What's a Shakespeare team to do when we are forced to miss out on having our FAVORITE event of the year - a time when we get to see so many of your friendly faces and enjoy spending time with you outside of the office?
Well, I'll tell you what! Shakespeare is going to give even more than usual this Christmas (something we especially love doing). We always love to hear about the charities you support... and strongly encourage you to not only support your favorite organizations monetarily, but also to spend time participating in the non-profit organizations.
The organizations benefiting from our party cancellation are as follows:
Kevin's Charity of Choice:
Life's Connection - I chose to donate to Life's Connection, a medical pregnancy support and education center with two locations in Southeastern Wisconsin. The goal of Life’s Connection is to provide hope, help and healing to anyone who walks through its doors. Offering Free services that includes, pregnancy testing, ultrasound, childbirth and parenting classes, miscarriage and stillbirth support. Through its incentive-based education, clients receive “Mommy Money” which they spend in its baby boutiques providing essential items for their family. This support not only helps clients to self-sufficiency, it provides much needed material support as they build a strong family.
Hope Street Ministry in Milwaukee - As always, my choice is Hope Street Ministry. This time, specifically for the building of Shechem (a new, much needed, community center on 26th and Capitol). For over 20 years, Hope Street has provided housing and healing to people whose lives have been profoundly affected by tragic experiences, like addition and abuse. Today, about 50 men, women and children live at Hope Street. The community center - Shechem at Hope Street – will be an extension of the existing Hope Street building. It will provide a safe space for members, the neighborhood and people from surrounding communities who want to build relationships in the city. The facility will provide opportunities for safe exercise, play, learning, spiritual growth and building community. To see what I’m talking about, click here. I would love to show all of you this remarkable community, any time! Just let me know.
Children's Tumor Foundation - I chose to donate to the Children’s Tumor Foundation this year because their vision is to end Neurofibromatosis (NF). NF is a genetic disorder affecting 1 in every 3000 people, including my son Fischer. NF can come with a host of issues, but the most common issue is the growth of tumors throughout the body. We are lucky enough to live in an area where they are doing groundbreaking Hospital studies on NF at Children’s and Froedtert. This week Fischer took part in a drug trial to treat several of his tumors. Half were treated with a placebo and half were treated with the experimental drug. His results will be tracked over the next 3 years and will hopefully help him and maybe even his children someday.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society - I’m choosing to donate to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society this because this is a disease that has affected my family. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the body. The cause of MS is still unknown although scientists believe a combination of genetic and environmental factors contribute to the risks. Nearly 1 million people are living with MS in the United States alone, with at least two to three times more women than men diagnosed with the disease. My family and I are regular participants in the MS Walk along the Milwaukee Lakefront, walking for my Aunt who is living with this debilitating disease.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - This year I chose the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Wisconsin Chapter, a topic that is close to my heart and unlike many physical illnesses, does not get the open recognition it so often needs. AFSP focuses on raising funds for research and prevention programs. They hold several events each year, including the Out of the Darkness Walk that I annually participate in. This year’s experience was a bit different but just as important all the same. I’m grateful to Kevin for allowing Shakespeare the platform to give generously and provide the resources many organizations need.
Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation - The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation’s mission is to understand the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, improve the care of people living with it, and to find a cure. It is one of the premier Alzheimer’s research centers in the world. Ryan’s grandmother suffered through Alzheimer’s for more than 10 years before eventually passing away in 2013. He continues to help support discovering a cure so others won’t have to see their family members go through the same struggles his family did.
The Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center - The Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center is the only academic cancer research center in our area. They deliver the latest research driven treatments and community driven interventions. Both of my parents have received life-saving treatments from the Cancer Center and I am eternally grateful for delivering that treatment. I feel fortunate to have a world-class facility in our backyard.