The Green Bay Packers Foundation on Tuesday, December 17, 2103 awarded $500,000 to 188 civic and charitable groups throughout the state of Wisconsin in its annual distribution of grants. Charlie Lieb, chairman of the Foundation committee, made the announcement. Overall, including a recent $250,000 major gift to the UW-Green Bay Scholarship Fund, $750,000 was awarded this year. Both the total donation amount and the number of recipient organizations are records for the Foundation.
The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra was awarded a grant in the amount of $2,000.00 to be utilized for the Music In Our Schools Month, Teacher and Student Appreciation Concert in March of 2014.
The groups were guests at a luncheon in the Lambeau Field Atrium, an event that welcomed all the recipients and honored the outstanding efforts and services performed by each of the organizations.
The Foundation now has distributed more than $3.7 million for charitable purposes since it was established in 1986 by Judge Robert J. Parins, then president of the Packers Corporation, "as a vehicle to assure continued contributions to charity."
Of the Foundation's contributions Tuesday, 53 grants – aggregating $142,050 – were awarded to Brown County organizations. Additional grants, totaling $357,950, were made to 135 other groups around the state.
Additionally, under the Packers Scholarship Program established in 2002, $15,000 was awarded – $7,500 to Scholarships Inc., for distribution to students in four-year colleges, and $7,500 to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) for distribution to students in two-year associate degree or apprenticeship trades programs. A portion of the scholarship funds come from National Football League Properties which, at the Packers' request, returns to the Foundation royalty fees paid for using the Packers logo on Wisconsin automobile license plates. Because the royalties do not fully cover the scholarships, the Green Bay Packers fund the remainder of the amount, a figure which totals $89,000 since 2006.
In the past year, the Packers Foundation also has distributed an additional $57,375 on behalf of National Football League Foundation – $20,000 in “Community Quarterback” awards to civic leaders for contributions to the community, $12,375 in the NFL’s “Coach of the Week” program, which honors successful Wisconsin high school coaches on a weekly basis throughout the season, $20,000 through the “Hometown Huddle/Youth Fitness Zone” program and $5,000 for the NFL National Partnership Grant focusing on efforts related to the military. In addition, a $250,000 Matching Youth Football Field Grant was received and was awarded to the Ashwaubenon School District for the redevelopment of the Ashwaubenon High School football stadium and practice fields.
"We’re honored to congratulate and thank this year’s recipients for their excellent work in our communities,” Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said at the event. "Their efforts inspire us and truly provide a positive impact.”
The Green Bay Packers Foundation Trustees include, in addition to Lieb, Tom Arndt, Rick Chernick, Valerie Daniels-Carter, Ricardo Diaz, Terry Fulwiler, Jerry Ganoni, Mark McMullen, Tom Olson and Hon. John Zakowski. Bobbi Jo Eisenreich is the secretary of the Foundation.
The grants and other programs highlighted Tuesday are two components of the Packers’ efforts in the community. The Packers’ community outreach department responded to more than 10,000 requests from organizations and individuals in 2013 with donated autographed items for fund-raising efforts that raised more than $3 million. These efforts, combined with direct cash donations by the Packers to various charity endeavors, resulted in a comprehensive Packers charity impact in excess of $6 million in the past year.