Foundation awards $75,000 in grants to three local organizations; unveils new ‘Volun-Deers’ program to encourage Bucks employees to be active in the community
The Milwaukee Bucks formally launched the team’s first-ever charitable foundation today in a special announcement at the Pieper-Hillside Boys & Girls Club in Milwaukee. The new Milwaukee Bucks Foundation, which launches with the mission of improving the quality of life for youth and families in Wisconsin, will focus its attention on three areas of critical need: youth education; youth health and wellness; and community betterment.
“Our entire organization is committed to making a difference in the community and we understand the responsibility we have to give back,” Bucks co-owner Jamie Dinan said. “We often talk about being champions on the court, but we strive just as hard to be champions for change in the community as well. There are so many great programs and initiatives working to make a difference that can benefit from our team’s involvement and resources. We look forward to building innovative community partnerships through the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation that will improve the quality of live for youth and families throughout Wisconsin.”
The Milwaukee Bucks Foundation’s focus on youth and families in the areas of education, health and wellness, and community betterment was borne out of a critical need for services to help address systemic issues of poverty and segregation, not only within the city of Milwaukee but across the entire state. The Foundation will develop and support initiatives ranging from literacy and school attendance (education), to anti-bullying campaigns and athletic clinics (health and wellness), to workforce development and neighborhood safety project (community development) in an effort to provide better outcomes for children and families in Milwaukee and throughout the state.
In conjunction with today’s launch the foundation announced three initial grants of $25,000 each to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Penfield Children’s Center, and MKE Plays – three organizations who are representative of the three pillars of focus for the foundation. The Foundation will award future grants on an annual basis to organizations based in Wisconsin providing services that will further the Foundation’s mission in these areas of critical need. For more information on the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation’s grant guidelines, eligibility requirements and application process, visit www.bucks.com/foundation.
The foundation represents a new era in the team’s long-time commitment to being an advocate for change in the community. Generations of Bucks players, coaches and staff have been regular contributors to community initiatives throughout the franchise’s 48-year history, particularly under Senator Kohl’s leadership. The new foundation will allow the team to have an even greater impact in the years to come, continuing and strengthening the team’s legacy as a responsible corporate citizen working to build a better future for those in need.
Additionally, the Bucks announced a new employee engagement initiative at today’s event. Dubbed “Volun-Deers,” the new program will encourage Bucks front office employees to make community involvement a regular practice. Each Bucks employee will receive 16 hours per year of paid time away from the office to volunteer in the community. The Foundation will identify opportunities throughout the year to mobilize Bucks staff to make a difference, while also assisting employees to identify causes and volunteer opportunities that align with their individual interests.
MKE Plays the recipient of one of Bucks Foundation’s first grants
With the news today that the new Milwaukee Bucks Foundation is donating $25,000 to further the mission of my MKE Plays initiative, I would like to sincerely thank the team and the foundation for seeing the value in this initiative and choosing to support it.
It’s an honor for MKE Plays to be selected as the recipient of one of the first three grants awarded to organizations in the community. The Bucks have identified education, community development and health and wellness as the three pillars on which the foundation’s charity will focus, and I’m very grateful that MKE Plays is being recognized for its value in those areas.
The launch of the Bucks Foundation, and this generous disbursement of grant funding to deserving organizations in the community, is a significant demonstration by the team of its continued mission to be a good partner in the Milwaukee community, and I look forward to the fruits that continuing partnership will bear.
– Statement of Alderman Michael J. Murphy