Date: December 11th, 2017

Lancaster Fund Recognized at K-9 Officer Ceremony

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Date: November 14th, 2017

Platteville Community Fund Presents 11 grants totaling $16,822

Making a difference in and for our community!  That is the work of the dedicated volunteers who provide leadership and the generous donors who provide resources to the Platteville Community Fund.  And, that is the intended impact of grants awarded by the Platteville Community Fund.

Platteville Community Fund Fall 2017 grant recipients Left to right: Audrey Johnston and Tori Lesser, representing SOC; Bob Hundhausen, representing Building Platteville; Paul McDonald and Bob Digman, representing PCA; Melissa Duve, Darlene Masters, and Laura Hermsen, representing Family Advocates; Luke Peters, representing the City of Platteville, Recreation Department; Brandi Kamps, representing Wisconsin Badger Camp; Keri Wedige, representing UWP College for Kids; Maggie Kleisath and Stephanie Saager-Bourett, representing the Platteville Chorale; and Diana Bolander and Mary Huck, representing the Platteville Museums and the Friends of the Platteville Museums

Nathan Curry, PCF board chair, noted, “Today we are presenting grants from the earnings of the Carmen and Eva Beining Endowment, the Robert & Marian Graham Community Endowment, and the Schneller-Tang Endowment.  We are honored to make these awards from legacy gifts invested by these donors that benefit the Platteville community now and forever.”

Fall 2017 Robert & Marian Graham Community Fund grant recipients include:

  • The City of Platteville Recreation Department, $2,250 for the resurfacing of the floor at the Platteville Armory and the painting of courtlines for pickleball.
  •  The Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums, $7,500 to fund the replace of the mine incline railing.

Awards from the Carmen & Eva Beining Endowment were presented as follows:

  • Family Advocates, $600 in support of client transportation.
  • The Friends of the Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums, $1,000 to purchase archival supplies for the care and preservation of the collection.
  •  The Platteville Chorale, $250 to support rental of facilities for the Platteville Children’s Choirs Holiday Concert.
  • The Platteville Community Arboretum, $500 for the purchase of a chain saw for trail maintenance.
  • Southwest Opportunities Center, $722 to purchase items to complete the Day Services Multi-Stimulation Room project.

A grant of $1,000 from the Schneller-Tang Community Endowment was awarded to Wisconsin Badger Camp in support of the purchase of a canoe transport trailer.

Grants were also presented from the Platteville Community Fund Endowment. Recipients include:

  • Building Platteville, $500 for the purchase of reusable supplies for a ‘new’ community holiday event – Katie’s Garden Winter Wonderland.
  • The City of Platteville Recreation Department, $1,000 for the creation and installation of an artistic bike rake for the recently opened Platteville Public Library.
  • The UWP Office of Continuing Education, $1,500 to fund 15 partial scholarships for the 2018 College for Kids program for attendees from the Platteville Schools geographic area.

For the fall grant cycle, the Platteville Community Fund received 17 applications with total requests in excess of $47,000.  Established in 2002, PCF made its first grant in 2005.  To date the Fund has awarded 244 grants totaling just over $494,172.  PCF is governed by a local volunteer advisory board including Kim Brodbeck, Louise Brockman, Nathan Curry, Ed Faherty, Eileen Nickels, Mary Rosemeyer, Joe Rosemeyer, Jen Schweigert, Cindy Tang, Bill Van Deest, and Jan Weier.  Persons assisting the advisory board in the evaluation of fall 2017 grant applications included Dave Jones, Kathy Lomax, and Tom Osterholz.

The Platteville Community Fund, a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, welcomes donations from individuals, organizations, businesses and estates.  Anyone can make a gift, large or small, and every gift benefits the Platteville community.  To learn more about the Platteville Community Fund contact chair Nathan Curry (608-348-2615 or [email protected]) or Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin donor services representative Barb Daus (608-778-3344 or [email protected]).  Donations are received throughout the year and may be sent to Platteville Community Fund, PO Box 46, Platteville, Wisconsin 53818

Date: November 3rd, 2017

ZAK Family Foods Supports PHS Scholarship Program

Jason Zakaras, CEO of ZAK Family Foods that owns the Platteville Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell franchise and members of his administrative team of Joe Rechtfertig and Noah Jenkins met with representatives of the PHS Scholarship Fund to present a check of $1000 in support of scholarships for PHS Class of 2018 graduates.

From left: Noah Jenkins, Joe Rechtfertig and Jason Zakaras – all with ZAK Family Foods, Platteville Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell – are congratulated as the most recent business donor to the PHS Scholarship Fund, represented by Sheila Kelley, Eileen Nickels, and Andy Custer.

ZAK Family Foods acquired the Platteville Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell restaurant in late 2016, thereby expanding its operations to four states – including Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.  ZAK Family Foods operates 31 restaurants employing 650 people.  Their goal is to develop great leaders.  They help their employees not only find but also leverage their passions in life through practical work application while providing training in requisite life skills.

Zakaras noted both his company’s and the franchises’ commitment to youth development, “We are committed to providing not only employment but also education in management, finances, and leadership for our employees.  To that end, a partnership with the community and particularly with this group – working so hard to provide financial assistance for post-secondary education to local students – is both natural and necessary.”

Zakaras and the team at the Platteville restaurant are particularly proud of Hillary Line, a PHS graduate and a 2017 recipient of the $5,000 Taco Bell “Live Mas” Scholarship.  Zakaras indicated that the donation for the PHS Class of 2018 scholarship is in honor of Hillary, who is pursuing a degree in art education.  Further he said, “Her statement – don’t let others limit your potential by telling you what you’re capable of – mirrors our company philosophy of maximizing human potential through leadership development training.  We are extremely proud to offer so many of our KFC and Taco Bell team members scholarships and grants of $2,000-$5,000 multiple times each year.”

Sheila Kelley, chair of the PHS Scholarship Fund advisory board, noted, “We are pleased to welcome ZAK Family Foods to our family of donors.  This company is investing in the youth of our community.  Their leadership in both education of employees and community philanthropy is noteworthy and appreciated.  We are hopeful that other area businesses will follow the example set by ZAK Family Foods.”

The PHS Scholarship Fund is a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, a 501(c)(3) public charity.  For additional information contact Sheila Kelley (608-348-2615) or CFSW Donor Services Rep Barb Daus (608-778-3344 or [email protected]).  Donations may be made online at or by mail to PHS Scholarship Fund, PO Box 46, Platteville WI 53818.

Date: September 26th, 2017

Smith Interim President Following Executive Director's Departure

Ann Heiden has announced her resignation, effective September 26, as executive director of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin and will return to nonprofit development work in Madison.

Gary Smith takes over as Interim President/CEO September 26, 2017

“I was given an opportunity to be directly involved with a mission that impacts impoverished areas across the US and internationally, something I feel called to do” says Heiden. “I’m very excited to think of what’s ahead in this newly created position.” Heiden says the Community Foundation is in great shape with $50 million in assets and a highly professional, knowledgeable staff.

Heiden took over as executive director in June 2014, replacing Sue Conley who retired from the organization after serving for more than 13 years.  In her three years, Heiden has led operations and helped the organization with leadership and teamwork strategies, staff structure, donor relations, marketing, organization efficiency, and more.

Board President, Ken Klaas, said the board of directors has hired a recruitment consultant in search of the next executive director. In the meantime, Gary Smith, one of the organization’s founders and retired non-profit executive director will serve as interim President/CEO until a replacement is hired.  Gary was most recently interim executive director of Rotary Botanical Gardens. He retired as president of the local United Way in 2008.

The Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin serves to match charitable donors with the needs of communities in nine southern Wisconsin counties, including Rock, Walworth, Crawford, Iowa, Lafayette, Green, Grant, Sauk, and Vernon.  The Foundation was established in 1992 and is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with assets of $50 million. For more information on the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, call (608) 758-0883 or visit

Date: September 5th, 2017

Lancaster Community Fund Announces Fall 2017 Grant Cycle

The Lancaster Community Fund is accepting grant applications for its Fall 2017 grant cycle. Deadline for receipt of applications is Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Applications must be completed online and submitted online no later than midnight on that day. Mailed, emailed or faxed copies of applications and incomplete or late applications will not be accepted or considered. The online application is available at Select the grants tab, then grants available. Scroll to Lancaster Community Fund, Fall.

Board chair David Helmke noted, “We are honored to award monies during this grant cycle that are available from the Charles “Sonny” Tiedemann Charitable Fund. As many will recall, Keith Tiedemann, through his estate, made an endowed gift of over $4 Million to the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin. His direction was that the earnings available from that endowment were to be granted for projects and activities in Lancaster, through an application and review process under the auspices of the Lancaster Community Fund. This year the LCF board has approved grants from the Tiedemann Fund to support the development of the accessible playground at Winskill and the addition of a drug canine unit to the Lancaster Police Department. It is our hope that groups and organizations will develop projects and submit grant applications that are similar in scope and impact to those recently awarded. Our goal is to continue to find ways to make our community ‘the community of choice’ in this region.”

The Lancaster Community Fund encourages applications from non-profit organizations as well as the schools and municipal committees/boards for projects or programs that serve the people within the city of Lancaster and the Lancaster School District. Requests from individuals are not eligible. Applications must clearly state the scope and impact of the project including the projected number of Lancaster area residents involved in and/or served by the project.

A local volunteer advisory board will review the grant applications and recommend grant awards. Current Lancaster Fund Advisory Board Members include Dave Helmke, Tabitha Jackering, Sam Jonas, Joe Krantz, LuAnne Pink, Crysti Prange, Kevin Raisbeck, Megan Slane, and Bette Steinbrenner.

Lancaster Fund grant application forms are available online at the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin website. The specific address is

The Lancaster Community Fund is a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, Inc., a tax-exempt public charity. For more information, contact David Helmke, advisory board chair, or Barb Daus, donor services representative with the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin (608-778-3344 or [email protected]). For further information about the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, visit