Packers award $1.25 million in grants to Brown County organizations

Richard Ryman
Green Bay Press Gazette
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Tracy Arndt of Encompass Early Education and Care Inc. talks on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 about $250,000 impact grant her organization received from the Green Bay Packers Foundation.

GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers Foundation for the first time awarded three $250,000 grants to Brown County organizations. 

The Packers and the foundation on Wednesday announced five grants totaling $1.25 million. Packers employees designated a $250,000 grant and the Packers Foundation awarded three $250,000 grants. Also included in the $1.25 million total is a grant awarded earlier to Give Big Green Bay, a partnership of the Packers and the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation. 

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"We wouldn't be here as an organization if not for the support of our community," said Mark Murphy, Packers president and CEO. "As we celebrate 100 seasons of Packers football, we are proud to give back to the community that has supported us for a century."

New grant recipients were:

  • Golden House Inc., Green Bay, which will use the money to expand its emergency shelter and community spaces. Golden House provides services for victims of domestic violence. The grant was from Packers employees through the Packers Give Back initiative.
  • Encompass Early Education and Care Inc., Green Bay, which will use the money to modernize playgrounds at its facilities.
  • The Center for Childhood Safety, Green Bay, which will use the grant to acquire a permanent office with classrooms in Ashwaubenon.  
  •  HSHS St. Vincent/St. Mary's Hospital Foundation, Green Bay, which will use the money for renovations at HSHS St. Vincent Children's Hospital

"This is a life-changing donation. We are one of the only organizations in Wisconsin that provides injury-prevention education to our children," said Kimberly Hess, executive director of the Center for Childhood Safety. 

The center, which is in its 26th year, will have its first permanent home because of the matching grant, Hess said.

Recipients must match the grants with another $250,000. 

Therese Pandl, president & CEO, Eastern Wisconsin Division Hospital Sisters Health System, speaks on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 about $250,000 grant health system received from the Green Bay Packers Foundation.

Jerry Ganoni, chairman of the Packers Foundation, said Murphy approached the organization five years ago about making donations that would have an impact on the community. Beginning in 2013, the foundation awarded $250,000 grants annually. Because its endowment increased to $32 million this year, aided by regular Packers contributions, it awarded three grants. Ganoni said the foundation wants to give away about 5 percent of its money annually.

Including the grants announced Wednesday, the foundation has awarded $3.5 million since 2014. Since its formation in 1986, the foundation has given away $9.8 million. 

"My expectation is we'll continue to give three grants," in addition to the Packers Give Back grant, which is designated by team employees. Ganoni said. 

Ganoni said with the increase in the number of grants, the foundation is considering whether to give to Wisconsin organizations outside of Brown County.

Overall, Packers charitable giving in 2017 exceeded $8 million for the first time, Murphy said. 

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