Included in the funds raised was a $925,000 gift to the charity from the David A. Thiede estate — the largest single gift in the event’s history and the event’s first bequest. Thiede, a Menasha resident, died in November 2017 at age 70. He attended the Open and was a firm believer in the work of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership.
Over the past three decades, the U.S. Venture Open has raised more than $46 million. Last year, nonprofits throughout Northeast Wisconsin received more than $3.75 million in new grant commitments and multiyear grants. Grants impacted 200 organizations in the Green Bay, Fox Valley and Oshkosh regions.
“The impact of more than three decades of giving is having a transformative effect across Northeast Wisconsin,” said Greg Vandenberg, director of giving and community engagement for U.S. Venture. “Today, nonprofits are innovating and collaborating to create and scale programs that heal, educate, train and support the most vulnerable individuals and families in our communities.”
This year’s special guest was Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, who, with his wife Camila, founded the just keep livin (jkl) Foundation to empower high school students by providing them the tools to lead active lives and make healthy choices for a better future. After a day of golfing, McConaughey shared his giving philosophy over dinner with the crowd at Van Abel’s of Hollandtown.
Regional partners are key to sustaining the work of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership. The J. J. Keller Foundation established a legacy of offering matching funds for grant making. Lead grant partners, including Oshkosh Corp. at $250,000, ThedaCare at $200,000 and Thrivent at $200,000, have joined the J. J. Keller foundation in its $800,000 grant-making investment. This brings the grant matching to $1.65 million, effectively matching every dollar donated through the golf outing.