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Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013

Boris and Doris On the Town

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Merger News: The exciting merger of the Wisconsin Community Fund (WCF) with Forward Community Investments (FCI) was celebrated by an upbeat gathering at The Hamilton. Board member Karen Campbell welcomed the guests, followed by FCI President Salli Martyniak, who discussed the mission of connecting funders to nonprofits. Board member Kathy Ronco of Highland Community School talked about her involvement. 

Among the many Milwaukee nonprofit leaders on hand were Jeanne Geraci, executive director of the Benedict Center; Martha De La Rosa, program manager at Center for Progressive Leadership; Leo Ries, director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); Constance Clark, founder of the African Children’s Theatre; Karen Hunt, development and strategic communications manager with Center for Resilient Cities; Kristin Hansen, development director of the ACLU of Wisconsin; and Nick DeMarsh, active with the Milwaukee Transit Riders Union and operations manager at Groundwork Milwaukee.   

Circulating were Raejean Kanter, community relations director for the Falk Group; Laura Gramling Perez, candidate for Milwaukee County Circuit Court; Barbara Markoff, community affairs manager at US Bank Milwaukee; Robert Meiksins from Forward Steps Consulting; Marquette University’s Cathy Miller; and filmmaker Janet Fitch. FCI’s program officer Bruce Moffat and COO Eliza Waters also attended.   

Literary Gala: Referred to as a “Milwaukee treasure,” Woodland Pattern Book Center celebrated its first 33 years with a delightful anniversary gala at the Milwaukee Art Museum. After a welcome by Board President Karen Campbell, special awards were given to Carolyn White-Travanti, with newly blue hair, and Barbara Brown Lee. Anne Kingsbury, who founded Woodland Pattern with her husband, Karl Gartung, related the award-winners’ impressive list of accomplishments. Chuck Stebelton, Woodland Pattern’s literary program director, announced that UW-Madison is purchasing the store’s entire archive.  

The evening culminated with a fun performance of Paper as Instrument by artist Alison Knowles, known for her sound works and performance art with the Fluxus experimental artist group. Assisted by Robert Ragir, Amanda Schoofs, Steve Schlie, Trevor Saint and her daughter, Hannah Higgins, at one point the audience participated by ripping and throwing paper and having great fun.  

Literati present included poets Susan Firer, Jackie Lalley and Ching-In Chen, plus Bill Embly, Paul Gaudynski, Cathy Cunningham, Rick and Salomea Ollman, Briggs and Stratton’s Rick Amen with image consultant Kim Koch, and Phil and Theresa Rozga. The center’s new program coordinator, Mike Wendt, marketing director Rob Baumann, and volunteers Keith Gaustad, Patrick Redmond and Carl Bogner kept the evening on track.

Fueled Up: Fuel Milwaukee and NEWaukee joined forces for a mega event at the new Marriott Milwaukee Downtown. An estimated 500 young professionals checked out the new bar/restaurant Millioke, tasted Great Lakes Distillery products, toured the hotel, networked and enjoyed a duo performance by bassist Peyton Lencho and guitarist Kenny Reichert.  

Hosting were Fuel’s Executive Director Corry Joe Biddle along with Jessica Quintanilla and NEWaukeeans Ian Abston and Angela Damiani. Country Financials, a sponsor of the event, was represented by agency manager Joe Jannazzo and reps Matthew Holbrook and Kyle Svetlik.

From the Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC) were Leah Fiasca, Danya Strait and Maggie Bryde, the project coordinator of Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE). Making the rounds were ART Milwaukee’s Jeremy Fojut, Bobby Kraft from First Edge Solutions, R.W. Baird’s Kiko DeLorenzo and John Molitor of Milwaukee Apartment Finders. LaShana Miller, Weneaka Jones and Bianca Shaw represented the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). Attendees donated school supplies for Teachtown MKE, a GMC initiative.    

Polish Fanfare: There was plenty of glamour and glitz at the Polish Center of Wisconsin’s Ball of Fire Gala. Funds were raised for the Free and Clear Campaign to pay off the last bit of the mortgage on the beautiful facility built in 2000. Entertainment was by the Grace Notes Trio and pianist Matt Byczynski. The open bar was thanks to Nick Ignatowski of Planners Financial Group and his wife, Kim, with a delicious dinner by Jack Norman Catering. Event chair Janine Adamczyk, there with board member Mike Kaiser, and the gala committee, including Diane Holytz, Bernie Jendrzejczak and Mary Jo Swider, with her husband, Gene, created a first-class event.   

Among the dignitaries were Board President Susan Mikos and her husband, Michael; judges Mike Skwierawski, David Borowski and his mother, Mary Anne Borowski-Lutz, and Dennis Cimpl with his wife, Nancy; plus court commissioner Cedric Cornwall with his wife, Andrea; and St. Francis Mayor CoryAnn St. Marie-Carls and her husband, Tom Carls. The Polish Heritage Alliance staff included Executive Director Francis X. Vogel and program and administrative associate Bonnie Wietrzychowski, as well as Polish Fest Director Jane Riley Best, there with attorney Arik Guenther from Campbellsport.

Friendly Support: A packed house at Boswell Book Co. turned out to support author Barbara Manger, whose Riding Through Grief tackles her family’s struggle to return to normal after the tragic loss of her son Matt, a chef. A delicious compote Navidad, one of Matt’s signature dishes, was served. Manger thanked her husband, Bill Lynch; Eric Oxendorf, who shot the cover photo; editor Priscilla Pardini; writing mentor Kurt Chandler; and Redbird Studio’s Judy Bridges. In the audience were Bruce and Janine Smith, who has worked with Manger on other writing projects, plus Dr. Bob and Jane Gleeson and neighbors Elliot and Eve Lipchik

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Nov. 28 issue of the Shepherd.

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