Foundation honors outstanding philanthropists, community advocate

OSHKOSH, WI – More than 200 people gathered for a night of celebration Dec. 7 at the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation’s Donor Appreciation event.

The event included the presentation of philanthropy awards and the launch of a community impact match campaign.

“We have so much to celebrate about the quality of life in our communities, and it’s all thanks to the many donors, agencies and community partners who work each day to make a difference,” says Bill Wyman, president and CEO.

The Partners in Philanthropy Award was presented to Charles and Jean Gorham, a Milwaukee couple whose charitable contributions have helped advance initiatives that combat drug and alcohol abuse in the Fox Valley region.

Photo caption: Top,(from left), Donor Services Director Karlene Grabner, Jean and Charles Gorham and President/CEO Bill Wyman. Bottom, from left, Wyman, Jim Williamson, Anne McKenzie and Joseph Williamson. Jim, Ann and Joseph’s father Jim Williamson was posthumously awarded the first Good Samaritan Award.

The Gorhams’ support comes at a time when the region is facing a crisis in heroin and other drug overdose deaths. In accepting the award, Charles Gorham noted the numerous programs in the Fox Valley that help people cope with addictions. He thanked the Foundation for helping connect the couple to other organizations that are working toward the same goals.

The Good Samaritan match campaign was launched in conjunction with the presentation of the first Good Samaritan Award to the family of James Williamson. Williamson was an Oshkosh attorney and longtime trustee of the John E. Kuenzl Foundation who passed away on April 14.

His son, Jim, who accepted the award on behalf of the family, recalled how his dad called Oshkosh home, even though he was from Appleton.

“Jim was a respected attorney and a true community advocate,” Wyman says. “He never sought the spotlight but made so much good happen behind the scenes.

The Good Samaritan match campaign seeks to raise at least $150,000 for the Good Samaritan Fund by Dec. 31. Gifts to the Good Samaritan Fund can address a broad range of local needs, including those not anticipated in the future.

Maximize the community impact of your donation to the Good Samaritan Fund! Help reach our goal of $150,000 by Dec. 31.


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.

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