Dairy Cares raises $210,000 for Children’s Wisconsin

Special to Wisconsin State Farmer
Tara Peterson, right, director of the Dairy Cares Simulation Lab at Children’s Wisconsin in Milwaukee, educates the next generation of medical professions in the world-class medical training facility.

Dairy Cares of Wisconsin’s first-ever “virtual fundraiser” has raised $210,000 for the Children’s Wisconsin.

For nine years, the non-profit organization’s signature event was a summer Garden Party that raised funds on behalf of the statewide health system (formerly Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin). However, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing protocols, the campaign shifted exclusively to multi-media platforms this year.

“We knew we wanted to do something special for our 10th anniversary, but we never imagined it would be a campaign built largely on cell phone texting,” said Jim Ostrom, Dairy Cares co-founder and a member of the Children’s Wisconsin Foundation Board. “In the midst of a COVID-fueled economic downturn, the generosity of the dairy and agriculture-related industries — and a lot of big-hearted individuals who just wanted to do something positive during turbulent times — is truly inspiring.”

With the $210,00 brought in by July 25, Dairy Cares’ lifetime total raised on behalf of Children’s Wisconsin now surpasses $1.5 million.

While the virtual auction component of the campaign culminated July 25, people interested in supporting the campaign can still give, via their smart phones, until midnight on Friday, July 31. Text “DAIRY” to 71760 to make your donation.

All proceeds will directly benefit the health system, which is headquartered in Milwaukee and offers 40 different care locations through the state.

“On behalf of the Children’s Wisconsin family, I wanted to express our gratitude to Dairy Cares of Wisconsin and their incredible community of supporters,” said Christine Baranoucky, Children's Wisconsin Foundation vice president of engagement & stewardship. “Even though we couldn’t be together in person this year, you didn’t let that stop you from making a difference and raising critical funds for the kids of Wisconsin.”

In 2018, Children’s Wisconsin christened the new, state-of-the art “Dairy Cares of Wisconsin Simulation Lab,” which gives medical professionals a safe venue to learn and sharpen their skills.

The "donate by text" technology allows donors to see specific ways their financial gifts can be put to use during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the acquisition of cloth masks, hand sewn gowns, sanitizer and face shields.

Dairy Cares

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Headquartered in Milwaukee, the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin provides statewide care through 40 different locations. These various sites provide a range of specialized services, from dealing with childhood terminal illness and cancer to psychological disorders. Experts in premature birth, the neonatal intensive care unit is ranked top in the nation. For more information, visit the website at chw.org.