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Partners in Giving donates $2 million to charities

March 10, 2022

Despite a second straight year of pandemic-related workplace closures, thousands of state and University employees have again united to help people around the world and back home.

Partners in Giving, a charitable fundraising campaign for state, University and UW Health employees in Dane County, today donated over $2 million to 500 charities. The money was raised last fall during the Partners in Giving 2021 Make an Impact! campaign, when donors gave to the charities of their choice.

“If you look across the world at Ukraine, for example, you realize how absolutely vital charity donations are to real people and places,” said Partners in Giving Administrative Board Co-Chair Lindsay Johnson, a state agency volunteer. “Our campaign and donors make a positive impact on countless lives, which makes our joint effort both powerful and personally rewarding.”

Since 1973, Partners in Giving, a volunteer-run group, has donated $85 million to charities.

On Thursday, for the first time since 2020, Partners in Giving volunteers attended a Volunteer Awards and Recognition event at UW–Madison’s Union South in person as well as online to honor those who helped make the 2021 Campaign a success.

Guest speaker Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary-Designee Kathy Blumenfeld praised Partners in Giving for bringing state and UW workers together to help others in need. Thanks to volunteer work, more than 4,000 State, University and UW Health employees pledged $2,030,727 million during the 2021 campaign. A symbolic check for that amount was presented to representatives of 10 umbrella charity groups and their member charities.

UW–Madison staff holding a large symbolic check representing $2 million of employee charitable giving

Partners in Giving co-chairs and staff presented a symbolic check of more than $2 million to over 500 organizations, representing UW–Madison employee charitable contributions, on Thursday, March 10, 2022. Left to right: Faye Reber, executive assistant in University Housing; co-chair Jeff Novak, director of University Housing; co-chair Jeff Russell, dean of the Division of Continuing Studies; and Gianna Taylor, special projects manager in the Division of Continuing Studies. Submitted photo

The event also recognized state agencies and UW units for their fundraising achievements and some individual volunteers received special awards, including:

Partners in Giving Innovation Events Award:

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

  • Julie Horst, UW College of Engineering (CHESS)
  • Lisa Brennan, UW Division of Extension
  • Jesus Villa, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
  • Michael Kessenich, Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Excellence Award:

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

  • Melissa Lake, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Megan Thomassen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Lori Finkel, Wisconsin School of Business
  • Gianna Taylor, UW Division of Continuing Studies

Doug Palm Community Service Award:

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

  • Cori Splain, UW Division of Enrollment Management
  • Grant Westphal, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

Robert A. Alesch Award:

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

  • Lori DeMuse, UW College of Letters and Science Administration

For more information on Partners in Giving and the charities it supports, please visit Logos can be found here.

Tags: employees