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U.S. Venture Open Raises More Than $33 Million in 31 Years, $3,610,500 Million in One Day


Appleton, Wis. – August 10, 2016 – With every swing, 800 golfers broke records in fundraising for the U.S. Venture Open. On August 10, with support from hundreds of volunteers and donors, the charitable golf outing raised a total of $3,610,500 million to fight the root causes of poverty in Northeast Wisconsin.

This year marked the 31st outing that has generated more than $33 million since its inception. All funds raised through the U.S. Venture Open benefit the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. In June 2016, more than $1.2 million in new grants were awarded to more than 100 organizations in the Green Bay, Fox Cities and Oshkosh regions.

As the host of the U.S. Venture Open, U.S. Venture, Inc. pays for all the expenses of the event.“I am humbled by the philanthropy this event ignites every year,” said John Schmidt, president/CEO of U.S. Venture. “We truly believe in helping those who need assistance to live a stable and dignified life. To see so many support our cause is inspiring and I thank our partners and volunteers for their dedication.”

According to event organizers, a further catalyst for increased giving comes from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership. In a unique partnership, the J. J. Keller Foundation matches the annual grantmaking budget up to $800,000. Since 2007, the J. J. Keller Foundation has contributed $6.7 million to this root-cause effort. Their leadership inspired Oshkosh Corporation to join the effort this year as a $200,000 lead grant partner along with ThedaCare and The Rhoades Foundation.

“Many of our Partners see the matching funds as a way to double their donation,” said Greg Vandenberg, director of giving and community engagement. “The collaborative nature of giving has allowed us to fund innovative programs aimed at finding long-term solutions to helping people out of the cycle of poverty.”

Grants funded by the U.S. Venture Open support programs that address literacy, substance abuse, housing, job training, financial literacy, education, community health, elder care, mental health, domestic abuse, sex trafficking, mentoring and many more issues.

The focus of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership this year was the launch of the Poverty Outcomes Improvement Network Team (POINT) project. POINT is a regional-driven, 18-month initiative focusing on continuous process improvement and coordinating services around individuals at risk or in poverty. More than 100 nonprofits throughout Northeast Wisconsin have joined together in 84 improvement teams to learn and apply these new tools and methodologies to address the complex issues surrounding poverty.

This year’s U.S. Venture Open was held at six regional courses: Fox Valley Golf Club, Mid Vallee Golf Course, North Shore Golf Club, Oneida Golf and Country Club, Wander Springs Golf Course, and Butte des Morts Country Club. The outing ended with a dinner at Van Abel’s Supper Club in Hollandtown where guests were treated to a historic meeting of Packers greats from Super Bowl I. Paul Hornung, Willie Davis, and Jerry Kramer were interviewed by contemporary Packers great Donald Driver. All three players from Super Bowl I are members of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, both Hornung and Davis are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Driver appeared as the guest of honor at the 2013 U.S. Venture Open and was back by popular demand.


About the U.S. Venture Open

The U.S. Venture Open is one of the nation’s single largest one-day charitable events dedicated entirely to fighting poverty. Over 1,100 participants representing more than 500 partners golf at regional golf courses to raise money for programs that help to fight the root causes of poverty. Over $3.57 million was raised in 2015. Follow the event on FacebookTwitter, or visit the U.S. Venture Open website. The U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs is 100% funded by the proceeds of the annual U.S. Venture Open.

About the J. J. Keller Foundation

The J. J. Keller Foundation is a private, independent family foundation focused on providing funding to nonprofit community organizations, projects and programs in the Fox Valley Region of Northeastern Wisconsin. The foundation’s mission is to support programs and organizations that address basic needs, the causes and consequences of poverty, in addition to specialty areas of interest, such as mental health. The J. J. Keller Foundation is known for impact giving and partnering with other organizations to move the needle on basic needs and serving as a catalyst for the formation of collaborative programming. The foundation was formed in 1990 by the Keller family, and since that time, nearly $50 million has been given to numerous community organizations aimed at positively making a difference every