U.S. Venture thanks donors of Fund for Basic Needs - November 12 2010

OSHKOSH, WI – Directors of the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs were in Oshkosh on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010, to meet with local donors and thank them for their support.

"We did good. You did good. And we're going to do even better," Bill Schmidt, chairman emeritus for U.S. Venture Inc., told a small gathering hosted by the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation at The Waters.

The U.S. Oil Open in August was the culmination of an outstanding annual fundraising effort that collected $2.2 million for communities served by Fox Cities, Green Bay and Oshkosh community foundations. The company recently changed its name to U.S. Venture, which is reflected in the name of the Fund for Basic Needs and the name of the golf outing.

Sarah Schmidt, U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs family president, called the fundraising inspirational. She outlined a giving partnership through which U.S. Venture will match donations to the fund at 50 cents on the dollar up to $250,000, and the J. J. Keller Foundation will match grants from the fund dollar for dollar up to $750,000.

Mary Harp-Jirschele, executive director of the Keller Foundation, called the partnership a perfect match of each partner's founding mission to meet local needs and fight poverty. She praised donors and the committee members who select the grant recipients.

"It's a lot of hard work to give away money well and you should be proud of your committee here (in Oshkosh). They really take their job seriously," Harp-Jirschele said.

In just two years' time since it began, the Fund for Basic Needs at the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation has grown to more than $1.1 million. Nearly $200,000 has been granted to nonprofits in Winnebago and Green Lake counties.

"Together, we've done a lot to help those struggling in poverty," said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, president and CEO of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. "Yet, we've only scratched the surface on meeting the needs in our community."

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization created by and for the people of Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive. For more information, please call (920) 426-3993.

Donate to the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs online

See a photo gallery from Wednesday's gathering

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