UW volunteers help raise millions for charity

April 2, 2019

They were handed a big check for big money, but it didn’t come from Publisher’s Clearinghouse or the state lottery.

Instead, hundreds of charities hit the jackpot by collecting $2.4 million in donations from more than 6,400 generous state, university and UW Health employees in Dane County.

At a special event at Union South March 12, Partners in Giving, the State, University and UW Health Employees’ Combined Campaign of Dane County, donated $2.42 million to 520 local, state, national and international charities and their parent umbrella groups.

The symbolic check was the pinnacle of the last Partners in Giving campaign, organized and run by volunteers Oct. 8–Nov. 30, 2018.

“It’s nice to know that as a community we have our neighbor’s back,” said Partners in Giving volunteer and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development employee Mary Pronschinske.

“The volunteers are the heart and soul of our campaign,” said Tammy Kuhn Martin, co-chair of the Partners in Giving Administrative Board and assistant dean for research administration in the UW–Madison College of Engineering. “Without them, there would be no check for charity because they make it possible for us to capture the generosity of state, UW and UW Health employees in Dane County.”

The event also recognized special efforts by agencies, UW units, UW Health and individual volunteers.

Retiring Division of Information Technology Communications Director Brian Rust was one of six UW volunteers who received an award. Rust was presented with the prestigious Robert A. Alesch Award for serving in multiple Partners in Giving leadership roles over an extended period of time, and becoming an invaluable asset to the campaign.

During last fall’s 45 years of Making a Difference campaign, 450 volunteers offered their state and UW co-workers the chance to donate to the charity or charities of their choice through payroll deduction or other methods. Nearly 6,400 employees responded and thousands more took part in volunteer-hosted bake sales, chili cook-offs and other special events.

UW–Madison Police Chief Kristen Roman, who co-chairs the Partners in Giving University Coordinating Committee with UW–Madison Dean of Continuing Studies Jeff Russell, joined Wisconsin Department of Administration Deputy Secretary Chris Patton to present 11 special volunteer awards. Six awards went to UW employees:

Innovation Award

Lizzie Adamec, Wisconsin Union
Jennifer Hanrahan, Jay Tucker and Asifa Quraishi-Landes, Law School

Excellence Award

Brianna Reichling, School of Medicine and Public Health, Emergency Medicine
Buri Lor, Division of Continuing Studies

Doug Palm Award

Marjorie Matthews, College of Letters & Science

Robert A. Alesch Award

Brian Rust, Division of Information Technology

Since 1973, Partners in Giving and its volunteers have helped raise nearly $80 million for charity at home and around the world.