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Despite pandemic, state and UW employees raise millions for charities

March 9, 2021

Even a global pandemic cannot suppress the generosity of thousands of State, University and UW Health employees in Dane County.

When state and campus workplaces emptied last year, Partners in Giving, the State, University and UW Health Employees Combined Campaign of Dane County, used virtual special events like online trivia and bingo to reach out to employees and raise over $2 million in charitable donations.

“Turning a fundraising campaign based on human interaction into something entirely online was daunting at first,” said Tammy Kuhn-Martin, Co-Chair of the Partners in Giving Administrative Board.

“But hundreds of volunteers rose to the challenge in incredible ways and the response from our employee donors was equally amazing,” she said.

During a virtual event Tuesday to thank its volunteers, Partners in Giving announced 4,500 State, University and UW Health employees pledged over $2.1 million during the 2020 Stronger, Together campaign. A symbolic check for that amount was presented to 11 umbrella charities and the 520 member charities they represent.

With last fall’s donations, the total amount donated to local, national and international charities since the Partners in Giving campaign began is over $83 million.

Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan, the event’s keynote speaker, said Partners in Giving does amazing work and that it has the power to create positive change and give hope.

During the event, special recognition was given to those state agencies and UW units which excelled during the 2020 campaign. Individual volunteers nominated by their peers also received special recognition, including:

Innovation Events Award:

Individual or individuals within an agency, school or unit who initiated or conducted a special event or events which measurably improved the agency’s, school’s or unit’s campaign over prior years.

  • Lisa Brennan, Jamie O’Donnell, and Shelly Vils-Havel – UW Division of Extension
  • Jessica Sayer and Emily Eichstedt-Anderson – UW Libraries
  • UW Housing Division Team – UW Division of Housing
  • Mary Drumm, Leah Watson, Kathryn Pergande – WI Department of Children and Families

Excellence Award:

A dedicated reliable, grassroots involved person who did an outstanding job in making the campaign a success.

  • Casey Sweeney- WI Department of Natural Resources
  • Ashleigh Herrera – WI Department of Administration
  • Sarah Demont- UW Business Services

Doug Palm Community Service Award:

Volunteer demonstrating creativity, resourcefulness, enthusiasm, integrity and outstanding achievement.

  • Mia Bentel – UW School of Business
  • Bailey Schleicher – WI Department of Corrections

Robert A. Alesch Award:

Volunteer who has served in multiple Partners in Giving leadership roles over an extended period.

  • Phyllis Fuller -WI Department of Children and Families

A recording of the March 9 event will be available on the Partners in Giving website:

For more information on Partners in Giving and the charities it supports, please visit High resolution campaign theme images and other logos can be found on the Marketing Materials page on the website.

Tags: employees