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Olympian Michael Phelps to Keynote 2018 U.S. Venture Open


Annual charity event raises
funds to end poverty

(Appleton, WI) February 25, 2018 — U.S. Venture, Inc. announces the
most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, will be this year’s
celebrity guest at the U.S. Venture Open. The 2018 U.S. Venture Open will be
held on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 and funds raised from the annual event help end
poverty in Northeast Wisconsin.

When he retired from competitive
swimming at the age of 31, Phelps had collected a total of 23 gold, three
silver and two bronze medals. He was first introduced to the water at the age
of seven through a water-safety program and, like many children, overcame his
fear of the water. At age 15, his Olympic aspirations were realized when he
finished fifth in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2000 games in Sydney. Sydney
was the first of five Olympic Games Phelps competed in.

In 2008, Phelps established the
Michael Phelps Foundation to help promote water safety, healthy living and the
pursuit of dreams. The Foundation’s signature program –
im – provides the same
water safety, recreational aquatic activities, health and wellness education,
and goal-setting skills that he utilized throughout his career. The Foundation works
collaboratively with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics
International to implement the
im program, which has reached more
than 17,000 children and counting. In addition, the Michael Phelps Foundation
supports Level Field Fund – Swimming, which provides funding to help uniquely
talented swimmers in financial need to underwrite further training and

“I believe in giving all kids a level
playing field in order to develop their individual talents,” Phelps said. “I’m excited
to participate in the U.S. Venture Open because the programs they fund provide
so many kids and adults the opportunity to succeed despite their

Phelps’ dedication to water-safety
and health education, including mental health awareness, through his Foundation
is one reason U.S. Venture leaders invited him to the annual event. U.S.
Venture is also a major sponsor of USA Luge, currently competing at the Winter
Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“As an organization, we share many values with
Olympic athletes, chiefly high performance and caring relationships,” said John
Schmidt, President/CEO of U. S. Venture, Inc. “The passion Michael Phelps has
for giving all kids the opportunity to achieve their dreams is in line with our
mission to create opportunity for everyone by ending poverty.” 

Phelps will make a personal
appearance at the U.S. Venture Open and will be the keynote speaker at the
dinner reception held for registered guests that evening at Van Abel’s of

U.S. Venture Open
The U.S. Venture Open is nation’s single largest one-day charitable event dedicated to ending poverty. It’s held at several regional golf courses: Oneida Golf and Country Club, Green Bay; North Shore Golf Club, Menasha; Mid Vallee Golf Course, DePere; Fox Valley Golf Club, Kaukauna; Butte des Morts Country Club, Appleton; Wander Springs Golf Course, Greenleaf. Michael Phelps is scheduled to appear and speak at the dinner reception for all registered guests, held at Van Abel’s of Hollandtown. 
U.S. Venture underwrites all costs of the event and has done so since the inception. Funds from the event are held within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, with grants made to collaborating non-profit organizations in Northeast Wisconsin. The event started in 1986 with 100 golfers and has grown to more than 1,100 participants representing more than 500 partners who golf at regional courses to raise money for programs that help end poverty. To become a partner, visit Follow the event on Facebook, Twitter, or visit the U.S. Venture Open website.

Basic Needs Giving Partnership

More than $5.56 million in grants were awarded to more than 200 nonprofit organizations in 2017. Proceeds from the U.S. Venture Open pave the way for collaboration between funders and nonprofit organizations that are passionate about addressing the root causes of poverty in Northeast Wisconsin. The Basic Needs Giving Partnership was launched in 2007 when the J. J. Keller Foundation offered to match the grant making. The J. J. Keller Foundation will again match up to $800,000 for grants distributed and will be joined lead partner Oshkosh Corporation. In the 32-year history of the event more than $37 million has been raised and $24 million granted.

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Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in history, capturing a
total of 28 medals including a record-setting 23 gold medals, over the course
of five Olympic Games. Phelps utilized his performance bonus for winning eight
gold medals at 2008 Beijing Games to establish the Michael Phelps Foundation.
Committed to growing the sport of swimming, the Foundation addresses the need
for water-safety through its signature program –
im– that is available
through the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics
International. The most decorated swimmer in World Championships history,
Phelps launched his own competitive swimwear brand – MP – in partnership with
Aqua Sphere in 2014. He has published two autobiographies –
No Limits: The Will to Success and Beneath the Surface – that were New York Times and USA Today best sellers, as well as published one children’s book – How to Train with a T-Rex and Win Eight Gold
. He is a highly regarded inspirational speaker, sharing his message
of “Dream, Plan, Reach” with audiences ranging from children to business