give them a hand in any way, the nonprofit is naturally able to stretch farther and accomplish more.”

Charity Gala beneficiaries

2005: The American Cancer Society ($25,000)
2006: Second Harvest Foodbank’s Kids Cafe Program at the Dane County Boys & Girls Clubs ($40,000)
2007: American Family Children’s Hospital ($56,000)
2008: Operation Fresh Start ($59,000)
2009: Porchlight Inc.’s Veteran's Transitional Housing Initiative, a project launched in conjunction with the United Way of Dane County ($45,500)
2010: YWCA Madison ($70,000)
2011: Ronald McDonald House Charities ($78,000)
2012: Domestic Abuse Intervention Services of Dane County ($114,600)
2013: Henry Vilas Zoo ($90,000)
2014: Badger Honor Flight ($103,000)
2015: Simpson Street Free Press ($127,000)
2016: 100 Black Men of Madison ($154,000)

The Foundation has also hosted a number of smaller fundraisers in support of area nonprofits, including:

  • Madison Area Technical College’s Smart Future Scholarship Program ($15,900)
  • UW Children’s Hospital ($3,000)
  • St. Mary’s Hospital ($3,000)
  • Dane County CASA ($15,000)
  • The Rainbow Project ($9,000)

The Madison Club Charitable Foundation always had the goal to raise money and help area nonprofits financially, but Laubmeier says the Foundation has discovered that one of the greatest benefits has been the heightened awareness and attention that comes their way from having an event outside of their usual donor base. “It is really rewarding to play a part in connecting a nonprofit organization with new donors and resources.”

For 100 Black Men, the experience has confirmed that what the organization is trying to do is something that the community supports, notes Rose. “We have been around for about 23 years now, and I believe that these funds will propel us to a much greater level of providing solutions than we were able to previously offer because of the advanced scale of these resources.”

As the beneficiary of the funds raised at the 2016 Gala held Nov. 5, 100 Black Men of Madison received $154,000, the single largest sum raised to date by the Foundation at its annual event.

The funds will go toward Project SOAR, 100 Black Men’s effort to mentor black male students ages 12–17 in the Madison School District. The project, which stands for Student Opportunities, Access, and Readiness, is designed to lower truancy rates and raise high school graduation rates.

“We will use the funds within the calendar year to hopefully extend our reach to more than 1,000 disadvantaged students,” says Rose. Specifically, he notes the funds will be go toward Project SOAR’s career and success academies, tutoring, one-on-one mentoring, and post-high school scholarships.

How it works

Between January 1 and February 15 each year, the Madison Club asks its members to nominate local nonprofit organizations that fit the criteria of that year’s selection process.

For the past two years, Laubmeier notes, the Foundation has focused on supporting organizations that have a direct impact on the achievement gap in education, and that will remain the platform for the 2017 Gala, as well.

All of the nominations are reviewed by the Charitable Foundation’s Board of Directors. Each application is discussed and voted on within that group, and there is an opportunity for top contenders to meet with the board before a selection is made.

(Continued)

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