20 Milwaukee area childrenʼs charities split more than $1 million for the fifth straight year

Twenty children’s charities from southeastern Wisconsin are splitting $1,004,651 tonight, after Potawatomi Bingo Casino announced the money raised during their Miracle on Canal Street program. Each charity received $50,232. This is the fifth consecutive year the program has raised more than $1 million since it began in 1994.

potawatomi_logoMoney for the program is raised though special Miracle bingo games, and a few special events. The funds have been accumulating throughout the year and the 2009 total was revealed during an event tonight in the Casino’s Nest of Life Bingo Hall.

“Once again, our guests have shown just how much they care,” said Melanie Martin , Bingo director at Potawatomi Bingo Casino. “Year after year, this proves to be an incredible charitable program. Potawatomi is proud to help improve the quality of life for area children, particularly during these hard economic times.”

The 2009 Miracle on Canal Street charities that received a $50,232 donation include: ArtWorks for Milwaukee – Milwaukee County, Aurora Sinai Medical Center Keeping our Babies Safe Project -Milwaukee County, COA Youth & Family Centers – Milwaukee County, Lad Lake, Inc. – Waukesha County, Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Wisconsin – Waukesha County, Margaret Ann’s Place – Milwaukee County, Milwaukee Center for Independence – Milwaukee County, Next Door Foundation, Inc. – Milwaukee County, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center – Milwaukee County, St. Rose Youth & Family Center, Inc. – Milwaukee County, The Boys and Girls Club of Washington County – Washington County, The Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Milwaukee County, The Youth & Family Project, Inc. – Washington County, Waukesha Civic Theatre – Waukesha County, Father Gene’s Help Center presented by WITI FOX 6 – Milwaukee County, Food Pantry of Waukesha County, Inc. presented by CBS 58 – Waukesha County, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity presented by Clear Channel Radio (WRIT, WMIL, WISN, WKKV, WQBW, WOKY) – Milwaukee County, Hunger Task Force, Inc. presented by Milwaukee Radio Group (WHQG, WJMR, WJZX, WKLH) – Milwaukee County, Pathfinders presented by WISN TV 12 – Milwaukee County, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin, Inc. presented by Clear Channel Outdoor – Milwaukee County

The organizations will use the Miracle on Canal Street funds to improve the lives of children in our community in a variety of ways. Some of these charities are addressing critical and the most basic needs of local youth – food, shelter and clothing. Miracle funds are going to help the Pathfinders drop-in center provide food, hygiene services and assistance to hundreds of Milwaukee’s homeless teenagers. Both Hunger Task Force and the Food Pantry of Waukesha County are experiencing record demand for emergency food support, these Miracle dollars from Potawatomi Bingo Casino will be making sure children are fed. The donation will enable Habitat for Humanity to purchase the building materials to construct a home for a local family and Father Gene’s Help Center will be able to provide children in need with new socks, underwear and a warm winter coat. These are just a few examples of the miracles that will be made possible because of this large gift.

“We have never seen a higher demand for services in our 31-year history,” said Karen Tredwell, executive director of the Food Pantry of Waukesha County. “Potawatomi’s Miracle on Canal Street gift will make a significant impact on our ability to feed local children. We are very appreciative.”

Make-a-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin will be able to fulfill several wishes of seriously ill children because of the Miracle donation. “We are thrilled to be a part of the Miracle family,” said Patti Gorsky, President of Make-a-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. “This donation helps so many worthy organizations and thousands of kids.”

Potawatomi Bingo Casino continues to make a significant positive economic impact on both the state and local communities through tribal revenue sharing and support of local charities and community organizations. Through the Miracle on Canal Street program alone, the Casino has donated more than $9.5 million since 1994 to provide the gift of a promising future to thousands of local children. “Caring for the Community” is one of five key areas of focus that serve as the foundation for the Casino’s social responsibility efforts entitled Building on a Tradition of Responsibility.

Approximately 200 charities applied for a chance to be selected for the 2009 Miracle on Canal Street program. Fourteen of this years’ charities were chosen through a random drawing held in August. The other six were selected by the Casino as signature charity in conjunction with media partners. Children’s charities throughout southeastern Wisconsin can apply for the 2010 program in late spring. Details will be posted on the website at paysbig.com/miracle.