Message from the President:
We welcome your interest in the Wisconsin Chapter of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. We are excited about this newly formed chapter and look forward to your involvement. Any new ideas on connecting all those that have been touched personally or by a loved one with a retinal disease will be appreciated. A fresh approach to our chapter meetings, including format, location, time and day of week, are being discussed.
Congratulations Wisconsin VisionWalkers!
Other than our tents fighting the wind, we had a beautiful day on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at our 9th Annual VisionWalk, and set some records while we were at it! There were 715 walkers at Veteran's Park, one of the largest crowds we have ever had.
A big THANK YOU to the entire Milwaukee community and all of Wisconsin (and beyond) for making our VisionWalk such a great success, including all of you who donated to your friends and family who are affected by vision loss. Your generous contributions will be utilized by the top scientists and researchers in the world to find a cure for blinding retinal diseases.
Our teams and families raised an AMAZING $93,000, which was another GOAL BUSTER and a record for our Wisconsin VisionWalk.
THANKS TO OUR WALK COMMITTEE!
A very special thank you to our Walk Chair in her first year in that role, Jetta Lenz; Family Chairs Amy Lehman and Nicole Everson; Research Chair, Dr. David Gamm from the University of Wisconsin - Madison Hospitals and Clinics; Medical Chair Dr. Thomas Connor, Jr., Froedtert and The Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute; Chapter President Bunny Jordan; Youth Chair Bennett Lehman, Honorary Business Chair Christopher Heyer; Emcee Paul Kronforst; Community Outreach Chair Nathan Carrasquillo; and Lions Club Outreach Chair, Theresa Smith from Wind Lake Lions Club.Rounding out our fabulous team were the other members of our Walk Committee ... Matt Templeton, Karina Vainstein, Peter Borchardt, and Kelly Savasta. Your leadership and dedication to the VisionWalk was the driving force behind our success.
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS!
We would also like to thank our sponsors: Community Captain - Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library. Community Leaders Rivco; Commerce State Bank; Froedtert and The Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute; and Music On the Move Plus. Community Partners - Park Bank Foundation; Milwaukee Eye Care Consultants; and Retina and Vitreous Consultants of Wisconsin. Community Supporters - Vision Forward, Eric Barbieri; Wind Lake Lions; REPETE Corporation; Dr. Thomas Connor, Jr.; Fredonia Lions Club; and Racine Danish Kringle.
THANKS TO OUR IN-KIND DONORS
Also, a special thank you to the many community sponsors and in-kind donors who made it such a great day for so many. Racine Danish Kringle and Chris Heyer donated a HUGE quantity of delicious Kringles for breakfast and lunch. Vitner's Snacks in Chicago donated the potato chips, and the Grafton Target Store came through with our hot dogs, buns and cookies.
Kudos to my fellow Lions at the South Milwaukee Lions Club for grilling and helping serve those hot dogs!
Thanks to Pam Becker at Wisconsin Mortgage Corporation for supplying us with 50 cases of water!
Tina Hamm from Zumba was awesome leading the warm-ups. And thanks to Michael Paradise from Image It Photography LLC for his time and expertise as our official photographer.
For entertainment, we had special appearances from the following: Kiersten Gonzalez, former Miss Milwaukee who did a nice rendition of the National Anthem; Roscoe from the Milwaukee Admirals; Pounce from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and a special appearance by Star Wars costumers from the Wisconsin Garrison of the 501st Legion,
Special thanks to two participants: As he has done the past nine years, Taj Jordan and Music on the Move Plus donated many things for the event, and their staff could not have been more professional and supportive. Musician and Milwaukee favorite, Eric Barbieri, donated his time to perform for us, as he has done for many years. Thanks as well to Paul Kronforst for emceeing, as well as sitting in as drummer on stage.
We would like to give special recognition to the students at Brookfield Central High School for supplying the majority of our volunteers this year, and for Sophia Sun for serving as one of our Volunteer Coordinators. You guys were AWESOME! Also, the entire Emert Family (thank you Matt!) for serving as volunteers extraordinaire. And finally, a HUGE thank you to all the Team Captains, walkers, and volunteers! Your support, dedication, and energy made the day a true success.
THANKS TO OUR TOP FUNDRAISERS
We appreciate EVERY DONATION and any level of fundraising our teams do, because it is a TEAM effort. But we also want to highlight the top Wisconsin VisionWalk teams and their captains for going above and beyond. These totals are still being added to as we enter checks. Congratulations on an amazing performance!
$20,100 ... Team Rumor (Peter, Dave and Laure Borchardt)
$10,200 ... The M&Ms (Nora and Jeff Karbash)
$7,287 ... Bowling for Blindness (Barb Moericke)
$5,000 ... Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library (Becky Manz)
$4,540 ... Hootie Whoo (Nikki Thompson and Bunny Jordan)
$4,125 ... The Eye Institute (Karri Stock)
$3,870 ... Eye of the Tiger (Mary Jo Hutjens)
$3,280 ... Jetta's Jesters (Jetta Lenz)
$2,530 ... Vinny's Voyage (Carrie Colano)
$2,421 ... Team Savasta (Kelly Savasta)
$2,240 ... The Fighting Irish (Breydon Miller)
$2,200 ... Be Thou My Vision (Nancy Wolck)
$2,195 ... Team Cabaj (John Cabaj)
$2,010 ... Team Bennett (Amy Lehman)
$1,725 ... Chrissie's Crusaders (Cindy Alioto)
$1,555 ... VisionEars (Nicole Everson and Sharon Pfeifer)
$1,030 ... Mil"WALK"ee Eye Care Associates (Kaybee Yang)
$1,000 ... Retina & Vitreous Consultants of WI (Jim Mortell)
Many individual fundraisers achieved our VisionWalk All Stars Club status by raising more than $1,000 on their own to help their teams achieve such lofty numbers. We want to recognize their EXTRAORDINARY efforts:
Mary Jo Hutjens
We also recognized the Largest Walk Team: THE EYE INSTITUTE, which had 104, who defended their crown over runners up JETTA'S JESTERS (39) and THE M&Ms (34).
And even though we didn't pick official T-shirt winners this year, the overwhelming feedback I received was for the Eye Institute, which coincidentally had a Star Wars theme, which was paired up nicely with our Star Wars visitors from the 501st Legion!
ONE FINAL THANK YOU for everyone who contributed to this GREAT event!
If you have any questions or want to offer any feedback on the event, contact Steve Sroka at (847) 680-0100 or SSroka@FightBlindness.org.
I’ll never forget the day at Milwaukee Eye Institute when I was told Vincent has an incurable retinal disease. Vince was nine years old and in 3rd grade. It started years prior with glasses which didn’t help. It then went on to three years of different doctors, eye exams, vision therapy and many tests. In January of 2005, it was determined that Vincent had a genetic vision disease called Stargardts.
Associate Director of Events, Midwest
977 Lakeview Parkway, Suite 140
Vernon Hills, IL 60061
Phone: 847-680-0100 Ext. 11